Griffin to Host Georgia Gourd Society 2013 Gourdfest

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For the second year, Griffin has been chosen as the location for the Georgia Gourd Society’s 2013 annual festival and competition. The Georgia society is the Pi Chapter of the American Gourd Society, an organization promoting interest in all activities relating to gourds, including cultivation, historical uses, gourd show competition, craft work and artistic decoration. This year’s show will be held September 28 & 29, 2013 in the Kiwanis building at the Kiwanis Fairgrounds.

The show will feature the work of gourd artists and craft people from around the state competing for awards in skill levels from novice to grand master. Other activities will include educational demonstrations and literature, “make and take” classes and tutorials and historical displays. Vendors will also be on hand offering artist, carving and crafting supplies, gourd art, as well as growers with a generous supply of raw gourds. It looks to be an interesting and fascinating way for the family to spend the day, and the best part is admission is free.

The Georgia Gourd Society is made up of eight local clubs, called “patches”, which are scattered throughout the state. Local society members are now looking at forming a patch in the Griffin area. The group would meet for a couple hours once a month to exchange ideas, learn from experienced artists, improve skills and enjoy the company of like-minded people. Men and women looking for a new hobby are welcome as well as visitors and the curious. Those interested or seeking more information about the new patch can contact Dennis McDonald at

Gourds are believed to be the first plants cultivated by ancient man. They have been used throughout history for everything from bowls, eating utensils and food storage to musical instruments, ceremonial masks and jewelry. Techniques used by cultures past and present to decorate gourds include coiling, weaving, carving, pyroengraving (wood burning), painting and dyeing. You can see all these techniques and uses at the 2013 Gourdfest this September.

Visit the Georgia and American Gourd Society’s websites for details and membership information, historical background and photographs of gourd art from past shows. There are also free tutorials on a number of topics relating to gourd art and crafting.

Dennis McDonald is a local gourd artist and member of the Georgia Gourd Society.

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