They grow on vines like these in Mike Thompson's gourd patch just outside Raleigh. Long neck gourds and dipper gourds. And if the most you've ever seen done with them is to make martin houses of them, then you will be amazed if you drop by the Gourd Festival Saturday and Sunday in Raleigh. Just about any decorative piece you can make with wood you can make better with a gourd. And all sorts of people are into gourd art nowadays. Susan Byra, president of the Mississippi Gourd Society, says a lot of the appeal is their flexibility.
Susan Byra: They're such different varied shapes that you can pick what you want to do on each individual gourd because one is never the same as the other.
Walt: And each gourd artist brings his or her own individual tastes and interests to the way they do their art. Nature scenes, geometric designs, Christmas decorations. Ken McPhail came home from a vacation to Dollywood with the desire to try his hand at gourd decorating after he saw what they were charging for them there.
Ken McPhail: If you tear something up the most you've lost is a gourd. And I'm growing them. I've got quite a few in the field.
Walt: Sarah Kemp got into gourds while trying to learn the dying art of pine needle basketry. She's incorporated the pine needles into her gourd art.
Sarah Kemp: I enjoy working with my hands. I enjoy creating things. And they make great Christmas presents. They make great decorations. And it keeps me out of trouble.
Walt: Here's what to expect at a gourd festival.
Susan Byra: They will find raw gourds. They will find crafted gourds. They will find gourd tools. We also have 27 different classes. We have teachers coming in from as far away as Arizona, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia. We also have a lot of home-grown teachers here, too. And they will find anything they need to get started or continue working with their gourds.
Walt: Everything you never knew you didn't know about gourds at the gourd festival this weekend at the Smith County Ag Complex in Raleigh.
Ken McPhail: I'm hooked on it. It's my hobby now.
Walt: For the $2.00 admission you might just find your next hobby, too. Saturday and Sunday in Raleigh.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:47 PM EDT2013-06-19 01:47:49 GMT
Jackson Police Chief Rebecca Coleman has turned in her resignation to Mayor Harvey Johnson and will retire from the police force in a matter of days. Chief Coleman, who has served with the Jackson PoliceMore >>
Jackson Police Chief Rebecca Coleman has turned in her resignation to Mayor Harvey Johnson and will retire from the police force in a matter of days.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:31:40 GMT
Ridgeland police officers and Madison County sheriff's deputies have surrounded a house on Bryceland Drive in Ridgeland. Lt. John Neil with the Ridgeland Police Department says a resident called policeMore >>
Ridgeland Chief of Police Jimmy Houston said the standoff in Ridgeland is resolved.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:00 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:00:46 GMT
There is no such thing as sacred ground for some thieves. Two men rob at least four people at a Jackson church. Officer Colendula Green tells us around 6:22 Monday evening the group was standing outsideMore >>
There is no such thing as sacred ground for some thieves. Two men robbed at least four people at a Jackson church Monday night.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:37:58 GMT
An accident that occurred around 3 p.m. Saturday on I-20 W. resulted in at least one fatality. The accident happened between Bovina and Flowers. A bystander told WLBT/WDBD the multi-vehicle accidentMore >>
A second person has died from a multiple-vehicle crash on Interstate 20 in Warren County Saturday.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 1:11 AM EDT2013-06-18 05:11:50 GMT
A two-vehicle accident at the Highway 18 and Springridge Road intersection Saturday, resulted in at least one death. A one-and-a-half year-old died in the accident, according to Hinds County Coroner SharonMore >>
A two-vehicle accident at the Highway 18 and Springridge Road intersection Saturday evening resulted in the death of a toddler. Officials have made an arrest in the death.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 3:26 PM EDT2013-06-17 19:26:53 GMT
Jackson police are investigating what they believe to be a murder-suicide in south Jackson Monday morning. Few details are being released at this time, but Officer Colendula Green confirms one maleMore >>
Jackson police are investigating what they believe to be a murder-suicide in south Jackson and have identified both victims. More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her. Jayden Sink raised nearly $200 on Friday while she sold lemonadeMore >>
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 9:59 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:59:19 GMT
LYNCHBURG, VA (RNN) – Kimberly Burke is used to capturing emotion. As a wedding photographer, she has an eye for tender moments, like the photo she snapped of a Marine and his bride praying that has goneMore >>
A quiet moment captured before a couple wed has brought collective "awws" by millions on the internet.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 8:49 AM EDT2013-06-18 12:49:53 GMT
Simpson County Sheriff's deputies are looking for two inmates who walked off a work detail crew early Monday morning. According to Simpson County Sheriff Kenneth Lewis, Simpson County Adult Detention CenterMore >>
Two Simpson County inmates who walked off a work detail site Monday morning have been recaptured.More >>
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