unique gourd art and gourd crafts Contact Information
Shirley : 831-438-2024
Claudette : 831-439-8586
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Contemporary Artifacts is Shirley Lehner-Rhoades and Claudette Mannina. While each have different backgrounds, interests and styles, they share a love for gourd craft and modern, experimental design. They have been partners for quite a while and have displayed their works in regional shows, festivals and faires.


Shirley Lehner-Rhoades

With an extensive academic training in fine art, Shirley began her commerical art career as a watercolorist. But one day while visiting a gourd farm in the foothills of central California, she was captivated by the variety, shape and character of the dried gourds she found.

This experience inspired her to begin experimenting with this three-dimensional painting medium, utilizing a varety of techniques for design, ornamentation, embellishment and decoration.

Shirley introduced gourd crafting into children's art classes at Scotts Valley Art Center, which she founded in 1998. The enthusiasm shown by her students for this fascinating art medium has led her to teach a variety of gourd crafting classed for elementary, middle school and adult students throughout Santa Cruz County


Claudette Mannina

Claudette has always had an interest in art and has worked in a wide range of media over the last 15 years. Three years ago she discovered gourd art in a local art and wine festival and was immediately drawn to its unique characteristics and endless possibilities.

What began as a craft interest quickly became the primary outlet for her creative inspirations. She enjoys this non-traditional medium that supported so many experimental techniques and provided a fascinating canvas for her ideas.


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