Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, Todd Prince has worked in the Southwestern United States as an archaeologist, museum curator, adjunct professor, and State Park Manager since 1989. He currently resides in Cedar City, serving as the manager of the Frontier Homestead State Museum.
Educated and trained as an archaeologist, Prince's work with gourds reflects his interest in the cultural history of the American Southwest, although one will also find Buddhist and Oriental inspired motifs throughout his work. As an avid organic gardener, Prince began growing gourds a number of years ago. After drying them, a process of three to six months, his knowledge of prehistoric use of gourds inspired him to apply his creativity to this versatile, but challenging medium.
“The earth-tones, mold patterns, various shapes, and nutty smell of the gourds appeal to me,” Prince says. When working with gourds, he prefers to let the natural characteristics of each one determine what he does with it. Rarely does he hide the gourd beneath paint, or try to repair or remove a flaw. Occasionally, he will cover the natural surface for a particular affect, but the majority of his designs reflect traditional patterns and symbols.