Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Gift of Gourds: By Patty Blacker, Verona Clark, Carolyn Rushton, and Merle Teel

The gourds shown in this exhibit are Indiana grown and have been crafted by different artists, all of whom belong to the Indiana Gourd Society which has been in existence for the past seventeen years. Each spring the IGS presents an exhibit giving members an opportunity to display their work and share their knowledge and growing and crafting skills with others. The Indiana Gourd Society meets twice a year in locations throughout the state. In addition to statewide meetings, smaller groups, called "gourd patches" meet regularly to create projects at the local level. Gourd Patch 4 consists of members from Tippecanoe, Montgomery, Benton, Parke and Clinton Counties. Regardless of their county of origin, anyone is welcome at any gourd patch meeting. Those who have provided gourds for this exhibit include:

Patty Blacker, who comes to us from Clarks Hill, has been crafting gourds grown by her husband Wayne, for the past eight years and using a number of different techniques. She also teaches cake decorating at the Crawfordsville Public Library.

West Lafayette "gourder," Verona Clark has been growing gourds for the past 25 years and enjoys making undecorated gourd birdhouses. She is the chairperson of Gourd Patch Group 4 and is available to answer questions regarding growing gourds in the area and preparing them for crafting.

One of the founding members of the Indiana Gourd Society, Carolyn Rushton, has been painting and using other mediums to decorate gourds for the past seventeen years. Her favorite medium is pyrography, commonly known as wood burning, done with a very advanced wood burning tool called a Detail Master. Carolyn's work has been published in eight books. Pieces of her work are in collections throughout the world.

Our unique "gourder," Merle Teel, has been growing gourds and making musical instruments with them for the past twelve years. During this time he has also used his instruments to provide entertainment at the Purdue Springfest and at many other gatherings throughout the state.

Do come and enjoy this simple and unique display that may be grown in the backyard of anyone's good earth!


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CDPL Reference/Local History said...


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