1. How did you get started?
In 2000, to be home with my children, I opened an Oregon State Certified Daycare out of my home that allowed me to care for up to 10 children plus my newborn daughter and toddler son. I chose to grow some gourds in my garden as a project for the kids. I was amazed by how each gourd would grow, dry over the winter, and become something much different from when it was harvested.
By 2007, I just could not stop thinking of gourds, and began to research gourd artists, classes, farms, and suppliers. I learned the cultivation of gourds for tool use has been going on for thousands of years all around the world. Gourds are revered in native cultures from Asia to Africa, India and throughout the Americas and the Pacific Rim. Throughout the South and Mid-West of the United States, gourds are grown for the arts and crafts community, bird-house lovers, and artists. But here in the Great Northwest, gourd artists are far and few between. I decided to make myself the ambassador of gourds here in Pacific Northwest.
2. Where do you draw influence from?
I call myself a Gourd Whisperer, but actually I am a Gourd Listener. Some may think I am crazy, but I listen to the gourds. Often the shape, or features of each gourd influences me regarding project. I have found sticking to my own designs and ideas leads to gourd art I have the most pleasure in creating. I allow influences from various cultures and artists, by insist on personalizing with my own style. Creating something truly unique is most rewarding.
3. What is the difference between PSM and other Markets?
Comradery. The collective force of artists banding together to keep the PSM vision of local, hand-crafted artwork around for over four and a half decades. Great markets do not stick around that long without defining an effective and supportive process for artists and the community that supports it. I knew I wanted to be a part of that tradition and collaborative effort, supported so strongly by our city. I have not sold my gourds at any other market than PSM.
4. How would you describe the difference between "arts" and "crafts"?
To me the arts are all of the various mediums one might want chose to do as a way express them self artistically. A craft is the complete consumption of an art medium with the mastery of method to obtain the artist’s desired result.
5. What’s your favorite thing in the world right now?
Planting Seeds. Not just gourd seeds, but also the seeds of gourd knowledge to anyone who will listens or inquires. Kids are my favorite, and I have a special educational gourd for kids to touch and learn from called Little-Half Done. It shows the before and after of a gourd is crafted. Seeds are always available for free, and should their seeds yield some gourds, I will buy them. I can always use more gourds!
6. How long have you sold your wares at PSM? What encouraged you to apply/ keeps you vending with us now?
I began selling gourds at PSM in October 2009. I always knew PSM was a market I wanted to be a part of. Once the gourds started talking, things started falling into place. With the stability of a great family, a supportive employer, and finally the grace of self-confidence, I submitted my pieces for approval. Nothing can match the positive energy I get from seeing people react to my creations. And I get to hang out with some of the most tremendous vendor/colleagues/artists in the Pacific Northwest! Thank you, Mark, Sam, Sarah, and the whole PSM vendors, staff and crew. You all mean the world to me.
For more Information on Gourd Division visit: https://www.facebook.com/GourdDivision/