Nationally recognized gourd and fiber artist, W. Jayne Colburn began working with natural fibers in 1985 to carry on the tradition of her grandparents who wove baskets for generations. She holds two degrees from Indiana University where she studied Environmental sciences, communications and anthropology. Her gourd and fiber work has been exhibited in distinctive shows, museums, books and galleries across the nation for over three
The Artist’s Inspiration for these beautiful gourds…….
My inspiration comes from my ancestors and the Earth. My multicultural grandparents were basket makers for generations, creating wares from willow, wheat stalk, pine needles and grasses. I carry on the family tradition, but with a modern twist by combining ancient techniques and mixed materials including fiber with these gourds.
My soul is at home in nature, and I create each one-of-kind gourd from my studio in the Rocky Mountains where nature never fails to provide inspiration. People often ask how long it takes to create each piece, but there's really no quantifiable answer.
The process for each unique gourd art starts with a vision, then comes the collection and preparation of the raw materials from a variety of landscapes across the country. Most materials I hand collect and prepare, but others I source from growers and basket suppliers. I support small family farms that work in harmony with sustainable resources, and I travel distances to meet and buy from them directly.
Since my materials start raw, there is extensive time spent in collecting, preparation, sorting, cleaning cutting, and adding pigment before the weaving process even begins. The coiling and weaving process is very tedious and time consuming, but I often get lost in the process. It is soul food for me and has been since starting this journey in 1985.
Each piece of gourd art is like birthing a child with a unique personality and character. It brings me great joy to watch people choose the vessel that beckons to be adopted into their family’s treasure collection. I'm happy to create a unique piece that suits needs, but know that your vessel will be a one-of-a kind creation. Just like fingerprints, no two will ever be identical. I've created 6000+ pieces over 33+ years, but now as my body ages, I only focus on a select number per year. I would love to create one of my final pieces just for you!
"Live well, laugh often and love much."
- Jayne Colburn