"I am a former public school teacher with no formal art or woodwork training who retired to the mountains of North Georgia. After teaching public school for 32 years, I discovered gourds. Carving is my favorite part of the process. Perhaps I will make an animal, a fish, a bird, or a whimsical caricature, but I love wildlife, so it is often my choice. I try to bring my creation alive with acrylic paint, dye, or stain. Then I finish with polyurethane or varnish to prolong its life."