Gourd Artist Susan M. Zanella

Susan Zanella is a hard-shelled gourd artist originally from Connecticut and currently living in North-East Maryland. She received a BA in fine arts from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore in 1983.

Ms. Zanella began teaching gourd crafting techniques at gourd festivals in 2009 and began teaching at Harford Community College Continuing Education in 2012.  She also sells her finished gourd art in local stores as well as art festivals throughout the Eastern Seaboard. Her classes are currently being taught at Benjamin's Landing Gourding in the Barn at http://www.benjaminslanding.com/workshops/


While gourds afford a three dimensional surface that lends itself to almost every medium of artistic expression, Ms. Zanella has concentrated on pyrography (the art of writing with fire, or woodburning as it is commonly known), power carving and cut out patterns on her gourds.


Ms. Zanella has won numerous awards, including the Maryland State Fair President’s Award, the Anna W. Troyer Award and a Special Award ribbon as well as one Reserve Championship and two Grand Championship ribbons.


In 2018, Ms. Zanella was invited to a two-woman exhibit Nature Reimagined and Transformed at the Lirodendron Mansion, in Bel Air, Maryland, along with Lisa Noel. In 2014, she was invited to be one of six artists exhibiting and selling at the Form & Fabric IV Artistic Gifts of the Season show at The Galleries at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Maryland. She has had several technical articles published by Fox Chapel Publishing for various editions of their Pyrography Magazine, as well as the cover artist of their Big Book of Pyrography, and has contributed to other books and articles. Ms. Zanella has also been the featured artist in several local publications.


After being a member of the Harford Artist’s Association and Gallery, Ms. Zanella was elected Vice-President in 2016 and President of Harford Artist's Gallery in 2018. She currently serves on the board as well as on the Harford Artist’s Gallery Exhibit Committee.