Small Owl Gourd
- In stock, ready to ship
- Inventory on the way
These popular owl figurines were hand-carved by artisans in Huancayo, Peru. Each gourd is skinned, cleaned and sundried before its surface is etched and burnt with the intricate designs that adorn its surface. They make a Hoot of an ornament to sit on the shelf, desk, as a decoration for the home or office, or as a gift for owl lovers.
- Measures 2-1/2" high x 2" diameter at base
Handmade in Peru and Fair Trade imported.
Peruvian artisans have practiced the art of gourd-carving for more than 4,500 years, transforming a simple squash into intricately designed bowls, boxes, windchimes, birdhouses, purses, vases and other bits of home decor. The twin villages of Cochas Grande and Cochas Chico, where our artisans Raquel and Esperanza live, work and run gourd-carving workshops to create local jobs, are the center of this ancient art.
Over the centuries, artisans have found unique ways to craft gourd decor, including scratching, fine-line hatching, pyroengraving and carving. Naturally, the details and designs have changed, but contemporary artisans remain inspired by Peru's rich traditions.
The Process of Gourd Carving
After the gourds are harvested, the artisan removes the outer green skin with a dull knife to expose the lighter brown color underneath. This will become his/her canvas. The gourds are cleaned and dried in the hot Peruvian sun.
After drying, the artisan draws his/her initial design in pencil, then uses a carving tool to remove small pieces of gourd, creating a 3-dimensional version of the original design. Next, the artisan burns the pattern with a glowing ember, usually a feather-shaped piece of Quinual wood that's been heated over a fire, to establish contrast between the carvings and the gourd. The artisan can vary the intensity of the heat by blowing on the ember; the harder the artist blows, the darker the burn.
Having obtained the color, the artisan washes the gourd to remove
the pencil marks and polishes the finished piece with a natural wax. Sometimes, the artisan applies an oil/charcoal mixture to the gourd's carved surface. The dye adheres any part of the gourd where the outer skin has been removed, yet wipes clean from the gourd's smooth surfaces. This is why some carved gourds have a black background
Aptec Peru is an artisan collective located near Lima, Peru. The organization is a community of 16 family workshops that employs about 140 individuals from low-income areas. The extensive skills of the artisans are seen through the range of products they create, including ceramics, jewelry, textiles, stained glass and woodwork.
Besides helping preserve a culture rich in tradition, the collective helps artisan producers better design and create high quality crafts, enjoy increased sales and earn a steady income. As a member of the International Fair Trade Assocation, APTEC Peru ensures artisans are paid fairly for their work, which creates a sustainable working environment for artisans, their families and communities.
APTECPERU looks forward to promote and develop Peruvian handcrafts aiming to improve artisans producers’ life standards and security through a fair trade and better trade conditions. Also looks that the production processes are respectful with the environment and the ecology.
Be a leader organization in the development and commercialization of Peruvian handcrafts and satisfy the life standards of their members.
The artisan families that work with Aptec Peru are also invested in the care and maintenance of their natural resources. Their products are made of natural raw materials such as clay, dried gourds, recycled glass and plant dyes. In addition, the artisans take care to harvest all materials in a sustainable manner, to replenish plant life and maintain water quality. As part of the World Day of the Fair Trade project, the artisans crafted porous ceramic pots that were filled with plants and donated them to 400 families in the village of Nuevo Ayacucho, providing clean air for the community.
Aptec Peru's artisans take great pride in their intricate textiles, beautiful ceramic pots and vases, silver jewelry and creative gourd decorations. In turn, these crafts, and loyal buyers like yourselves, help the artisans create a sustainable income and future.