Gourd Luminaries By Thompson Farms

Gourd luminaries with bird, butterfly and turtle pinholes

Lights inside the gourds project patterned shapes as darkness falls

If you’re like me, you can never see a gourd without a snatch of verse flickering in and out of focus in the recesses of your mind – this one:

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease

Keats, from To Autumn

Now even the bees have been forced to admit that Autumn is a memory, and nights are longer, a great way to give a gourd new life is to turn it into a winter nightlight.

The ones pictured here are part of Thompson Farms of Raleigh, Mississippi’s collection of crafted gourd novelties that include tree decorations, mandalas, baskets and thunder gourds as well as luminaries.

Golden gourd luminary with jewelled effect

A golden gourd luminary fit for a Queen

As I was admiring them, noticing my accent, a member of the team pointed out one finished with gold and jewels that was fit for a Queen. I had to agree.

Small gourds with different colours and textures

Small gourds with different colours and textures

Not all the gourds are large and imposing – there really is something for everyone. These fruit-sized ones have their own style of beauty, with their softly burnished shells and subtle textures.

My sweetheart? He came home with a small, black gourd bat to add to his collection.

For more information, check out Thompson Farms on Facebook

26 thoughts on “Gourd Luminaries By Thompson Farms

  1. Oddment says:

    I’m not on Facebook, so I couldn’t look more there, but googling brought me to the Mississippi Gourd Society — I never knew of such a thing! And never knew of such wonders created from gourds! They are all fascinating! The luminaries are beautiful, as are the lines from Keats. I’ve been digging through musty files in a closet on a very dark and colorless day, and so all of your post was kind of like a bolt of lightning. Thank you!

    • susurrus says:

      Me neither – we have our hands full here, don’t we? I would normally link to a website but I couldn’t find one. The surface of the finished gourd is lovely, almost like wood, but smoother. Like all craftspeople, they treat their material with love and respect so it retains its natural quality, even as it’s repurposed.

    • susurrus says:

      I was surprised by the thunder gourds when I first saw them. They are made from a hollowed out gourd with a motif shaped hole cut in it and they sound like a musical form of thunder when you shake them.

  2. sallysgarden2013 says:

    These images are so beautiful. I have been using Gourds for the first time this year for winter decorations, but no way as artistic as these. I have just been spraying them copper, and using the stem to hang decorations from.

  3. helbergfarmstories says:

    My sister loves doing gourd artwork. She especially loves all the prior scraping that has to be done. She says it’s a type of therapy for her and gives her a feel of the structure and ideas of what to make it into. Her favs right now are gnome homes and birdhouses. The tornado that came through here in July 2018 took or trashed all of them we had in our yard (boo hoo) but she has been growing and stocking up to give it another go. Thank you for sharing some great ideas. (Had to share with her of course – maybe a little “push” on my part – hee hee.)

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