Jaz Staley

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest I grew up appreciating both the ocean and the mountains, the trees and sea life. I became a SCUBA diver nearly 40 years ago in Puget Sound and the San Juan islands to the north. I skied through my teens but being young I could not afford both interests. I thought I would never live anywhere else, but Maui called to my husband and me from the beginning. So, with much fanfare, 5 years ago we retired here and never looked back. We live upcountry on our little farm and where my studio is.

I started learning about sewing, quilts and fibres at an early age and my love for design was born. While I will always quilt and do other fibre arts, gourds have become my passion. Plants AND power tools! But it wasn’t until we retired and moved here that the interest took root – so to speak. I am completely self-taught and continue my education by every means possible. Being easily bored I am both struck by the variety of works that can be done on, in, and with gourds. But I am equally interested in the history of gourds and their various functions. I acquired the necessary tools, and a few not so necessary, and began creating gourd art. It has become my passion and a full-time job that I love.

Each work is unique, and I do not do two of any piece or design. All the work is done with my hands, a Dremel for carving, a wood burning set, a sander and cleaning tools with a hand drill. I use gourd dyes that hold up well in sunlight (though no gourd should be left in direct sun), and other materials to create the look I’m seeking. Each gourd is an experiment, and I am usually delighted with the outcome. I hope you enjoy them too!

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