Gorgeous Gourds

by Amanda Rutland

Hello, I’m Amanda. I am a gourd artist who also grows my medium.

I live near the Essex/Suffolk border close to Constable Country with my partner, 2 children & 3 cats.

Although I am the main grower & crafter, my partner is as involved as me as he also turns the locally-sourced wood bases for the lamps on his lathe. Not to mention varnishing all my gourds.

With a graphic design background,  I also love growing fruit & veg on my little allotment & a few years ago a small packet of gourd seeds arrived that I’d ordered online. Little did I know that a year later my passion for growing these amazing fruits & what I could do with them was born.

From sowing the seed, growing the vine, hand-pollenating & nurturing the fruit through to curing, cleaning, drilling, carving, burning, colouring, varnishing & finishing. I get attached to my gourds & I love them from start to finish.

My inspiration mainly comes from the gourd itself coupled with my imagination & the beauty in the countryside. Gourds can be all different shapes & sizes & if one looks like a chicken to me – it will be a chicken! I try and make most of my pieces practical as well as aesthetically pleasing. I specialise in clocks, feature lamps & egg holders but if a gourd presents itself as something else – so be it.

Different countries around the world traditionally decorate & style their gourds around their native culture. I feel I have brought a unique & different style to the British gourd.

Being a natural product, there are limited numbers available each year.

I have just been accepted into The Guild of Essex Craftsmen. Something i'm very pleased about & a first for English gourds I believe! 

 

Hello, I’m Amanda. An award winning gourd artist who also grows my medium. I live near the Essex/Suffolk border close to Constable Country with my partner, 2 children and 3 cats.

 

Although I am the main grower and crafter, my partner is as involved as me as he also turns the locally-sourced wood bases for the lamps on his lathe. Not to mention varnishing all my gourds.

 

With a graphic design background,  I also love growing fruit & veg on my little allotment and a few years ago a small packet of gourd seeds arrived that I’d ordered online. Little did I know that a year later my passion for growing these amazing fruits and what I could do with them was born.

 

From sowing the seed, growing the vine, hand-pollinating and nurturing the fruit through to curing, cleaning, drilling, carving, burning, colouring, varnishing and finishing. Each gourd can take up to 2 years from seed to finished piece. You can understand how I get attached to my gourds and I love them from start to finish.

We aspire to producing organic, sustainable yet beautiful pieces of functional art. 

My inspiration mainly comes from the gourd itself coupled with my imagination and the beauty of the countryside. Gourds can be all different shapes and sizes. I try and make most of my pieces practical as well as aesthetically pleasing. I specialise in feature lamps and egg holders.

 

Different countries around the world traditionally decorate and style their gourds around their native culture. I feel I have brought a unique and different style to the British gourd.

 

Being a natural product, there are limited numbers available each year.

 

I am a member of the Essex Craft Guild & I had the absolute pleasure of appearing on Channel 4's Kirsties Handmade Christmas as part of the Handmade Decorations competition - and I won!

by Amanda Rutland