Paintings by Hellen

~~ Fine Art Gourds & More ~~

Southwest ~ Native American Indian Inspired ~ Wildlife ~ Western
Faux Leather Tooling ~ Pyrography Woodburning ~ Power Carving
 Pine Needle Coiling ~  Closed Coiling ~ Antlers ~ Acrylic Painting
  Colored Pencil Painting ~ Metal Coating & Patinas ~ Baskets
 Instructional Gourd Books ~ Gourd Classes ~ Gourd Retreats 

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Chandler, TX
email:  [email protected] (Note the 2 'm' s) 
Instructional Books

Project in the Book
Contact Us
The designs within this web site are original designs of Hellen Martin.  
Under NO circumstances may they be used or reproduced in any form.
Faux leather tooling on gourd has become extremely popular! When I started doing it, I studied the normal styles, asked lot of questions from leather toolers, and practiced ... a lot. I design my own patterns now. I decided to write this book to share it with other gourd people. You will learn by doing a fairly simple pattern. Many people have learned the technique and started doing it in their own style. I find this extremely exciting. 

These books have color photos/illustrations next to step-by-step instructions walking you through the whole piece.  There is also a section explaining how to woodburning and special tips I've used for cleaning my pens.  Most books has a some new techniques that really give you a 3-D look.

​NOTE:  The needed number of  rivets will be included with each book.  Additional rivets and caps can be purchased by moving to the bottom of the tooling books.

UPDATED ..... Faux Leather Tooling on Gourds with Pine Needle Coiling
Cost:  $17.00
This is the tooling design that kicked off the interest with this technique. I've updated the supply information to current products. Also added the directions for pine needle coiling the rim.  

Faux Leather Tooling & Carving on Gourds - Book 1:
Cost:  $17.50
This is one of my favorite designs so far. Carving inside the design and doing the stitching were introduced within this book. The carving really kicked up the 3-D look.  

 Faux Leather Tooling & Carving on Gourds - Book 2:
Cost:  $17.00
This book introduced woodburning a rope and inserting the caps at the top.  Caps aren't included with the book because I have no idea how many you would need once you are finished.  Every gourd is different. Caps can be viewed and purchased following the tooling books. They are very inexpensive and can be shipped with your book.

Pine Needle Coiling Book - Beginner's to Advance
It's an ALL in one book
Cost:  $19.00

You will have all the information you need to take a raw gourd and end up with a completed piece and make many, many, more different ones!

I did my best to include everything you would need to know from taking a raw gourd to a finished piece.  There are color illustrations showing you where to insert the sewing needle in the interior and where it will exit to the exterior.  This will make your stitches straight on both sides which customers and galleries want.  

You will learn:
-  Cleaning, designing, preparing pine needles, supplies needed, etc.
-  Doing all stitches straight on both sides with various thread sizes
-  Basic of pine needle coiling
-  Three way to cast onto the gourd
-  How to go from the 1st coil to the 2nd coil
-  Five most popular stitches with thin and wider thread & one advanced stitch with thin thread
-  Dying pine needles and incorporating them into the coil
-  Attaching antlers, walnut slices, and pine needle caps


"Hellen's book for pine needle coiling is wonderful!  I am a visual person and the illustrations and pictures are so helpful.  Thanks Hellen for writing this very informative and helpful book!"
.......... Marianne Barnes, South Carolina, Author of "Weaving on Gourds."

"I have your tutorial and have to say you did a remarkable job.  I love your humor in every paragraph you have written, you give hints and explain why things should be done the way you are instructing.  The instructions themselves are explicit with detailed pictures; you really outdid yourself on this.  I have several other brochures and books about coiling, etc., but none can compare to yours.
.......... Ann Lang, Michigan

"WOW!  You hit the nail on the head calling this book an "all in one book."  Any beginner with gourds and coiling will be able to start and feel confident with what they are doing.  For someone who isn't a beginner, this book even gave me new information.  Your illustrations for "floating coil getting fancy" blew my mind away that you cared enough to color the coils so I could see where they were going.  Thank you for writing this book.  It shows you want to share your knowledge and want other artists to lean this art form.
.......... Martha Wilson, North Carolina

"This is the best book on the market for pine needle coiling and I've have bought many of them!!
.......... Jamie Stevens, Oklahoma
Experience Level:  Beginner with a few hours of woodburning up to a touch of Advance
Cost:  $18.00

I have prepared this book to cover as much information as you need to prepare this wonderful piece.  You can start with a raw gourd and end up with a piece you can be very proud of.  I try very hard to write detailed instuctions without fancy words and have good illustrations and photo/illustrations.  My goal is for you to feel I'm right beside you talking you through every step .... with a little humor thrown in.

