Knotted Gourds

Glen Burkhalter, a gourd artist of Lacey Spring, Alabama, creates some impressive pieces, including gourds with spiral and knotted stems and others engraved to look like globes:

When his extra large handle dipper gourds are about one feet long, Glen Burkhalter wraps them in pantyhose. Then, he waits for about two months until the gourds are fully grown. After he removes the pantyhose, he has a gourd-handle that resembles a really long unicorn horn.[...]

Jim Story, recognized by the American Gourd Society as a “gourd-growing legend,” once challenged Burkhalter to tie two knots in one gourd — a mission Story had tried hundreds of times but could not accomplish.

Burkhalter tied the first knot when the gourd — another extra large handle dipper gourd — was only 6 inches long. At this point, the shell is malleable, but the gourd is too short to tie a double knot.

Day after day, Burkhalter would see this gourd and, instead of tying the second knot, he would bend the stem just a bit each day until it grew into a second knot. | Photo: University of Florida

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