Monday, February 3, 2014

The Turtle Gourd

The very first gourd turtle I ever made was in August of 2007. It started with my grandmother, Yvonne Spinks, showing me a strange lumpy gourd she didn't know what to do with. It's called a Maranka, or caveman, gourd. A challenge, eh? Well alright...

My first thought - Turtle! It worked so well that once I made one I kept making more. I've kept my original turtle, based off the Cagle's Map turtle species, and have since expanded the species and sizes. The series is always growing.

 Feel free to make suggestions, buy one that's available, or order one that isn't! My skills have improved substantially since the first ones so just a note, there's a variety of versions in the galleries. I'm currently able to do hyper-realism and it's what I prefer. I will make simpler ones if requested.

Contact me via email at if you're interested in any of the turtles on my website. Want a turtle specie made that I haven't tried before? I'd love to sculpt whatever you have in mind!

*About code numbers*
With each turtle number, only a limited number of "copies" are made. Each "copy" isn't exactly a copy. It's a handmade turtle to resemble a species I've already made. When I try a new species of turtle it's labeled as "the original". Subsequent turtle gourds made the same species are called "Copies" and they are labeled accordingly. The "C" stands for copy, the first number determines turtle breed, and the second number dictates how many I've made. *Example: C1-1, C1-2, C1-3, etc* Thus every turtle has it's own code number to identify the turtle species and edition. Only 5 medium sized and 10 miniature turtles of each specie will be made. Once those are made, it's onto new species!


The size of a turtle gourd depends on the gourd itself. Standard maranka gourds are quite large, and rarely grow small, so to create miniatures I use heirloom "Virginia spinner" gourds. Their dimensions are rarely over 3 inches. I usually make miniatures in sets and miniatures go by their own code numbers. *Example, a miniature of Turtle #1 will be M1-1, M1-2, M1-3, etc* All miniatures are $20 unless they're not a standard size.


Progress photos:

 A standard detailed turtle sculpted and ready to paint.

 A hyper-realistic turtle sculpted and ready to paint.

A collection of miniature turtles sculpted.

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