Producing gourd art has become my undying passion. I began this long creation journey 30+ years ago...
first loom weaving, then weaving baskets and teaching basket weaving. I have always loved to “create” with my hands.
I was exposed to gourds in the basket world and began to build an interest in their creative potential. I have been
producing gourd art for about 12 years and full-time for the last 6 years after retirement from the state of Texas.
These days, I am most always lost inside of my imagination thinking about my next gourd art creation.
I produce gourd art because I can’t not do it (I realize that was a double negative, but the emphasis is important).
To me, that is the definition of passion—gourd art owns me in the best possible way.

Educating myself and continually adding one more technique to my arsenal is vital to me. I have learned a lot
about technique and attention to detail from a few experts (special thanks to Judy Richie and Bonnie Gibson!) and
appreciate their willingness to share their expertise. I continue to take classes at gourd events because I feel there is
always something to learn…sometimes it is from the person beside me! It is also important to me to stimulate my
artistic nerves—I take a trip without my husband every year (we take vacations together, too, don’t worry!) and I focus
on drinking in every bit of art I possibly can. For me, it is really valuable to see and experience a wide variety of
art for inspiration.

Although not a competitor at heart, I do enter competitions. Mainly, I want to push myself to create high-quality
work—what better way to push yourself than through competition. It is also important to me to stay current and
relevant to those interested in my art.The tactile qualities and visual beauty of the materials inspire me every
 day (i.e. shapley gourds, lusciously-long pine needles, cactus fiber, gem stones, walnuts, seagrass, and on and on).
As much as possible, I try to enhance the inherent shape of the natural gourd rather than cutting them all to create
some version of a bowl (and yes, I do create many bowls, but usually from an already bowl-shaped gourd.) Many
shows or galleries ask for an artist’s statement, this is mine: “Texture, shape, color and design, whether contemporary
or traditional, inspire my creativity. Gourds with their vast variety of shapes, large and small, have become the canvas
for my impassioned mixed-media expression of natural beauty working harmoniously with contemporary elements.”

Jill Robinson