Jodi Imms

Artist Statement
Carved and Decorated Gourds

I first became interested in carving and decorating gourds shortly after I moved to Arizona with my husband, Stephen, in 2009. I’d never seen gourd art when I lived in Rhode Island, but after visiting an Arts and Crafts show in Pine, I was hooked by the beauty and variety attained by local artists. Stephen soon found that an annual “Gourd” festival was to be scheduled in March 2010, and the organizers of the festival offered workshops that taught the techniques of selecting, preparation, carving, and decorating gourds. I signed up for a couple courses and the rest is history. 

Since that first year, I have taken many courses and read many books.   I use many different techniques in creating the finished product. I use a variety of hand and power tools to carve, cut, and also to “burn” patterns. I let my imagination run wild when I first look at a cleaned gourd! My southwest-themed gourds feature nature scenes incorporating familiar objects like Cactus, mountains, local animals, and birds such as roadrunners, quail, and the ever-present Kokopelli.

Stephen also contributes to my art by supplying pretty pieces of colorful minerals such as Turquoise, Petrified Wood and Agates that he has had the luck of finding during the several “Rock hounding” field trips that he goes on from time to time. He found a Deer antler on one of his hikes, and I immediately devised a way to incorporate it into a gourd that seemed to be lacking finality. It proved to be very popular and sold quickly, much to my surprise!

My juried art is at the Art Mart in Sedona, and also in the Artists Gallery (VOC). Our Gourds have been shown at the annual Harvest Fair in Uptown Sedona. We also display our work at local shows.