Artist in the Garden: Betty Finch Gourds

As we raced through the aisles of the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, Betty’s gourds slowed us to a crawl. We were famished and in search of lunch, so promised ourselves a trip back to her booth. I’m so glad we went back.

Check out these show-stoppers:

betty finch man and cat

Gourd Man holding a cat

Can you believe she sculpted these as  they grew? I love the cat’s casual pose and expressive eyes.

betty finch cat gourd

Kitty gourd with amber eyes

Here’s another kitty. She has some amazing horse sculptures on her site as well.

betty finch

That’s Betty taking of her mask

I wish I had a better shot of the artist, but you can see several of her photos on her website linked below. People were clamoring for a closer look.

betty finch chess board

Extraordinary chess board

If you don’t play chess, this is certainly a good excuse to start.

betty finch mask

Gourd mask

Betty uses a variety of techniques to encourage the unusual growth of these gourds. I found her website after the show and learned a bit more about the technique. I grew a few birdhouse gourds several years ago, so can attest to how fun they are to grow. I’m still waiting for a mama bird and her family to move in.

Betty’s website says she’s

an avid gardener and specializes in experimenting with hand-trained, manipulated and molded gourds. This interest is what led her to meet with master gourd trainer, Jim Story of Pendleton Indiana from whom she learned the art of growing gourds in knots, spirals and flat wood molds.

You can read more about her growing technique and inspiration on her site.

If you’re as fascinated as I am, be sure to check out Finch Gourds. She’s written a book on the subject as well.

13 thoughts on “Artist in the Garden: Betty Finch Gourds

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