Ms. Hassett notes, "Each piece is unique. I’m not one of these gourd artists who can plan the whole canvas before they begin. Sometimes I wish I were! Usually, I pick a gourd and have one idea of something to do with it such as chip carve, wood burn, inlay, etc. Then, the design progresses from there. As I complete each step, the next step comes into view. Sometimes, the gourd “fights” with me, or me with it. “It doesn’t like my idea”! So I undo it, paint over it, incorporate something else. Eventually the finished piece reveals itself. When it finally comes together it is often a surprise, even to me! It is almost as if each gourd has its own personality and knows what it wants to be. When it works out well, it is a great joy to me."
Ms. Hassett sells her work through her business, Gaia Gourds. She explains, "The word Gaia means 'land' or 'earth' and, in Greek mythology, Gaia is the goddess of the Earth. I chose the name 'Gaia Gourds' because gourds come from the earth and are a primitive, grounding art medium to work with. Also, my style often uses earth tone colors and natural products for embellishments."
Ms. Hassett will speak to WSA students about her work during the afternoon assembly time on Thursday, October 18th. Later that day, West Sound Academy will host a gallery reception for the artist from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The public is invited, and guests will be able to enjoy light refreshments, along with a wine-tasting.
To see more of Leslie Hassett's work, visit her website at: http://gaiagourds.com/