Spirit of the Desert Gourd Patch welcomes new members

Gourd haunted house created by member Kathy Baylor. Very creative and great use of all materials!

Gourd haunted house created by member Kathy Baylor. Very creative and great use of all materials!

Colleen McKnight

Spirit of the Desert Gourd Patch is looking forward to lots of fun as this new year of gourding begins. Most happily, we are expecting some new members. Our patch had a table at all three October Open Houses in Sun Lakes and met many people interested in gourd art.

Gourds are great natural canvas for any art medium – some people just enjoy the shapes and a little color. But that’s just where gourd art begins – dying and coloring with paints and pencils, wood burning and shading, carving and cutting out designs, embellishing with beads, powers and metal leafing, weaving – the possibilities are endless with gourd!

About half of our membership have already or will shortly be returning from parts north and with them come new ideas and talents. Our group is very collaborative and we all feel we have both something to learn and something to share. Our weekly workgroups on Thursdays have begun again and grow all the time.

Many of our energies now will be focused on a huge task we have ahead of us – running the Arizona Gourd Society competition at the 14th annual Wuertz Gourd Festival in Casa Grande in February. We were honored and unsure when the board of the Arizona Gourd Society asked us to take on this huge project. But with our active membership of nearly 50 members, and with promises of help from the other eight official patches in Arizona, we accepted. This competition will include over 200 entries in over 40 categories and classes and will be seen by over 8,000 people during the three day event. Definitely not to be missed!

You can see more about our patch (or club) at our website at SpiritDesertGourds.com. We are a group open to anyone in the Valley. We meet at the Sun Lakes Country Club Arts and Crafts Room. On the website you can see some samples of our collaborative work, as well as some of our individual members’ work. We meet the third Thursday of each month for a business meeting, and every Thursday for a workshop and always welcome new members.