LaDeDa Gourds

. . . they go from blah to La De Da!

Karen Caldwell
2410 East Plummer Lake Lane
Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538

(224) 306-8599
Karen on Facebook

FROM Woodruff: Take Hwy47N out of Woodruff for 4.6mi, turn right onto Cty F/East Boundary Trail (3.5mi) and take the second left onto E Plummer Lake Lane (0.12mi) and turn left into the first drive #2410.

FROM Manitowish Waters: Take Hwy 51S, Turn right onto Cty ‘H,’ Turn left onto East Boundary Trail (EBT). At 5.5 miles turn right onto East Plummer Lake Lane from EBT, Follow East Plummer Lake Ln, turn left into the first drive #2410. 

After several years of watercolor and wood-carving classes, I found hard-shell gourds. Gourds brought together my painting and wood carving in an interesting and challenging way.

GOURDS have been cultivated for at least 11,000 years, based on Ancient DNA testing of gourd shards. Many cultures used them as sacred vessels, storage containers, musical instruments, utensils, and ornaments. Their use for many purposes provides a wealth of opportunity for artistic expression.

The plant family – Cucurbitacea contains three major groups:

Lagenaria – Hard-shell gourds
Cucurbita –Edible and Ornamental gourds and squashes, and
Luffa – Vegetable sponges.

Lagenaria or hard-shell gourds are the gourds that I craft and sell. These gourds have a long growing season and take 3-6 months to dry.  In the drying process, molds feed on the escaping moisture, creating the beautiful mottled effect on the gourd surface.

These gourds are handled much like wood and they are a wonderful canvas for many techniques and most media. I use wood-burning and carving for shading, images, and texture.  I use acrylic paints, pigment inks, dyes, and waxes for coloring. Dried seeds, pods, leaves, driftwood, antlers, beads, charms, coins, and many other decorative items can be used to rim or to embellish the gourd and to expand on the story told by the gourd.

In addition to crafting gourds which I sell at shows, markets, and online, I also teach classes in gourd craft to individuals, garden clubs, and other interested groups.