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Susan Breeland

Mixed Media / Plain Dealing, LA / Master Craftsman

Artist Statement

I enjoy sharing the beauty of our great state through the use of its natural resources. I am inspired by the hills of Rocky Mount, the community in Northwest Louisiana where I live and learn. Weather it be long walks through the woods or by lakes and streams, there is always inspiration abounding.

My husband and I have a small gourd farm in northwest Louisiana. I collect and preserve all of the seed pods, Louisiana long leaf pine needles and use peacock feathers which are also from Louisiana, and my gourd art is 'Louisiana Certified'.

Many of my gourds are created to illustrate the beauty of the fall season. The leaves are pyroengraved into the surface of the gourd, paying particular attention to the veins. Colors of the leaves are captured using a wet-on-wet method of staining. Many of my creations are further carved leaving a silhouette of the leaves.

Through the combination of a gourd and basketry affect a 'gourdsket' is created. Louisiana long leaf pine limbs are collected and the needles are removed to dry. Later the needles are steeped in boiling water to be woven in a somewhat sculpture affect onto the gourd.

I am inspired by nature. I often find myself examining the designs and colors of leaves during my travels. Once, I saw a beautiful turned grape leaf and seemed to have a passion to recreate it on a gourd creation. My patrons motivate me to continue to strive for even more excellence in my art form.

Biography

'Susan Breeland Gourds', from Susan's gardens, are given their shape by nature. Their soul and life comes from the hands of Susan as she transforms the plain gourd into a work of art.

Susan Breeland is a life long native of Northwest Louisiana. She enjoys travels throughout our great state and enjoys collecting elements from nature during her travels. She collects and preserves the seed pods and Louisiana long leaf pine needles used in her creations and her work is 'Louisiana Certified'. Her attitude toward the gourd has matured over the years. Susan feels the gourd is a 'gift to mankind' and strives to enhance the natural beauty of the gourd.

She is a self taught Folk and Fine Crafts artists. She has done in-depth studies of the usage of the gourd through out the ages of mankind, and has a collection of various crafted gourds from around the world. She enjoys sharing her collection and knowledge with guests in her studio. Susan has also done extensive studies of the usage of gourds in Folklore in the Appalachians and Southeast areas of the United States. She has taught in the Arts-In-Education Program of five parishes of Northwest Louisiana. Susan is a guest speaker and demonstrator for civic and art organizations.