Ladies of the Lake welcomed six new attendees and guests joining more than 35 members for the April 3rd luncheon. Martha Bloom of Martha’s Gourds in Clearfield, PA was the guest speaker.
Martha got started growing and crafting gourds over 20 years ago. At the time the idea was to add a gift line to Bloom’s Nursery, but without an actual building to display her creations, Martha sold her gourds at craft shows, on her web site, and at eBay.
Now many years later, things have changed. Martha works a full time job as a secretary in the local high school but still crafts gourds on the side. She is a member of a local co-op gallery in Clearfield, called The Liddle Gallery, since it opened 3 years ago.
She learned the ins and outs of gourd craft by reading numerous books and articles, joining the American Gourd Society and the Pennsylvania Gourd Society, and learning from friends found on the online gourd lists, ClubGourd and GourdPatch. Years of experience have led to the gourds you see today.
Martha’s advice to anyone who wants to start working with gourds. “Don’t dwell on what to do with your first gourd. If you think about it too much the gourd will just sit there for years with nothing being done to it.”
Just know the basics and that is to have a clean, dry, gourd to work with and then pick your favorite type of paint and put something on it. If you don’t have any artistic talent find some stencils and make patterns on it. The idea is to just get started.
Currently, Martha specializes in “ready-to-craft” gourds.
Martha brought a beautiful selection of carved or painted bowls, vases and assorted figures she made.