Gourds may be the ultimate decor of the fall season, but they are Elaine Fowler's art projects all year long. She gets them before they've been touched, when they're rough, dirty and speckled with black mold. But after a little soaking and scrubbing, the gourds become her own personal canvases. She uses different types of paints to make each one look unique. The gourds range in sizes, from little ones that fit in the palm of her hand, to large ones that she holds in two arms. Some are left whole, with their unique stems spiraling in their own unique ways. Others, she carves designs or removes the tops.
Here, Fowler talks about making the gourds she uses for table-top vases, Halloween decorations and even bird houses.