Judy Arrigotti

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Gourd History:
Gourds are a natural resource that have been considered a staple in many societies. They are one of the first plants to be cultivated throughout the world and have been in use for thousands of years. The gourd is the only plant that experts believe to have spanned the entire globe. Early man decorated gourds by cutting and scraping images using the sharp edge or tip of a hot stick. This method of incising and burning is still being used in some South American countries. Many cultures have been and are still using gourds for; bowls, vessels, hats, musical instruments and many other utilitarian purposes. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and vary in thickness from eggshell thin to an inch or more in thickness.

G ourd Growing:
Hard-shelled gourds are members of the squash and pumpkin family. Instead of having a soft skin like a pumpkin, hard-shelled gourds have a very hard outer skin. When dry, the exterior of these gourds turn into a wood like surface.
Gourds are easily grown in most temperate climates, however, there are specialty farms that plant hard shelled gourd crops specifically for artistic embellishment. These growers ship their gourds worldwide to artists, craftsmen and a variety of business's.

G ourd Art:
Today, as was true many centuries ago, artists combine their talents and perspectives in combination with the gourd shapes and textures, to create unique works of art from nature. Artists embellish gourds by painting, wood burning and carving designs into the hard surface.
There are books, web pages, gourd societies and even festivals that celebrate the gourd.