Rock, Gem & Silver Club Has ‘Gourd’ Vibes

Karen Wollscheid

Feeling hollow inside? Put yourself in a “gourd” mood! This month’s “Member Recognition” goes to Karen Wollscheid who chairs the Gourd Crafting group at the Sun Lakes Rock, Gem & Silver Club. She also serves as treasurer and website administrator. Check it out at Bet you didn’t know that our club has 19 different classes within the five major categories of Lapidary, Silver, Lost Wax, Glass, and Creative Crafts. Karen likes to say, “We have nothing but “gourd” intentions!”

Moving to Sun Lakes from Illinois in 2016, Karen and her hubby had always enjoyed three gardening seasons. Here she also has three seasons: hot, hotter, and Oh My Gourd! Not letting Arizona heat waves interfere, Karen creates gardens on gourds and leads her “Patch” (synonymous with “club” in gourd talk) participants to take a dried gourd and wood-burn, carve, weave, paint, and embellish it with beads, cabochons, feathers, etc. Gourds are a versatile canvas to create mobiles, drums, masks, containers, wall hangings, native spirit dolls, and other decorative pieces. Just too “gourd” to be true!

Karen’s creative background comes from many years of being a graphic designer working for storyteller organizations. Managing storytelling festivals, concerts, and conferences, she became adept at creating pretty things using a computer, a mouse, and the index finger of her right hand. Life is “gourd”! She joined the Rock Club, took classes, and discovered gourd crafting. Learning to design on a round, mostly yellow, and often flawed surface of a gourd compared to a computer screen made her a bit apprehensive. Plus, she had never used a wood burner, a Dremel, a carver, or a drill.

But no worries! To all of you newcomers out there, please just relax. While she discovered working on gourds was at first a challenge, it soon became a wonderful, inspiring, happy activity that was totally fun! Every gourd is different, and each one has its own little quirks to work around, and for sure you won’t be bored with this extraordinary art form. Kinda like it’s just too “gourd” to be true!

Gourd times: 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays for classes and Thursdays for Open Shop at the Oakwood Shop. Join up with an annual membership fee of $30 and $25 for your gourd classes (which include materials). After you’ve completed your class, you’re qualified to work on your own personal projects in Open Shop. And soon you’ll be in love with gourd crafting … “gourd” vibes only!

Don’t forget, the Rock, Gem & Silver Club meets monthly from October through April in the newly remodeled Cottonwood HOA building at 10 a.m. on the third Thursdays. “Gourd” big or “gourd” home!