Kentucky Tourism

Smith, Donna R. & Donnie — Gourdsmith

Waco, KY


painted gourds, ornaments
Twenty years ago, Donnie and Donna Smith planted gourds by their back porch and their journey as craftspeople began. Donna eventually left her job and she and her husband Donnie became full time gourd artists.

Most of their gourds are raised on their five-acre farm by Donnie. A good dried gourd, though, is just the beginning—Donnie washes each gourd to remove the outer skin, which has molded and left an interesting pattern and texture on the gourd, and then cleans the gourd and cuts the lids.

Utilizing her graphic design background, Donna draws a design in pencil and then burns the design with a wood burning tool. The gourds are next painted with watercolors, inks, dyes and water-based stains, and sealed with a clear acrylic.

Donna and Donnie’s work can also be found at the Log House Gallery, Berea, KY; at Artique, Lexington, KY; at Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, Harrodsburg, KY; and at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.