She works with gourds and horseshoes, paints and beads. The results entice from a shelf, dominate a wall or command a table. She is Sacramento artist Noelani “Lani” Holden-Kane, the hands behind Holden Hands Unique Jewelry and Gourd Art.
Holden-Kane visits various venues with a display of items especially selected for the occasion. For example, her appearance at Cowboy Christmas (a benefit event for the Grace Foundation of Northern California) this past December focused on western themes: gourd skulls reminiscent of a Mexican Day of the Dead display; wall hangings created from driftwood or horseshoes and turquoise beads; gourd bowls, stained to an appearance of burnished metal and jewelry combining unusual beads with traditional metals. .
She experiments with colors, or as she puts it, “I play with dyes and paints.” Her goal is to create a piece with depth as well as beauty. While she occasionally works by commission, Holden-Kane most often creates pieces based on how the materials inspire her, then offers the finished product at a show.
“Everything that I have made is kind of a spiritual thing that I do when I’m trying to create,” she says.
Gourds provide a particularly successful source of inspiration. She selects gourds at a farm, either to fill a list of potential projects or because the gourd’s shape strikes her. After cleaning and drying, the gourds may become skulls, bowls, Halloween bats or whales. Several of her whale sculptures have traveled the world to new homes.
Holden-Kane tries to keep her pieces priced within the range of ordinary buyers. Most list below $100. While she has created a few more expensive pieces, she tends to keep those for herself rather than intimidate potential customers.
For information on upcoming shows, visit holdenhands.net.