The Artists

Leslie Hassett

Gourd art


Gaia Gourds & Design

I love making art with gourds! It's always interesting and full of endless possibilities. I have always loved making three dimensional art and, prior to discovering gourds, I worked in clay. I had never heard of gourd art but after a friend introduced me at a 'gourd party' and I made my first gourd piece I was hooked! Gourds share qualities with clay and wood for painting and carving.

Every piece I make is different, in part guided by the size and shape of the gourd and in part by the qualities of the gourd shell. I use many techniques such as carving, inlay, weaving, wood burning, dying, and painting. I adorn many of my pieces with a variety of materials such as natural fibers and yarns, stones and gems, inlay material, and leather.

I deeply love nature and its creatures, and some of my work echoes things in nature yet at times I find myself drawn to abstract designs with bright colors and whimsical elements. I start with an idea and sometimes it comes to fruition as I first imagined but other times the gourd seems to want to go in another direction and it turns out better than my original plan! It's quite the adventure and an interesting internal process to "go with the flow" and watch it develop. I challenge myself to imagine new designs, to make only unique pieces, to pay attention to my environment, to wander in my artist thoughts, and experiment with and learn new or more advanced techniques.

Seeing that my art brings people enjoyment and can decorate their homes or provide a unique gift for someone is very rewarding to me.