Gourd Terms and Definitions


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Accessories or Embellishments
Any material that is added to the crafted gourd to complete the exhibit.

American Southwest Designs
Designs that incorporate western landscape, flora, fauna, ranching, and cowboy motifs. (See also Native American Designs.)

Artificial or Man-made Accessories/Embellishments
Any material that is added to the crafted gourd that is not natural, such as artificial flowers, plastics, manufactured items. (See also Natural Accessories.)

Artificial Sinew
A waxed nylon imitation of natural sinew (animal tendon) used in beading; sometimes used in place of cotton thread. Artificial sinew will be allowed on all entries.

Base
A support or stand that holds a gourd at the proper angle or position. It may be metal, wood or a manufactured turn-table but the base will not be considered an accessory of the crafted gourd.

Basket
A gourd with the top cut off and a carrying handle attached or cut so that part of the gourd remains to function as a handle.

Beading
The technique of using beads to apply a design to gourds. Beads may be set in beeswax, embedded in recessed holes, or strung and wrapped around or sewn into the gourd. Beads are made of plastic, glass and/or natural material, i.e. shell, wood, clay or  seeds. SMGS allows the use of plastic beads in only two classes of competition:

    • Class: Beading
    • Class: Man-made Embellishment. 
When beads are used in other classes as embellishments, the beads must be made of natural material,  not plastic.

 

Bowl
A gourd with the top cut off (or some portion of it cut off) to give the appearance of a container.

Burned
Using a flame (i.e., small torch) to char or change the color of the gourd surface (See also Pyrography/Woodburning.)

Carved
The removal of a portion of the outer surface of the shell of a gourd, exposing the undersurface to create a design or texture in relief; usually done with a power tool.

Chip Carving
Carving done with gouging tools to “chip” out small pieces of gourd to create a pattern or design on the surface of the gourd.

Clay Embellishment
The use of clay to add a three-dimensional design to the surface of the gourd.

Clear Finish
Any finish, such as varnish, shellac, wax or oil, which enhances the overall appearance of the gourd but adds no color (except the slight natural darkening that may occur).

Coiled
Use of pine needles or grasses (or other natural materials), wrapped and held in place by thread (or raffia) to cover rims of bowls or create designs on gourds.

Color/Coloring
Using any medium that adds to, enhances, or changes the natural appearance of the gourd’s surface. Some examples of color media are stains, dyes, inks, oil pastel pencils, crayons, colored pencils, felt-tip pens, acrylic paints, oil paints, watercolors, colored waxes, etc.

Covered Container
A cut gourd with a cover or lid. The cover may be cut from the gourd, made from another gourd piece, or made from some other natural material.

Cut Gourd
Cutting all the way through the gourd shell creating a hole or opening (as opposed to surface cuts as in carving). The cut or openings are incorporated into the design.

Dried Gourd
The natural, mature, hollow, dried shell of a Gourd.

Decorative
Refers to artistic treatment on a gourd, not its functionality. For example, a “decorative gourd pitcher” would look like a pitcher but could not actually function as a pitcher. (See also Functional.)

Embellishment / Accessories
Any material that is added to the gourd to enhance the overall design and appearance of the gourd. (See also Artificial Accessories
and Natural Accessories.)

Fretwork
An intricate, interlaced decorative design (of holes or other shapes) that is cut into and through the shell of the gourd; usually done with power tools.

Functional
Can be used—for example, a gourd pitcher that actually holds water and has a functional spout and handle.

Gourd Construction
The use of gourds and gourd pieces to build or construct a gourd art project. (See also Sculpture.)

 

Hand-trained
Manipulating the shape of a gourd as it grows by bending, twisting, or binding the developing gourd so that its natural shape is altered. (See also Molded.)

Hardshell Gourds
Have “white blossoms” and cure as hard, woody shells. Includes varieties such as bird house, bottle, dipper, canteen, kettle, cannon ball, etc. (See also Ornamental gourd.)

 

Huichol
The process of embedding beads in wax creating a design on the surface or interior of the gourd. (See also Beading.)

Inlay
The application of material (such as beads, egg shell, wire, stones, etc) into a carved groove or carved section of a gourd.

Man-made Accessories/Embellishments
See Artificial Accessories.

Medium/Media
Material used for artistic expression, such as paint, dye, ink, etc.

Molded
Manipulating the shape of a gourd as it grows by placing the developing gourd in a mold, container, or restrictive structure.

Mosaic
Execution of a design on a gourd by setting small tile (glass, ceramic, or gourd pieces) into an adhesive medium on the surface, recessed surface, or interior of the gourd.

Native American Designs
Designs that incorporate cultural, tribal, historical, or ceremonial motifs of Native American origin or use. (See also American Southwest Designs.)

Natural Accessories
Any material that is added to the crafted gourd that is natural. Examples include linen/cotton thread, grasses, pine needles, seeds, pods, shells, stones, bone, feathers, etc.
Ornamental gourds
Have “yellow blossoms,” often warty and convoluted surfaces, and small-sized colorful fruits that are thin-shelled; includes varieties such as egg, crown-of-thorns, spinners, etc.

 

Ornamental Gourds
Have “yellow blossoms,” often warty and convoluted surfaces, and small-sized colorful fruits that are thin-shelled; includes varieties such as egg, crown-of-thorns, spinners, etc.

Pyrography/Woodburning
Burning a design (lines and shading) on a gourd with the use of an electric woodburning tool.

Predominate
The word “predominate” (when used in a Competition Class description to indicate the amount of medium or technique to be used on the crafted gourd) means that the majority of the crafted gourd surface should exhibit the required medium or technique.

Sculpture
The joining or combining of multiple gourds and gourd pieces is classified as gourd “sculpture.” The terms “gourd sculpture” and “gourd art construction” mean the same thing.

Wall-hanging
Any piece of gourd art that is designed to hang on a wall for view - as opposed to gourd art that is free-standing and can be viewed from all sides.

Weaving
Interlacing various materials attached to the gourd, such as grasses, cords, natural fibers, etc.

Whole gourd
An uncut gourd whose shell is intact; no cuts, carving or holes.