Amy's Art Garden

graphic design, fine art and sculpture

Featuring the designs and artwork of Amy Muse, graphic designer, gourd artist, jewelry maker, and sculptor.

The Eureka Moment

My leather purse flopped over again. Something had to be done. 

Isn't that the way it goes more often than not? A problem inspires a solution. I pondered once again the idea of making my own handbag and how greatly hindered the project would be given my lack of both sewing knowledge and a sewing machine.

While I sat thinking about an internal framework and what I might use to structurally support a purse, my gaze rested upon a vase on my shelf.  A little part of my brain mused that it looked a bit like a gourd, and then the Eureka moment hit.  I googled 'gourd purse'... surely I was not the first modern person to have this idea...  I knew that gourds had been used as baskets and canteens in several cultures throughout history after all.  Sure enough, there were a couple purses out there, but they looked a bit... well, amateur. Their art was valiant, but the structural engineering was not well planned, and a little part of me said: I can do better.

It took about four attempts to figure out the best paint and varnish combinations, and how to plan pockets, flatten the bottom, and set the hardware.  Smell turned out to be a surprising issue. Some of the first glues and varnishes just wouldn't stop stinking, even after a couple months of airing out. Now I've found the right combination of products, and I have tons of ideas!

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