You will be able to take what you learn within this book and apply to many, many pieces.

Color Pencils - Learn to use colored pencils that actually look like you have painted it on.  I give you lots of information to learn this wonderful technique.  
​Woodburning - You will need a few hours of woodburning and be able to burn a line with holes.  Also, some experience with your shader.  With just a little practice, you can do this piece.  The books gives instructions for woodburning so that should help you.
​Pine Needle Coiling -  Never pine needle coiled?  There are detailed instructions for you to learn and what supplies you will need.  
Coiling on Anters - Many antlers don't fit correctly on all gourd so I given you alternative examples of how to place your antler on the gourd. 
Carving - Haven't carved?  No problem there!  This is a very simple carving project.  You get detailed instructions and what burs to use.


"  Hellen Martin is an outstanding teacher.  I have taken classes with her at the Lone Start Gourd Festival in Fredericksburg, Texas and have loved every minute of it.  I have four of her tutorials and love every one of them.  I've just purchased Woodburning, Carving, Pencil Coloring, and Pine Needle Coiling on an Antler.  WOW, it's filled with step-by-step directions and wonderful pictures to help you with the process.  I've read it from cover to cover and ready to start on the gourd piece she teaches.  It's a beauty!  I highly recommend taking a class with her or buying one of her tutorials to help you learn at home.  You won't be disappointed."
.......... Beth Lively, Texas

"Hellen, I just wanted to say thank you.  I got my deer book yesterday and read it front to back.  I love it.  You do such a good job of explaining and giving examples.  I love the humor you throw in too.  It's like you are standing there teaching a class in person .... I look forward to more."
.......... Rhonda Kesner, Texas

Bronze & Copper Metal Coatings, Patinas & Lots of Texture  ... 4 Styles!

Cost:  $17.00

The technique is done by utilizing industrial stength 
metal coating and patinas that isn't harmful to the environment.  

The book will give you information pertaining to the companies products, special tips for using them, supplies used, tools used, and sources.  The usage for these products is limitless.  Just like all my books, you will get information about cleaning gourds inside and outside, 

The projects within the book has step-by-step photos and instructions that are easy to follow.  You will learn how to apply the patina on dry and wet metal coating.    You will also learn how to apply texture to your gourd, then apply the metal coating and patinas on top of it to get a really unique piece.  

It's endless of the number of pieces you can add touches of these products!

"I had the ugliest gourd you ever saw, but it had a very nice shape.  Well, it isn't ugly anymore!  Outstanding techniquet for saving my gourds.  Thank you Hellen"
..........  Scarlett Peterson, California

"I have at least 4 of your books already and they are so detailed and fabulous!  My favorite is the Bronze & Copper Metal Coatings book.  It teaches how to create beautiful textures on your gourds easily and make them not only look metal but distressed or aged.
..........  Diane Bruder, Michigan

Cost:  $11.00 

There are step-by-step written instructions with photos guiding you through this very relaxing art form.  The book teaches you all the basics.  Information included is a list of required supplies, sourcer to get the supplies, patterns, and graph paper for developing your own designs.

A open cross pattern is included that is simple, but it teaches you all the basics.


"I own every one of Hellen's books and love them all.  Her detail step-by-step instructions are written in a simple, easy to follow format are great."
.......... Samatha Parkins, CA

"I find this technique so relaxing to do.   Since I'm retired and we travel a great deal, this is the perfect thing to do in the motorhome.   Thank you for writing it and answering so many of my questions.  You're such a blessing to the gourd art world."
.......... Terry McDonald,  MT
Paintings by Hellen ®  Chandler,TX 75758
Don't Like Using PayPal?  

​That's no problem.  I have a couple of options for you to purchase the books.
1.  Send a check made payble to "Hellen Martin" for the amount of your purchase - don't forget the postage.  Mail the check to Hellen Martin,   2121 Hickory Hollow Rd, Chandler, TX 75758.
2.  Since I have a credit card service, give me call at 817-907-3320.  I can process your order with the credit card service.  I take Visa, Discovery, American Express, and Master Card.  I love talking to my customers!  If you prefer, send an email to [email protected]  - NOTE the 2 m's  with    your phone number, and I will call you as soon as possible.                          
Remember - The further you are from the US the higher the shipping fee will be.

