My new art journey began in 2000 when I moved from a small town back on to our family ranch. I planted a small house back in the woods at the end of this long road I call Gooseberry Lane. Named so because of childhood memories gathering gooseberries there with my grandmother who made the best gooseberry pie in the world!
I was working full time at the Topeka & Shawnee Co. Public library and as challenging as my career was, I needed a creative outlet. After searching through the 745’s (that’s Dewey Decimal talk for arts & crafts) at the library, I checked out a couple of books on gourd art. My sister had just grown some gourds, and it seemed like something new I might like to tackle.
I had a style in mind inspired by all the trees and leaves found at Gooseberry Lane. I made about six gourds covered in leaf designs and I was hooked! I searched the internet for ideas and where to buy more supplies. It was 2002 and my gourd art journey had begun.
At Gooseberry Lane I had a small barn that I adapted for my studio. It served me well for many years, but closer to retirement I realized I needed a better facility so that I could continue working year-round.
My dream of a new studio attached to a garage became a reality the summer of 2014. Check out my Workshop area on this site to see that story.
Inspired every day from what I see out my studio window, Gooseberry Lane keeps me in designs and a never ending supply of ideas. I love to draw so all my designs are hand drawn on the gourd canvas and then permanently etched into the gourd with a wood burning tool. I love the natural look and color of gourds so I only enhance my designs with leather dye and sometimes a splash of gold-leaf. Sunflowers, leaves, vines, fish, birds, trees… you can see where I’m going here, Nature is the inspiration for my designs.
I decided a few years into my creating that I wanted to turn this into a small art business, just enough to supplement my income. I sell many gourds but a fun thing I stumbled on was taking the left overs or a poorly shaped gourd and cutting them up into shapes that become the backdrop for my gourd art jewelry. I never run out of ideas, and they have become great little money makers.
In the Browse and Shop section you can see where to purchase my art.
My gourd art journey continues now as I have more time to create. I hope to perfect some of my techniques and reach more people with my art in the coming years.
Find me on Facebook or follow this website to keep up with what’s happening at Gooseberry Lane.
Nancy J Overmyer