Absolutely Alabama: Calhoun County

Absolutely Alabama: Calhoun County

(WXTX) - What can you do artistically? You might be surprised to find you can do more than you think.

This week we meet a Calhoun County couple who took the raw materials at hand, added ingenuity and talent, and became a husband and wife team that is Absolutely Alabama.

"We stopped by the Cullman Gourd Show and we saw anything you could make out of gourds and so I was just hooked, really hooked," said Peggy Mayo, gourd artist. "Then so I came back and bought all kind of carving things and paint and that's how I started carving my gourds."

As often as not we discover artists who have themselves discovered their own artistic talent almost by accident and truthfully we had come to Calhoun County to see Peggy Mayo and get a gourd's eye view of her artwork.

"They're like a blank canvas. You just carve or paint whatever you want to do with 'em," she said. "Only your imagination is your limit cause you can imagine how to do anything but sometimes they tell you what they want to be.

We certainly weren't disappointed. The gourds are gorgeous and plentiful and then we met her husband Howard and wouldn't you know, he's an artist in his own right.

"Prob'ly my wife Peg there bein' the inspiration whatever I's well she not gone get all the advantage of a old cold, rainy day a tinkerin' with things in the shop so I decided I'd try just a little bit whatever yeah I've created some very unusual things," said Howard.

So on one end of the shop you'll find Howard in his self-described Mayo Cave while Peggy makes magic turning gourds into her own signature works.

"Carvin' leaves on things, that's my specialty I think is leaves," said Peggy. "Anything nature and I just I just think the leaves are so pretty and I'll go outside and I'll pick up leaves and use some of 'em for patterns and things. That's just my thing."

While on the other side of the shop, Howard hones his craft not from the leaves but from the trees which grow them.

"I cut a lot of firewood, cut hundreds of trees over the years in the way of people's problems; tornadoes or whatever it might be," said Howard.

For a talented few like Peggy and Howard, art is simple.

All too often we focus on what we don't have. What we do have in our state is wood and gourds and talented people who can turn them into works of art which are Absolutely Alabama.

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