Inspired by their unique shapes and natural beauty, Suzanne J. Erickson creates decorative gourds.
Based on both traditional and contemporary design, Suzanne’s artwork is rethinking this ancient art form and reintroducing it to a modern audience.
Having recently added copper to her gourds, Copper & Fire immediately caught Suzanne’s interest – it seemed fitting to participate in an event where this element is part of the main theme. Suzanne is excited to create an awareness of gourds as a natural element of the earth by being able to display her artwork at the Museum and show how these fascinating elements can be decorated, used and admired.
Suzanne is “completely enamoured” with gourds. She enthusiastically states “I love their history, how they were used, why they were used, and the people that used them. They have such a story to tell! I also find they are the most intriguing art form, due to their asymmetrical shape, form, natural beauty and colour. Adding various decorative elements makes each gourd one of a kind, and opens an avenue for complete artistic expression.”
At Copper & Fire, Suzanne will demonstrate coiling with raffia or other similar media into the cut edge of a gourd opening. She hopes to share her understanding of the history of gourds including how and why they were used and decorated, and how she uses decorating techniques of the past in her present work.
When asked for the best advice she could give to aspiring artists, Suzanne said “If you love and believe in what you do, no matter what, just keep doing it”.
You can meet Suzanne and view, purchase and/or watch her demonstrate at Copper & Fire on Sunday, July 20 from 10:00AM – 4:00PM. Click here for more information.
You can also find more information and examples of Suzanne’s work on her website at http://www.suzanneerickson.ca/.
Suzanne Erickson’s Biography
Suzanne is a multi-faceted artist whose exquisite designs can be found on glass, wood, metal, leather, and most recently, gourds! Whether it's hand engraving, sandblasting, wood burning, or painting, Suzanne's visual language is unique, bold, and is inspired by the natural world, and her experiences growing up in Saskatchewan.
Suzanne has studied calligraphy and hand engraving with master craftsmen in Utah and Texas, and passes her vast knowledge on to others as a teacher. She explains her interest in working with gourds: "While teaching Pyrography (wood burning), I saw a book that had hard shelled wood burned gourds. The colours and textures completely grabbed my attention, and I knew I was in for another creative adventure! Hard shelled gourds are one of the oldest cultivated plants. They have become my perfect canvas. Their unique shapes and surfaces beckon to be lovingly sculpted into works of art”
In addition to gourds, you may also be surprised to find Suzanne's designs on horseshoes, crystal ware, rifle stocks, hand tools and even egg shells.