Marla Helton & Stuart Fabe
As gourd artists, we feel a strong connection to nature, and our art reflects that commitment. In essence, we enjoy giving artistic life to an entity that once held natural life. We hand-dye our gourds using a wide array of leather dyes and color pigments to achieve rich, deep hues. Then, the gourds are sealed, drilled, woven and embellished using natural fibers and materials. Among our favorite weaving materials are Danish Cord and waxed linen thread which we use to create flowing, sculptural designs upon the gourd. While the weaving, itself, creates beautiful designs, the windows created by the weaving provide equally fantastical shapes that appear to float within the woven fibers. We have found that it is somewhat difficult to categorize our gourd art because there is nothing else quite like it. Many people tend to think of our gourds as having a Southwestern motif, though that is not our intent. Instead, we feel that our art is multi-cultural in appearance, blending a contemporary sophistication with a timeless spirit of native peoples working with natural materials. We are both gourd artists, and we bring our own unique, artistic visions to the gourd art world. We love our life on our farm and enjoy sharing our ideas and techniques with each other. Then, of course, when we are not working in our studio, we enjoy traveling to different cities, sharing our work and the joy that comes from exhibiting our fine art gourds. Wherever we go; however, it is always good to return home to Putnam County. In 2010 Stu and Marla created an endowment fund at the Putnam County Community Foundation as a way to give back to their community.