Gourd Art

Melynda Lotven

Artist Statement

Living in the country is my heaven on earth, a magical place where gourds come alive and whatever can be dreamed can be created. I turn moldy gourds into keepsake treasures. Chinese culture believes that the gift of a gourd is a gift from the heart wishing all the best things in life.

If you are not familiar with gourds, there is no time like the present.  Dried gourds have been used for artwork, water containers, musical instruments, utensils, and more for thousands of years.  A properly dried gourd will last for years.  In galleries, museums, and private collections, you can find gourds that are hundreds and thousands of years old from cultures across the globe.  

Because gourds grow in various shapes based upon the seed, I obtain them from various growers around the country based upon shape and availability.  In my work I paint whole gourds and I have developed my own style of  gourd sculpting, using a combination of full gourds and cut pieces .  All finished pieces are sealed with a water based polycrylic sealer.  I give many presentations and conduct gourd art project classes for both children and adults.  Your comments and questions about gourds are very welcome.   


Melynda Lotven is an artist, wife, mother of three, founder and first president of the Show Me Gourd Society, member of the American Gourd Society, and a juried member of the Best of Missouri Hands. She has been featured in magazines, books, videos, on HGTV, on DIY Network, and as a visiting artist at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. Prior to her discovery of gourd art in 1993 she was trained and schooled in watercolor, oils, and acrylics.  

Enchanted Gourd Art
5401 O’Neal Rd.
Columbia, MO. 65202



Email: mlotven@centurylink.net


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