Mason County News
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Gourd Heads Unite!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 • Posted October 14, 2009

Artists from across the country will come together for the Lone Star Gourd Festival at the Gillespie County Fairgrounds in Fredericksburg, Texas. This event, by the Texas Gourd Society, will be held Friday, Oct. 16th (1-6pm), Saturday Oct. 17th (9-6pm) and Sunday (10-4pm).

What will you see at the Lone Star Gourd Festival? Well, there is something for everyone, including a free kid's crafting area, and entertainment by Tropical Productions on Saturday afternoon. Gourds by the hundreds are sold every which way: freshly picked (wet), already cured (dried) and already crafted.

But that is just the beginning. The most energy is generated by the competition, held in various gourd categories for gourd artists and growers. For instance, gourd artists compete in categories such as wood burned, carved, painted, beaded, and then their forms take shape as Southwest, Native American or Texas inspired. There are 72 divisions in the competition with five of these in the Fine Art division.

Tom Hornsby, a gourd grower in Pineville, Louisiana, helped organize this event and will have four booths at the fairgrounds. Due to the drought in Texas, Hornsby will be the primary raw gourd vendor. He and his wife, Zelda, farm eight acres in central part of the Bayou state and have been growing gourds for twelve years.

Last years "Artists of the Year", Sylvia Gaines, will have a booth this year. Her prize-winning gourd was featured on the TGS advertising flyers and cards. Gaines gourd art reflects her love of nature and wildlife. "I love all animals and prefer to feature them on my gourds. I create realistic images of animals such as horses, big cats and buffalo. Each piece is individual, unique and one of a kind. I carve, paint and embellish my gourds with pine needles, waxed linen, silver conchos and gemstones."

Friday afternoon's show will also kick off their series of classes. Bobbie Gibson, a Tucson, Arizona artist and author of "Gourds: Southwest Designs and Techniques" will be holding classes all three days. So will Bill Decker from Greenwood, Missouri, Judy Richie from Kerrville, Texas and twelve other artists. The TGS website provides information on the dates, times and cost.

Admission is $5, however you can return any day for free. There is no charge for children 12 and under, either. If you can't make it to the Lone Star Gourd Festival, you can check out their website at www.TexasGourdSociety.org or call Becky Wise 817-726-6653 for more information.

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