Gourdguy's Blog

Where nature and art meet!

About

earl-2005

Earl Worick grew up in rural Virginia where his interest in life was obviously not the same as his peers. He took pride in his natural love for classical music while most everyone around him was a fan of country western and other music. In his teens, Earl became a tinkerer with a desire to create things mechanically and electrically. At an early age he had an unusual desire to venture overseas and mingle with foreigners. He considered himself very fortunate to join the military where he volunteered for an overseas assignment in the Far East that resulted in a twelve-year stint in and with the Army and Air Force. In Japan he was introduced to the classic guitar and became a dedicated student for two years. Unfortunately a nerve condition prevented him from attaining the status he so much desired. After returning to the states, Earl became acquainted with Spanish guitarists in California where he resided for thirty-some years. During those years he became interested in making capos for many guitarists he came to know, including some world-renowned flamenco guitarists.  He also made a special miniature saddle  inlay for Clint Eastwood while Clint was making a movie, “The Rookie” in San Jose, CA.

Making the little wooden capos for guitarists was a success because the handmade ones were more elegant than the ones available commercially. Making capos led him to sources for buying exotic hardwoods from around the world. Soon he realized a profound satisfaction in designing miniature guitars and other guitar-related art pieces that were a hit among Spanish guitarists.

The more he worked with wood, the more Earl realized his ability to shape various objects. One thing led to another that included carving pumpkins each Halloween; this became an attractive event each year for ten years in Mt. View, CA. Eventually he carved pumpkins for two television stations, Sunset Magazine, and he won pumpkin-carving contests in several cities.

After relocating to Virginia in 1996, Earl had a renewed interest in woodwork, but this time it was a new source for wood that aroused new ideas. He discovered that many pieces of wood, which had been shaped by nature, provided a head start in visualizing a new art form that would lead to creating interesting animals or whatever came to mind. This led to the slogan: “Giving Nature a Helping Hand.” Because Earl has access to many acres of wooded lands, he began gathering wood for developing a number of art pieces that are obviously different, most of which are truly one-of-a-kind.

With the varied interests, which held him captive most of his life, he found yet another art form that takes him by surprise; he discovered the hard-shell gourds and how they have made an impact in the art world. After joining the American Gourd Society, he began to realize the endless possibilities that gourds offer by allowing the artists to run wild with their imaginations. His comment on gourds was: “Unlike pumpkins, what you create with gourds is preserved indefinitely.”

Recently Earl discovered how much fun it is to carve rutabagas, apples and turnips and then watch them shrink to less than half the original size as they age into wrinkled and comical faces.

This blog will provide an insight to Gourdguy’s varied art pieces from inception to the final products.

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More about Earl here.

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14 comments on “About

  1. Ray Widaman
    April 10, 2009

    I learned of your work from a former teacher in Brentwood, Mo – Carmalita Collier. I’m interested in how you were trained for your work (art school?).

    Regards,

    Ray

    • gourdguy
      April 10, 2009

      Hi Ray,
      Thanks for your concern and question. I have never had any training whatsoever. Once I realized that I could make things of various types, especially after I had become acquainted with Spanish guitarists, I began to become interested in exotic hardwoods, and things went sort of wild from that point. I also had to train myself in the use of shop equipment and tools. Some of the most difficult work I’ve done are inlays, but I have gotten away from that recently. I will continue to show my work on Gourdguy since I have quite a lot, plus what I’m doing each day.

      Best regards,
      Earl

  2. carmalita colliere
    April 14, 2009

    I have seen most of your work, Earl, and I can really appreciate it. My favorite is Fowl Play but the photos are not the same as seeing it in person. I love your work and appreciate your ability to produce these unusual pieces of art. Keep it up. Carmalita

  3. Latana
    May 1, 2009

    Dear Earl,
    It is WONDERFUL to see your collection of fine art displayed on the Internet for ALL to see!!! As always, I am humbled by your creativity and your execution, whether it is on gourds, wood or other veggies!
    Love,
    Latana Jan

    • gourdguy
      May 1, 2009

      Thank you Latana for the kind words. They are most dear to me because I know you mean it!

      Love,
      Earl

  4. annie hahn
    November 21, 2009

    hello earl,
    i stumbled upon your website while looking for unique letter openers for my husband for christmas. his hobby is wood-working so i decided a unique wooden letter opener would be the perfect gift. do you have any available for sale, or would you be able to make on for me?
    thank you for your time,
    annie hahn

    • gourdguy
      December 22, 2009

      I’m sorry Annie that I didn’t check comments. Anyway, I haven’t taken any orders for years; I just make stuff and keep them in my collection for my daughters. I have given away many items in my life. Thank you so much for your interest.

      Earl

    • gourdguy
      April 28, 2010

      Hi Annie,

      I’m sorry but I sent a reply that may never have gotten through. I’ll try again although you may have given up by now. No, as much as I would like, I never take any orders because it puts me under a lot of pressure to be committed. Thanks for your interest.

    • gourdguy
      October 6, 2010

      I guess this was never answered properly. I’m sorry, but all the things I have done so far have not been sold. I have given many of my best pieces to friends and especially to Spanish guitarists. I’m sorry about that.

  5. Andy
    July 25, 2012

    Earl-
    I read Abigail Esman’s article about you on Forbes.com. I was wondering if you’re interested in selling your collection whole, if you’ve been contacted by anyone from the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. I wonder if a supporter of theirs would be willing to pay for your collection (I don’t know what kind of amount you have in mind) and donate it to the museum.

    • gourdguy
      July 26, 2012

      Hello Andy –

      Do you have any contacts from the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore that I can reach out to?

      Best,
      Earl

  6. deb sagerholm
    January 9, 2014

    Hi Earl!

    I found the cutest pair of gourd shoes in my mail! What a wonderful surprise to see those little gourds transformed into elfish shoes — so well made and detailed! You even thought of adding soles and stitching! Your work is amazing!!

    THese cuties will go right into my curio cabinet along with your card. I’m sure friends and family will wonder who the industrious cobbler elf was that made this adorable pair!

    • Latana Jan
      January 9, 2014

      EVERYONE loves your work!!!

    • gourdguy
      January 9, 2014

      Thanks Deb for your thoughtful comments. It’s great to know that you appreciate what I made for you. I thought that was the least I could do for a nice person such as you.

      Take care,
      Earl

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