About

Hello I’m Karen Brown and I live in Alaska, Michigan with my husband and our cats. I’ve known I was going to be an artist when I was a child just not what kind of artist.  I moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1977 to attend Kendal School of Art and Design to study illustration.  After two years of study I dropped out because the thought of doing just drawings for the rest of my life didn’t appeal to me. I found my calling after my husband and I bought our home. I being a farm kid had to have a garden, and along with my seed order came a packet of free gourd seeds. I planted them and got fifty gourds that first year. I had no idea what to do with them so I went to our local library and read up on gourds. I found out I had six months to a year for them to dry out before I could make anything out of them. In the mean time I read everything in the Kent County library system on gourds and then went online. Where I found a whole world of people who love and work with gourds and there are gourd shows too! There was a show in Ohio near my birthday, I signed up for a few days of vacation from work and called for a show catalog. I was having flashbacks when I got the catalog for the show, one hundred thirty-seven classes to enter a single piece into and the show was held on a fair grounds. I got busy and made twenty-two items for the show and I brought home eleven ribbons, I was hooked. I can do anything I want on a gourd, I can carve them, paint, wood burn, pen and ink, color pencils, weave, and so much more. I had found the medium I was looking for. Gourds make my soul sing. And my addiction to them is still strong. I do enjoy carving wood but gourds will always come first in my heart. I started in gourd art back in 1997, and started teaching gourd art classes 2005. Teaching mainly at gourd show and later at wood carving events as well. I competed with my artwork and earned  a grand and reserve champion ribbons, four best in shows, three best in divisions, fourteen best in category, and six people’s choice awards. As well as having two of my pieces published in two separate books. I’ve have backed off of my teaching schedule to focus on my own artwork  and this business, but still do offer class in our home and at a few events each year. I think my upbringing on the farm with eighty acres in the land forest program I spent countless hours playing in the woods among the trees. Hunting mushrooms in the spring and hunting in the fall. The calmness and peace I feel when I out among the forest trees is what inspires my artwork, I hope you feel the same when you see it. Thank you for your time.

Karen Brown