KAY’S OFF HER GOURD

Gourd vases, bowls, lamps, night lights, + critters.

Meet the Artist:

WHO ARE YOU, WHERE ARE YOU FROM, & WHAT DO YOU DO?
I’m Kay Lovingood, a gourd artist from Augusta, GA. Coming from a background of music and photography, I first began working with gourds in 2011 and have grown to become an award-winning artist. I enjoy speaking about my work, showing it off, and even teaching my process.

DESCRIBE YOUR PROCESS.
Gourds are a wonderfully variable canvas. They can be painted, cut, carved, and drilled. But they grow in the dirt and must be cleaned before any art can happen. The next step depends on what they will become. Bowls and vases need to be cut open, the guts need to be dumped out, and the inside needs to be sanded. On all of them, open or not, I enjoy wood burning and carving more than painting; so I have to draw my design carefully rather than just sketching it. After that, I simply follow those lines with the burner or carver. Sometimes I add color; sometimes I leave the gourd natural. At all times, with every design, I want the gourd itself to be seen; it’s the star of the show.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Nature quite often is my inspiration, including the shape of the gourd. Some remind me of flamingos, or whales, or penguins. I can combine several gourds to make other animals. I carve and paint flowers on my “canvas”. The natural color of the gourd helps me choose my colors. The God of Creation has given me talent and ideas to create from what He has already created.

FUN FACT ABOUT YOU.
I have a Master’s degree in tuba.

FAVORITE THING ABOUT DOWNTOWN AUGUSTA.
It’s coming alive again, with lots of local shops.

WHY DO YOU LOVE TO DESIGN, CREATE + MAKE?
God gave each of us some kind of creativity, whether in the arts, engineering, speaking, writing, teaching, or healing. I’ll admit that my creativity spans a wide range, with photography, gourds, performing, and composing music. Gourds are simply the latest step on my creative journey. Gourds are natural, and I feel a connection to them when I held them and while I work. I don’t feel that with a flat rectangular painting canvas. I’m inspired by the quirky shapes and the individual markings on each gourd. The God who created gourds also created me in His image and made me creative.

WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD SHARE WITH OTHER ARTISTS + MAKERS?
Don’t be afraid to try something new. My life has taken me from math major to music teacher to gourd artist. I just followed the path before me.