This page was last updated: 2/11/2017
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designed with Homestead
Hot Off the Vine art vessels
are made using hard shelled
gourds. The Lageneria family of gourds are related to cucumbers, squash and pumpkins. Gourds have been used by mankind for  thousands of years in the form of bowls,containers and musical instruments.

My designs are loosely grouped in a series by subject matter as noted in the navigation buttons.

I love illustrating themes from nature, and enjoy both botanical and wildlife designs. Celtic, Native American, and faux Western leather tooling designs are also among my favorites.  I have a series of aquatic designs in the form of Ocean Drums. And I make both gourd jewelry and gourd ornaments.  Many of my ideas come from photos and clipart done through extensive computer research.

All the artwork starts with free-hand pencil drawings that are roughed in; and then the real work begins.   Each design is painstakingly burned  into the shell using the ancient art of pyrography (wood burning). Pyrography is Latin for "fire writing". That's why I call my studio
Hot Off the Vine.

While many of my pieces are left with the natural color of gourd to act as a background for the artwork, others are enhanced with color.  I  use colored pencils, acrylics, water color pencils, ink dyes and permanent pens depending on the effect that is needed.  Many types of embellishments used include  natural antlers, natural stones, feathers, pine needle coiling, waxed linen closed coiling, leather, hemp lacing, or raffia collars.   Power carving, fretwork (cutouts) and clay are also used to enhance the natural  beauty of the gourds.  I also like to sculpt and you will find examples of botanical and wildlife sculpture on this site too.


The gourd designs are not stenciledor traced.  I do use reference materials like lots of photos.   No two are exactly alike - each piece is signed,  and titled.      They are pyroengraved with a woodburning pen using stippling, shading, cross hatching and other drawing techniques - a time consuming effort.

I do not grow gourds but leave that up to  growers who have the time and dedication to produce these wonderful "canvasses" for us to work on.   Most of my gourds are purchased online from vendors I  trust for great gourds.

Hope you enjoy looking around.

Sandy Taylor

Rain Forest Adventure
Wildlife Series

Large kettle gourd depicting plants, animals and insects found in the Brazilian rainforest. Entirely done in pyrography.  No color added

Circles of Life
Wildlife Series

Medium sized kettle gourd cut as a box
with a disappearing
lid. Plants and animals
of all types. 3D discs of gourd added for embellishment.
Free-hand drawn and burned.  Color added with ink dyes and permanent ink pens.

Bearded Iris Vase
Sculpted Series

Tall wine bottle gourd. Inverted and attached to a wooden base. Top rim cut and carved to match the sculpture. Sculpted with modeling compound and dry brush painted with metallic acrylics.

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