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Nancy Miller

Being an artist is not something you can force. Finding your “voice” is not something that one conjures up out of the ether. Knowing you are an artist is a sensation, a way of being on this earth that is clear and profound and always with you. Patience and trust are what I needed for these things to come together almost 50 years after I knew I wanted to be an artist. Gourds are the magical element that showed me I could “sing”. I see gourds as nature’s sculpture. Then I continue the thought and sometimes redirect it. Cultures from Japan to Africa and nature’s detritus (seed pods, bones, and pebbles) are also part of my inspiration.

The gourd’s form and surface, nature’s leftovers, and my imagination coalesce to bring the lowly gourd to a state of exquisite beauty. And in the process I, too, am enriched beyond my dreams. My creative process is long and full of obstacles. It is very detailed and I experience an almost meditative contentment as I work. I love gourds and I love how they have changed my life.

Nancy graduated from DePauw University with a major in fine arts in 1964. After a year of teaching Junior High School art in Mesa Arizona, she became an international flight attendant (known as stewardesses in those days!). She flew for Pan Am and then for United Airlines, living in San Francisco, until she retired in 2002 and moved to Indianapolis. One of her most frequent “ports of call” during her career in the air was Japan. It was there in Narita on a layover that she began working with beautiful Yuzen papers. Nancy literally invented the technique of using small areas of these stunning papers and gold leaf foil to create small the small collectible treasures she calls “Paperweight Stones”.

Nancy is delighted to offer both her stones and a wide variety of gourd sculptures at the CCA GALLERY.