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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Artist Feature: Gourdzilla

I was stumbling around etsy the other day and found a really interesting artist who goes by the name of Gourdzilla, well that is her etsy name. Her real name is Selma Gunn. Selma creates beautiful pieces of art out of gourds. I was literally blow away by how much detail and intricacythat goes into each of her pieces. She was gracious enough to grant me an interview to learn a little bit more about her and her craft.

Tell me a little something about yourself

I grew up in a small town in central Wisconsin. I still live there except for the winters where I go to sunny Arizona. I have two children, girl and boy and two handsome grandsons. I just celebrated my 50th wedding anniversary June 30th.
Tell me a little about your business...

My little town has an art club which my mother and a few other folks started up in the late 40's called the Rural Rembrandts. Their purpose was to promote art in rural communities and they became affiliated with the State University of Madison, Wi. It was unique in that other small towns followed in their footsteps starting groups and had their own art contests which once a year the winners all congregated to a final show in our state capital, Madison and was judged again. The winners were then put in a traveling show that went all over the state to different cities displaying their works for a few weeks at a time. This routine is still going on to this day and our club is thriving. The web site for our club is My gourds are on that site under my name-Selma Glunn

How would you describe your influences and artistic style
I hope I got my talent and interest in art from my Mom. She owned a restaurant in our town and held many art meetings after hours. They would clean off the tables and set up painting well into the nights. I have worked in many mediums and have settled on gourd art a few years ago. What inspired me was seeing so much gourd work in Arizona. It is the greatest thing to transform those dirty things into works of art. I can not wait to finish one and go on to another. Once I get past the peel that is attached to them so the leather dyes will adhere it is like staining a piece of wood. It is unbelievable the prospect of embellishments for them. I especially like using natural finds. When I am on the golf course the girls are used to me trailing off into the woods looking for interesting stuff for embellishments.

Where do you sell your pieces?

I sell at shows in our area and in Arizona. I also sell them in a cute restaurant in a neighboring town and a coffee house that was transformed from a grist mill. We live in a tourist area with lots of lakes and have many visitors both summer and winter.

Do you have any secret hobbies?
I am an avid golfer and I even took club champion last year. I was awarded my own parking spot with a reserved sign. I will fight for that spot in August again. I will need lots of luck.

What is your favorite color?
My favorite color is burgundy. I like bright colors and am always playing with the color wheel.

What is your favorite moment as a seller?
My favorite moment as a gourd seller is when people ask "what are those made of"? Many people have not seen them made into an art form such as mine.

Do you like to cook?
Oh boy do I love to cook, mostly baking. It is most rewarding when my son in law comes around. He is my best eater and loves my cooking.

What is your favorite way to end your day?
I love to curl up to a book before I close my eyes for the night and that is what I am going to do right now.

I hope that yall have a few moments to check out her store and her awesome craft! click here to see her store

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