A Gourd is a plant of the Cucurbitaceae Family, like the pumkin. As opposed to a pumkin it doesn't rot when it dries, instead what is left is a hard shell and a few seeds inside. Dried gourds have been used by many cultures as vessels, utensils, ornaments, and even instruments.

High quality gourds like the ones sold by Welburn Farm have very thick shells, making them a suitable medium for carving, and respond well to woodburning and painting.

My specialties are eggshell inlay and a 2-tones lacquer finish, both techniques I adapted from ancient japanese lacquerware techniques (the eggshell inlay is called Rankaku). I also enjoy coiling, and braiding as rim treatments.


Inlay is a technique where the gourd is carved and the carving is then filled with 'something'. What you fill it with depends on what you want to achieve, you can use Inlace (a resin product), grout, crushed stone /sand, etc.
I often incorporate eggshells in my inlay and use a pattern inspired from Sashiko stitching.


I use my Kumihimo braids to embelish the rim of my gourds or as accents.


Coiling is a rim embelishment based on ancient indian basket weaving techniques. It is very time consuming, but it is also very peaceful. A core material (pine needles, paper rush) is wrapped with a thread (sinew, waxed linen) and coiled to form the wall of the basket.


Chip Carving

Woodworking gouges are used to carve indentations in the gourd. I was taught this technique by Gene Endicott.