PAYPAL ORDERS ONLY ..... I will send you a PayPal invoice to cover the additional shipping fee. This will be done prior to shipment.  As soon as I receive payment, I will ship your merchandise.  A copy of the postage receipt will be email to you. 
This photo is shown with the texture and bronze and metal coatings
Faux Leather Tooling
Pages:  37
Photos/Illustrations:  47
Pages:  42
Pages:   37
Photos/Illustrations:  49
Pages:  61
Photos/Illustrations:  91
Pine Needle Coiling 
Woodburning, Carving, Colored Pencil, 
Pine Needle Coiling on an Antler
Metal Coatings, Patinas, and Texture
Pages: 45
Photos/Illustrations:  57
Pages: 26
Photos/Illustrations:  27
Graphs:  4
Designs:  8

Colored Pencils
Pages:  50
Photos/Illustrations:  76
Pages:  42
Photos/Illustrations:  78 
Pages:  42
Photos/Illustrations:  88
I have fallen in love with working with colored pencils.  They have their own characteristics that you must follow.  Once you learn them, you will be off and running.  The uniqueness of color pencils is the ability of applying many colors on top of each other to develop beautiful colors. There is a section within each book explaining the techniques, materials, layering, and tools.  I take you through each step with the preparation of the piece.  

Colored pencils will not adhere on gourds. You must apply a product to solve this problem.  The supply pages within the books will let you know where you can purchase your pencils and the product to adhere your pencils to the gourd. They also offer the best prices.

Hellen was honored by the American Gourd Society to write the guidelines for painting and colored pencils for competitions at the gourd festivals.

Color Pencil a Chickadee and a Little Bit More
Cost:  $17.50
Who doesn't like a Chickadee?  This books has information about the supplies and many photos of the technique so you will have visuals.  Even though birds can be a challenge, the directions are very detail with photos showing each step.  I do my best to write the directions as if I'm beside and giving you instructions.  The book also covers:
1.  How to put your pattern on the gourd and the products needed for this technique.
2.  Staining the outside of the gourd, letting you know the name and where to purchase the product.
3.  Shading around the design and along the inside of the black within the design area.
4.  How to design the black area on the piece.

Color Pencil a Monarch, Hibiscus, and a Little Bit More 
Cost:  $17.50
​This is a really fun piece to do and a great introduction to colored pencils. The directions are very detail with photos showing each step. I do my best to write the directions as if I'm beside and giving you instructions. The book also covers:
1. How to put your pattern on the gourd and the products needed for this technique.
2. Staining the outside of the gourd, letting you know the name and where to purchase the product.
3. Shading around the design and along the inside of the black within the design area.
4. How to design the black area on the piece. 
[email protected]
Note the 2 'm's
Pages:  25
Photos/Illustrations:  43
Pine Needle Coiling, Floating Coil & Faggot Stitch between the Floating Coil 
Cost:  $10.00

I love adding this stitch to my pine needle coiling.  The best part is it isn't hard to learn, but you do need to follow the instructions so you stitching will not look like a tangled mess.  My students learned this stitch without any issues and also loved it.  

As with all my books, you will have photos walking you through all the steps.  You will learn this technique fast and love watching it develop. 
This stitch gives you lots of options!  This piece as four Faggot stitches going around it.  Just let your creativity go WILD!!  
Carving Leaves with Two Burs & Little Sanding
Cost:  $10.00
NOTE:  There are two options for the leaves surface within this booklet!!
              (textured & smoothier) & all done with burs. 

I hate sanding with a passion!  If I can get a look I like with a bur, I will use the bur every time.

This is a great way to learn to carve at different levels.  The booklet explains each level and gives you photos to understand the levels. 

You will be guided through this technique with step-by-step photos.   Patterns of maple leaves are provided.  You mayincrease or reduce them to the size of your gourd. 
Pages:  20
Photos/Illustrations:  27
Carved & Ink Dyed Leaves
Cost:  $10.00

This book will explain "my" technique for applying acrylic paint to the carved area and STILL COLOR WITH INK DYES.  Of course, you can paint the whole carved piece with acrylics, oils, etc. if you like.  I knew people LOVE their ink dyes so thought I would do my best to come up with a technique that would work.

I've taught private and classroom lessons with this technique and MUST stress you need to follow the instructions within this booklet.  It isn't hard!!  There is a blending technique you MUST follow which isn't much different from what you already do with ink dyes.  

I get a lot special orders for a similar piece because it's a wonderful Fall piece.  Learn the technique and then carve your pieces with all kinds of holiday designs.
Pages:  2
Photos/Illustrations:  27

All orders are shipped by Priority Mail which is $7.35.  Why?  You get it faster, receive a Tracking #, and 5-6 books will fit inside the envelope. 

 All books reflect a shipping charge of $6.70 but you will be reimbursed for any amount over the ACTUAL shipping charge. I ship Priority Mail and nearly all my books will fit into the envelope.  Usually, your shipping fee will be $6.70.   I will credit any overcharge for shipping using PayPal's   "Pay/Transfer."   If you paid using PayPal, your credit will posted there.  If you paid with a credit card, your credit card will credited.  Orders are generally same date received or the next day.
Closed Coiling 
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