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Stringed Instruments – Imaginative Musical Vegetable Carvings

Rodney-guitar2A little creativity can go a long way in the vegetable and fruit carving world, as is evident in these photos of musical vegetable carvings sent to me by my customer/student, Rodney Dikin. I’ve previously included Rodney’s creations in my Fun Pumpkin Carving Ideas blog.

When showing your fruit and vegetable carvings, you never know what kind of reactions you will get. Here is a little heart warming story about the unexpected recognition that Rodney got for his imaginative work.

Last fall, Rodney carved this gorgeous stringed instrument out of a gourd in honor of the Venice Symphony String Orchestra, who was performing at the yacht club where Rodney works. As he was going about his work in the kitchen on the night of the event, his manager popped in and said that the commodore wanted to see him in the dining room.

Here is what Rodney wrote to me,

Never in my dreams did I expect what was to come next. With the orchestra in place on stage, (the commodore) asked me to come up and be recognized for what I’d done. He presented (the carvings) to the orchestra and the audience. I was so overwhelmed! I almost broke into tears!”

Rodney admits that he didn’t think his work was worth the recognition but obviously, others overlooked his perceived imperfections and were impressed with his work.

Close-up Look at Rodney’s Musical Vegetable Carvings

musical vegetable carvings

An up-close view of Rodney’s larger guitar carving.



Another look at the smaller of the two guitar-carved gourds.

Rodney wrote in his letter to me:

I want to thank you so much for giving me the inspiration and I thank God for giving me the ability to do something that I truly love to do. Although it has taken me 50 years to discover it, ever since the first DVD I purchased from you, I found my niche.”

How Rodney Created his Musical Vegetable Carvings


Rodney’s two guitar gourd carvings show great detail.

When I asked Rodney how he created his guitar, this was his response.

Hi Nita. Well, I never gave this hobby much thought until i came across your website. After seeing how much you go into detail into showing how and what to do, I fell in love with it. So real big kudos to you!! You are a major inspiration. Thanks many times. Thank you for being there and giving that one on one touch! Now, for the string and colors. I used regular sewing thread and coated them in crazy glue to make them hard then glued them to the art. The colors are from Minwax stain pens. I just kept applying them until I got the shades I was looking for.  As for working with gourds, lol that was real fun. I went to harbor freight tool whse and found a rotary tool kit. it came with every bit imaginable. for about $11

Kudos to Rodney for being super creative Rodney!

Like the commodore, we’re impressed with these musical vegetable carvings and hope you enjoyed looking at them too!

Learn to carve like a pro

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6 Responses to Stringed Instruments – Imaginative Musical Vegetable Carvings

  1. ROY August 20, 2013 at 11:18 am #


    • rodney dikin April 27, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

      actually the smaller was a violin and the larger was a cello.

      • Nita Gill April 27, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

        Thanks for the correction Rodney.

  2. marie August 20, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    Thank you for sharing your God given talent.
    More blessings.

  3. Richard Testani August 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    Wow what great work and wonderful ideas the thread covered in glue and the Minwax pens. I will be trying that soon. Rodney keep up the creative freedom it gets better all the time.

  4. Pamela T. June 13, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

    Congratulations Rodney! Thanks for sharing and being an inspiration to others.

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