Amy Gelley

I’ve always been interest in art, but I was also interested in a lot of diverse things.  I used to sew and make teddy bears and stuffed animals.  I’ve lived in Arizona for 40 years and I did a lot of western sewing, but then I got too busy to do it when I was working.  I didn’t retire until I was 72.

My husband and I were at a home show in Maricopa County and as we were leaving, I saw a tent with a gourd hanging in it.  I talked to the lady in the tent about it and it started to pique my interest.  I didn’t know anything about gourds but I just happened to come into contact with someone that knew about gourd art and I asked them about how to get the process going.  I’d always been interested in drawing and painting but had never known how to direct it.

For me, a gourd is a canvas prepared by nature.  You don’t have to frame it or put it under glass and there is so much potential.  It can be a very arduous process, however.  To prepare, carve, and then paint a gourd can take around 200 hours.  But to have people appreciate my work is wonderful.  Sometimes when you do  art shows someone may not buy something but when they tell you how beautiful a piece is, it’s nice to have that feedback.