Gorgeous gourds (yes, I said it) created by local artist Marilyn Holt are on display for the month of February at West Hartford Center’s Noah Webster Library.
By Joy Taylor
If you are a Spirited Touch Therapeutic Massage client, you may be familiar with Marilyn Holt’s handy work. What you may not know is that she skillfully uses those hands for other, very artistic endeavors – including the special talent of gourd carving.
Gourd art involves carving, painting, sanding, dying and polishing the surface of hard-shell gourds that have been dried for several months.
Holt was inspired to start carving after a visit to the Noah Webster Library where she discovered Jim Widess and Ginger Summit’s book Complete Book of Gourd Carving. It seems only fitting that her exhibit is in the West Hartford Center library where it all began.
The book was just the beginning. Holt has had several teachers along the way, and she event attended a gourd carving class at the Chautauqua Institute in New York where she learned to use a handheld jigsaw.
Some of her creations incorporate other materials like gemstones and precious metals, including stone inlays, including turquoise, red stone, and brass shavings. “The stone starts out as a gloppy mess, and dries quickly, so you need to work rapidly to put it where you want it, before it hardens in place,” explained Holt. Gourds are dyed to bring out natural colors and they are usually waxed and often coated in a clear polyurethane for durability and shine.
You can find more details on each piece, including prices on the items for sale, at Marilyn’s website: www.spiritedtouch.com
While you are enjoying the gourds, please be sure to visit the Zentangle exhibit by Angela Werner and her students, including Holt.