Success with Etsy!!

Well I am finally seeing some success from my Etsy store. Today I will be shipping off my second sold gourd through them and I am very excited!!

It always shocks and delights me when someone likes my artwork enough to lay down some hard earned money for them. I love to envision them sitting on someones mantle or coffee table and perhaps the conversations around it. It is like a little bit of me is touching a complete stranger.

I have been really paying attention to the title that I use on etsy as well as my keywords. It really seemed to help alot. My art is being “favorited” quite often and even added to Treasuries.

Today I listed another new piece. This is a rather tall bottle gourd that I cut sections out of the neck to make it into a basket. Then I pyrographed a wolf howling into the sunset scene which is painted with transparent gourd paints. The sun has a bit of a shimmer to it.

Gourd Art Wolf at Sunrise

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Pyro-Engraved Eagle

Several weeks ago my sister-in-law dug up and commented on a gourd I posted on facebook. This gourd was a pyrographed bushy tailed squirrel in a tree, lightly colored with a watercolor wash. It was my first blown attempt at burning an entire picture on a gourd and I thought it turned out great! Apparently others did as well since I had “debuted” it at a small craft show and the gourd was sold before I ever got it out on the table (Thanks Jan!!). The comments about the gourd I received when my Sister-in-law commented on it was enough to inspire me to do another.

Eagle Wall Hanging

This time I chose an eagle head. The eagle head is accented by burned in feathers which is adorned with a beautiful piece of turquoise. The gourd I burned it onto was a bottle gourd cut in half length wise and turned upside down to make it into a wall hanger.

I really enjoy the burning process,  the shading and eventual bringing to life the object I have chosen. Wildlife seems to be my favorite subject of the life you can bring to them!  It calms me and inspires me. The natural look to the gourd adds a warmth to the finished piece as well.

This is also my first attempt at making a wall hanging. The backing is felt and I need to work that out a little better but I used a piece of copper wire as the hanger, both sides coiled on the outside of the gourd.   The nice part of a wall hanging like this is that you can change the flowers to suite your taste and the seasons

I will continue to explore this new path.

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Latest Gourd Vessel is done

My latest piece incorporates just about everything I love when I work on a gourd. It is Native American in style using the rich mahogony and red that I so love to paint with. The side design is tribal in nature and is repeated on both sides.

Carved and Embellished Bottle Gourd

Carved and Embellished Bottle Gourd

Carving into the gourd:  I love the stark contrast I get when I carve into the gourd as I did on the side design of this gourd. Once I draw my design on the gourd I burn it into the gourd using a sharp tip.  Using my electric carving tooll I start with a inverted cone bit to carve the edges, rying not to carve the black line created by the burning tool.  Once I rid the design of the hard outer shell I use a Ball bit to “dot” the whole design in. I really love the organic look this gives the piece.   To retain the beautiful white color, I immediately painted the exposed meat with an acrylic. I find that if I don’t do that right away, the meat discolors somewhat and I inevitably get some other color in the cut part.  The product I used to keep that part protected and clean was Gourd Master Gourd Varnish.

Just so you know these are some of the tools I use

Wood Burning- I have the RazorTip, which I bought many years ago from the Caning Shop. You can see it here http://www.caning.com/html/product/GRD-A9/TUFSSD10.html  See the tip in the picture, that is one I use alot as well as a skinnier one. What I love most about this product is when I break a tip (and I do that quite often, I can send the pen into the Caning Shop and they will replace the tip for very reasonable.

Carving- I have two carvers. One is a Clarke Version which is similar to a dremel. It takes the 1/8″ shank and spins very fast so that I can power carve. I also own the “Gourd Drill”, also from the Caning Shop, which takes the smaller bit and is perfect for more detailed work!!.

