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MailTribune.com
  • Gourd Lady

    Terry Davis produces unique gourd art in her spare time
  • A familiar face for the past 30 years at local Bi-Mart stores, Medford resident Terry Davis looks every bit the part of helpful store clerk and petite grandmother.
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  • A familiar face for the past 30 years at local Bi-Mart stores, Medford resident Terry Davis looks every bit the part of helpful store clerk and petite grandmother.
    But what her customers don't know is that the unassuming and humble Davis is a unique artist, skilled in the art of turning dried gourds into stunning works of art that at least one local store owner can't keep from flying off his shelves.
    With a slew of grandkids, Davis stumbled onto the hobby almost by accident a half-dozen years ago. She wanted a creative outlet and a way to unwind after a long workday, and she had a stash of dried gourds.
    "I used to make teddy bears when the kids were little ... but I got bored with that as the kids got older," she says, noting that a road trip to visit family with her husband, Ted, provided creative fodder when they stumbled across a gourd and vegetable farm in Northern California.
    "They had all these wonderful gourds, and they were just really intriguing, so we had picked up a few here and there over the years," she says.
    "I kept looking at them and thought, 'I really should do something with them.' I enjoy working with my hands, and I didn't want to waste the gourds, so I looked online and realized there were a lot of beautiful things that could be done."
    Going for a look that is both elegant and whimsical, Davis uses a combination of carving, burning and staining to produce some 150 signature creations each year.
    A new concept for her is using fiber from the inside of a prickly-pear cactus to add texture to some of her gourds, a look that has been especially popular, she says.
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