ARTIST STATEMENT: The Creative Gourd Pyre-Engraved Gourds by Bill Simpson
Born February 1,1951in Brooklyn,New York.A graduate of Bernard M. Baruch College, CUNY (BBA 74),employed by the City of New York for thirty six(36) years;retired June, 2013.
Independently, I have been studying and developing skills in the age old craft of pyro-engraving gourds and designing gourd musical instruments. Pyro-engraving gourds is the art of decorating gourds,which entails burning designs into the body of a dried out gourd. Traditional craftsmen used long handled metal rods which were heated on an open fire to decorate or burn their gourds.
Today's craftsmen have the advantage of electric powered "wood-burning" tools to decorate gourds.
Gourds grow in a number of shapes and sizes which make them suitable for a host of purposes. The hollowed out shells of gourds are used for storage orfor serving food and drink. In combination with other materials they become smoking pipes, floats,ritual regalia,or musical instruments. The African gourd rattle or "shekere" is made by stringing beads onto a loosely fitted net that covers
the gourd. When the gourd is shaken,the rattling sound is created.
Some of my work has been viewed at the Studio Museum in Harlem in the
Harlem-Museum Shop, Brooklyn Arts & Cultural Association Annual Promenade Art Show, Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Brooklyn YWCA "Eye on Africa" exhibit '90.
290 Gates Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thumb Piano and gourd containers 2011 Natural dried out gourd multi gourd thumb piano, wood mounted on gourd. and engraved gourd bowls
large kettle shaped pyro=engraved gourd 2014 Natural dried out gourd 12 1/2"height 36 1/2" at widest circumference Multi-designed pyro-engraved kettle shaped gourd bowl
large kettle shaped pyro=engraved gourd 2014 Natural dried out gourd 12 1/2" height, 36 1/2" at widest circumference
large kettle shaped pyro-engraved gourd 2014 Natural dried out gourd 12 1/2" height, 36 1/2" at widest circumference
Meditation 2013 pear shaped dried out gourd 10 1/2" height, 16" circumference at widest dimension Pear shaped natural dried out gourd which has been pyro-engraved depicting nude female meditating at shore
assorted pyro-engraved gourds 2011-2014 natural dried out gourds multi An assortment of gourd containers and vessels which have been pyro-engraved
Large banana shaped gourd container 2013 natural dried out gourd 26" length 19 1/2" at widest circumference Large banana shaped gourd container with pyro-engraved traditional designs and geometrics, sitting on head ring