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Date Added

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

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Your BC Gourder

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I was born in Vancouver BC, and lived for most of my life in BC. In the early 60’s our family lived in Europe for 4 years, and In 1967-1968, I lived for a year in Camp Borden, Ontario. (My father was in the armed forces.) He quit that year and we moved back to BC. I wanted to be an artist, and leaned that way all my life. I have always been creative, -in my teens I knitted, crocheted, embroidered, and batiked. I dreamt of living as a hippy and in many ways have been accused of one – even today, by my stepchildren! Well, that’s what happens when you are born in the 50’s and live on an island most of your life!

I have worked most of my life in stable jobs– except for 8 years when I raised my son as a single parent on a limited income. However, I found a wonderful paying job in 1992 and have been working at the same place for approximately 15 years. My creativity stopped for this period of time. In 1996 I married and took on 2 other children in my life. My husband has always been supportive of my interests. I am basically a recluse and quite a home body. I dabbled in a few projects but nothing like I did in my younger daydreaming years.

In 2005 I was introduced to gourds by a friend in Victoria. She put on a class for a few us keeners and the rest is herstory! Throughout the years I have made a few gourds for friends, created some for silent auctions at work and created some via few orders throughout the year from the auctions. Nothing major…..just some safe dabbling! In November 2007, a co-worker of mine decided that I should enter a very popular paint-in craft fair on Mothers Day, 2008. Well I drummed up all my courage and with support and encouragement from my family and co-workers andI entered the craft fair with 20 creations. I sold 7 that day. While at the show, a vendor’s husband came by my booth several times, saying that my work was wonderful and that I should sell my creations at a well known summer market in Victoria. So I packed up my remaining gourds the third Saturday in June, ventured down to a market I had never been to, to be juried in. Well, much to my amazement they loved my creations and I have sold my gourds every Saturday at the market. Of course I have had to create more.

I don’t know what to say about these wonderful gifts of nature, that has not already been said before. It is the same old story, once you work with one, you fall in love with them. I have been learning and experimenting on my own, and am self taught, as there are not a lot of gourders in BC, and the ones that are out here, are few and far between – distance wise, I mean. So much of my learning and creating has been developed by reading the wonderful gourd books offered by Northern Dipper and Welburn gourds, and the many websites out there. A friend of mine mentioned the chat group Gourding North of 49 and one day last year I finally drew up the courage to log in. (I have never posted!) However, through that chat line, I drummed up enough courage to answer to an Ontario gourding couple who put out a call to meet any gourders who happened to be in Victoria as they were coming out to visit a good friend. I had a wonderful visit with them In April 2008. It was such a pleasure to meet some other people in this crazy world of gourds.

I am still a ‘newbie’ at gourds and love creating. I have finally found my niche, and possibly a way to help supplement my pension income, as I am getting close to that age of retirement. I recently entered 3 gourds in the 2008 Canadian Gourd Society Gourd festival and placed two firsts and a third. So, I think I am doing something right. Two galleries have approached me these past two weeks, for retailing some of my work, and I have taken them up on their offers. Gourds are a rarity out my way. People stopping by my stand have lauded me in my creativity and ingenuity. Most of them do not know of the extent of the gourd world.

I have had a portrait done of me at my stand at the Moss Street Market, entitled the Gourd Lady and now the painter has also made a year at a glance calendar of the gourd lady! It is not easy being out in the public. I am not that kind of person; I have a lot of support and encouragement from everyone. I was recently invited to join the HOGS – a branch of gourders in Ontario, and their welcome has been amazing.

I do not have a main theme in my work; however, my friendship gourds are a great hit. I really enjoy the challenge of carving and I believe that is one thing that I will really pursue. I want to thank all of your for your wonderful encouragement and welcoming.

3 Comment to “Your BC Gourder”

  1. Karin says:

    Great job Raven

  2. Alana says:

    Wonderful website Raven and beautiful gourd work!

  3. Amber says:

    Amazing website Raven! Beautiful work.

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