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New Gourd Art Piece- Apple Bowl with Weaved Rim

Gourd Bowl with Pyrographed Apples

Gourd Bowl with pyrographed and painted apples and weaved colorful rimAbout a year ago, while living in the Motorhome, I cut and cleaned a gourd in preparing it for working on it. At that time I had no idea what I really wanted to do with it, I just knew where I had to cut it.  It sat on my kitchen table for a month before I started to use it to hold my fruit, primarily apples. As I went through my daily routine I would notice this bowl of fruit sitting in this perfect sized gourd bowl and knew right then and there, what this gourd wanted to be.

Now, months later, the bowl is finished and I absolutely love it. I drew and pyrographed (Burned) apples all the way around the bowl and then painted them in using blends of Red, Green and Yellow. To finish the bowl I used waxed Linen thread and Rush to create a very sturdy and colorful rim.

Here are some additional pictures of how this gourd bowl

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I love weaving on my gourds. This one called for a spiral weave in Barn Red, Forest Green and Off White. I love the way the colors start to spiral. The rim is four coils high.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Closeup view of the apples

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This is a closeup of the pyrographed apples. Pyrography is burning into the material. It is often refereed to as Wood Burning but I hesitate to call it that because I am not burning on wood!!  I burned in the outline of the apples. Using color fast transparent gourd dye I was able to model the apples using color.

 

 

 

I am asking $75.00 for this one-of-a kind piece which can be purchased through my Etsy Store

I would appreciate you “Liking” this on Facebook or passing it forward so that more people can see it. That is called Viral Marketing!!  Thanks

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Wow, what a year it has been!!

This week announced the arrival of my….. NEW STUDIO!!  I am so excited and ready to start making the perfect creative space for myself.

Dani's New Art Studio

My new Art Studio

We decided that the cheapest and quickest way we could move forward with my art studio, temporary storage and a place for Ben to use his saws and other wood working tools while we continue to work on our home, was to get a portable building. We found a very reasonable solution (Ron’s Discount Lumber, Howe Ok) and we could have it painted to match our home.

The studio was placed on our property with the windows and door facing the pond so while I am sitting at my pottery wheel or art desk I will have THE MOST AWESOME VIEW!

Studio Front View

Front View of my Studio

I am ready to move forward. As I sit in my healing room, I don’t feel healed and calm.I feel chaotic and overwhelmed with boxes and stuff all over the place. This weekend we will clear this room of all its craziness and move my gourds and my clay and all my STUFF to the studio! It is not ready for me to start working in it yet but it will clear my inside space to the point where I can FIND MY GOURDS and my tools!! Oh happy day with that one.

The Studio is 24 X 12 which should be more than plenty. My Studio in California was about 10 x 10 so I have lots more room. This time I get to organize it the way I want to work.  Soon, hopefully this weekend, we will make a run to Home Depot for Electrical wire so that we can get the electricity in. Also on our to do list is insulation. The walls are just studs right now so its hot during the day, too hot to work. Insulation will help alot. As time and money permits we will sheet rock and lay some flooring!   We placed the Studio where we originally had the Motorhome so the electric and water are already there. WooHoo.

This is the view from my Studio,

This is the view from my Studio

Ben will share my space for a while. He has all his wood working tools at his folks house and most everything is still in boxes so he is feeling as overwhelmed and lost as I am when he needs something. What is worse is that he doesn’t even know what he has over there because he did not pack his boxes. And I can’t tell him what he has because I can’t identify most of his tools. The best I can do is say “what does it look like” and see if I remember anything like that. Eventually he will build his own shop but “It’s not going to yellow” he said! We will see about that!!

Wow… when I think back on this last past year I have experienced quite a bit of change. Moving to Oklahoma, living in my motorhome for 8 months, losing my baby brother to cancer, building a home, building a storefront for our business, making new friends, saying goodbye to old friends, driving to California with only my dog, Suzi, as a companion, packing up the entire Green Valley Lake house, having to sell that house as a short sale and feeling the pain and lose of all our equity as well as our credit ratings, And now I have a Studio.

Tomarrow, September 1, will mark the one year anniversary of the day we packed our business up and left California. We will make it. We are a bit older, maybe a bit wiser, absolutely more broke, but still excited for the future and all we can accomplish.

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