Semi Mild-Mannered Lunch Lady by day
Gourd Woman by night

I’m a self-taught artist living in the Flatlands of NW Ohio formerly known as The Great Black Swamp.  Gourds happened in 2004 and I was hooked.  My gourd was gobsmacked literally by a gourd named Gourd Woman.

I hadn’t a clue what a gourd was.  I just knew I had to find out more.  She drew me in & thank the stars, my friend gifted her to me.  I was taking copious amounts of pictures as we shared a booth at a parking lot flea market.  I was making & selling dream pillows at the time.  Gourd Woman whispered to me of new paths & creativity.

I dallied around & made lamps, vases, bowls & masks.  I never made a birdhouse, go figure.  I landed on figurative beings after a foray into celebrity gifting.  That’s when all the bells & whistles went off.   Figurative sculpture with gourds is an ongoing adventure that I don’t see ending anytime soon.

What inspires me?  The question What If is the biggest motivator.  Sure, you could use What If negatively.  I find it spurs the imagination & curiosity.  Like what if tree beings only look like they do to us because they are wearing disguises?  What if there is such a thing as spider fairies?  What if there are beings that can help us access parts of ourselves (our magic, our strengths) & help us step into a more authentic version of ourselves?  What would they be called?  What would they look like?  Yeah, that question What If makes me look at things differently.

Here’s a short list of fun facts:

  • I’m the Pet Hooman of 5 felines, 2 canines & Benito (Bennie) Betta Feesh.
  • Favorite color is Purple add orange to that & I’m swooning.
  • I am an unabashed fan of 90’s Dance music.
  • Ditto the above for Boulet Brother’s Dragula.
  • I love mind bendy outside of the box people.
  • I will have a VW mini bus one day.  I WILL!
  • I can inhale ice cream at an unholy speed & don’t get brain freeze.  It’s a gift.
  • I can’t hold a tune or note but caterwaul with the best of them.
  • I enjoy music at ear blistering levels.
  • I love shoes that are wearable works of art.
  • I love teenagers.  Really. Really.
  • I’m in touch with my inner teenager way too much.
  • I’ve been grounded to my room by my kids for being too hooeyish.

This Haiku best sums up my perspective & how I look at the world.

The Door Knob
I grasp the cold brass.
What lies behind the doorway?
Magic or mundane?
©Tracy Swartz January 16, 2010