As a trained painter and printmaker, Leslie usually works in two dimensions with various paints and pigments. Though gourds are often painted, Leslie seeks to emphasize the natural textures, colors and shapes of the gourd. Gourds as a medium present a new challenge, and require a different approach.
The surfaces of dried gourds are uneven and mottled. Varieties of gourds -- apple, turban, Chinese bottle, snake, goose, and others -- are named for their shapes, which create another challenge for the artist. How does one best incorporate the three-dimensional form of the gourd with the two-dimensional process of wood burning? Ultimately, the unique "personality" of each gourd influences Leslie's design.