Making Gourd Dolls & Spirit Figures
Making Gourd Dolls and Spirit Figures honors and explains the ancient and vibrant art of crafting figures from gourds. Beginning with a fascinating lesson on the history of gourd dolls and their traditional significance in a variety of cultures around the world, authors Jim Widess and Ginger Summit embark on an educational and inspirational tour of all things gourd doll. They weigh innumerable design considerations ranging from fundamental choices like gourd shape selection (natural, deformed, or molded?) to advanced techniques for creating articulated joints, marionettes, stacked dolls, and more.
From simple “stump dolls” to complex “dancing dolls” with beaded clothing and hand-carved features, Making Gourd Dolls and Spirit Figures is jam-packed with irresistibly creative projects, each illustrated with breathtaking photo galleries.
With step-by-step instructions, full-color photographs, and testimonials from renowned artists working today, Widess and Summit leave nothing technical to the imagination. From molding gourds as they grow, to safely cleaning, scraping, drying, and decorating them. Making Gourd Dolls and Spirit Figures gives you all the tips and tools you need to realize the gourd dolls of your wildest dreams.
I have always been interested in handcrafts of all types, since a young child.I drew upon this interest often in my career as a Special Education teacher.Soon after retiring in 1990, I discovered the world of gourdcraft.After a fruitless search for books on the topic, Jim Widess and I agreed that the time was rightfor a new book, and a whole new world opened up!Artists around the country responded with enthusiasm and creativity to our inquiries, and the resulting books reflect the tremendous potential that the gourd has provided humans since earliest times.The great appeal of gourds to the craft world lies in their flexibility:the variety of shapes and textures of this ancient plant always suggest new possibilities to the crafter.Gourds can be embellished and adaptedto work with all mediums available to artists today, and can be enjoyed for individuals with all levels of skill.In addition to growing gourds, I have been able to explore cultures and unimagined areas of human activity, from very functional containers to highly artistic expressions of music, dance, art and culture identities.It has been a great satisfaction to participate in the great gourd world, passing on a traditiion that has been such an important part of human history.
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