Wisconsin Gourd Society
Zeta Chapter of the American Gourd Society
Bruce Flesch from Platteville
Hi—I am Bruce Flesch. I live in the southwestern part of Wisconsin in the shadow of the world’s largest “M” just outside of Platteville. Because of my rural address and the fact that I have chosen to work with gourds, I have named my beginning business Rural Roots Gourd Art.
I more or less stumbled upon working with gourds one year when we happened to grow them and got a bumper crop. Since you can’t eat gourds, I decided to try my hand at putting a design on them. I got several of Ginger Summit’s books from the public library and did some reading up on them.
I am not an artist and couldn’t draw anything that you would recognize, so I worked with geometric designs using what I had learned in my college drafting courses. I use a compass, ruler, protractor and other tools to lay out my designs. I like to use pottery designs from ancient Southwest Indian tribes. Each tribe had their own techniques and designs. I particularly like ideas from the Mimbres and Pima Indians.
I have tried leather dyes and many different types of mediums from permanent markers to colored pencils. I find that acrylic paints give the best coverage and boldest color. I seal the design by spraying it with a semigloss polyurethane. My wife helps by adding pine needles or other natural embellishments to the rims of the gourds. I like to allow much of the natural beauty of the gourd to show; therefore, I don’t paint the whole gourd, just the design. I also have been adding bead work or other decorations to my designs.
When I am not sitting at my work table fiddling with a gourd, I spend my time in my numerous flower gardens and veggie patch; my wife and I are Master Gardeners. We also have worked for years to restore and rebuild our old farm house.
Please contact the Webmaster about technical problems with this website.
Please contact the Publicity Committee about any comments or suggestions for content.