A self-taught artist all my life, my preferred medium is acrylic paint. I’d paint anything that didn’t move! Olde World Santa’s, or Mountain Men, were painted on tall, bald cypress knees, with woodland critters on the wide base surround. On furniture I painted mostly birds & flowers. In the mid-1990’s I designed a few pieces of furniture I had built for me that I would then paint. It’s always been in my blood.
Around 1998 I met an artist who created works of art on gourds! And since there were no local cypress knee clubs I joined the Palmetto Gourd Patch which was located in Greenville, SC, about 45 minutes from my mountain home in North Carolina. Marianne Barnes had created this SC ‘Patch. She later became my co-host for the “Mountain Gourd Gathering” which will celebrate 11 years this year (2023) during the 2nd week in August: We hold a 3-day event in Cedar Mountain, NC. It would have been our 13th year if Covid had not happened. Though I will remain the “host” of the Mountain Gourd Gathering, Marianne has turned her gavel over to Lisa Mohr of Brevard, NC. Lisa does all things internet. She also keeps me straight, and has brilliant ideas; a very talented lady too! Please visit us here: (http://mountaingourdgathering.weebly.com).
This year I turned a “young” 71 years old. My hair became white during Covid(ahem), and I will add that I am in better health now than 5 year’s ago. My dear husband passed away in 2017 and several months following his death I had both hips replaced … at the same time! I no longer need or use an electric scooter to get around, though at the end of the day my post-polio causes me to rely on a walker. I have more time & energy now to devote to my grandchildren, my art & traveling, and volunteering at a local resale shop that benefit’s those less fortunate. In that order.
For the past 19 year’s or so I have been experimenting with various clays and epoxy’s too, and find my preference is a 2-part epoxy called “Quikwood”. I love the added dimension sculpting with Quikwood gives to my art pieces, plus the way it takes acrylic paints when set. I naturally turned to carving as well, using a Dremel, or hand carving. But sculpting is faster.
Using banana gourds or small bottle gourds I have created hundreds of sculpted-gourd ornaments! Last year I traveled throughout the Southeast to share my experience with other gourd enthusiasts. I’ll never have enough time to try everything that I imagine, so I am concentrating on teaching classes on gourd “ornaments” for now And the popular Warty-Gourd Sheep!
At the Georgia show this year I’ll be teaching my “Mountain Shore Birds” for the first time! Using Maranka gourds.
My teaching method using Quikwood is concentrating on layering, smoothing, and patience. I show how to make & add accessories too, to be used now or later. I’ll share everything I know. A tutorial is included with all class supplies to encourage students to continue creating long after class is over! And I’m happy to say that I learn something new in each class myself!!
So there you have it. Not my whole life story, but if you’re interested … 😅(ha-ha)? I’m accessible to help, and to learn, and to share our mutual love for the endless possibilities of what can be created using the fascinating hard-shell gourd! I am Christine Pace - my home # is (828)885-2103 (cell or text is 828/556-5238) and my email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been creating gourd art for over 25 years.
I was an art teacher in the public schools for 32 years. I went to the Cherokee Gourd show the first year they had it and brought a gourd art piece I had made. Judy Flemming saw it and invited me to the NC Gourd show to teach. This was first time I had taught a gourd class to gourd people. I was a basket weaver and had taught many basket classes and weaving on gourd classes. I didn’t like weaving basket bases so I started weaving in top of gourds. I love using many different materials in my baskets. I love texture and it’s been the core of my work.
I started the Palmetto gourd patch and at one time was the president of the SC Gourd Society. I have taught at many gourd shows and at John C Campbell Folk School.
I have written 4 book on gourds my first being Weavng on gourds.
My arthritis has caused me to stop teaching because it’s hard to prepare the gourds. My husband used to do that for me but he passed away 5 years ago. I love weaving, carving, and wood burning on gourds the most but have done many different techniques.
I have 3 little dogs, Sammy, Sally, and Scout. I sold my big house last year and moved into a small condo in a 55+ community. I have a fenced in patio and lots of bird feeders. I love watching the birds. I teach a ladies Sunday School class at White Oak Baptist and I love the Lord and try to serve Him. I have been creating gourd art for over 25 years.
Judi Fleming has been doing gourd folk art and fine art for nearly 30 years and loves to share her knowledge of this versatile vegetable. She is currently the President of the North Carolina Gourd Society and 1st Vice President of the American Gourd Society and is both an AGS certified Judge and Judge Trainer. She teaches gourd classes all along the east coast and has won many best of shows at gourd festivals, fairs and fine art shows
Tina Shumake Handrop
Tina is a retired postmaster and she loves Jesus, family, creating gourds, weaving,and traveling....especially to see her grandson who just turned 2. she has a 3 year old dog and a 4 year old cat. She loves people and sharing scripture, art, and moral support with them. She is the editor and director of the Georgia Gourd Society and a member of the American Gourd Society.