Exploration continues…

Having a blast exploring the floral beading patterns of the Eastern Woodland and Great Lakes area Indians. Some of the ancient symbolism looks awesome in solid black. It may look a little disjointed in a group, but I’m confident my artistic stamp will pull it all together. Also, I’m anticipating the arrival of some antlers from a trade. Shed antlers make enchanting gourd basket handles. I have some gourds in reserve especially for these baskets.



Kalamazoo Living History Show

Exhibit Hall

This is a rare slow time at the Gentry Gourds booth at the  Kalamazoo Living History Show.  We were placed in one of three exhibit halls that are all full of merchants that  represent time periods from the 1750s through the 1890s.

It is nice not having to setup a tent, brave the weather, and carry all of the things we use at a reenactment, especially in March.  Being our first indoor event, we were a little unsure how things would go, like where we would dig the fire pit.

Antler Gourds and color experiments

So, I love making large gourd vessels with shed deer antlers as “handles”.  With a new shipment of dried gourds staring me in the face, (even though I have more than enough finished gourds for the next show) I decided to use my last two remaining antlers.

I cut open two huge gourds and colored the insides  black. In my opinion, these look best in natural colors, with pine-needle rims. The pine-needles do the best job of attaching the antler handle. The problem is I ran out of brown and yellow dye. So I hauled out some old, half-frozen brown wood stain. I applied it, but it wouldn’t dry. Tacky all day. Added some purple alcohol ink on top, hoping to soften it. Purple being the closest to brown that I have. That helped, but it looked incomplete. Lettuce green might warm it up and give it some depth. (I know, sounds crazy) The green disolved all of the purple and most of the brown stain, leaving a mustard gold under layer with streaks of dark brown, looking remarkably like old wood. Perfect.

Now for the pine needle coiled rim. Lazy me decided to mix up the leftover colors of dyed long leaf pine needles instead of hunting for more. Multi-colored rim! It worked perfectly, the loops secured the antler to the gourd. I had good light for a living room photo of the completed gourd.

I made another one in a persimmon color and black pine-needles.

And finally, some fun with color combinations on these small pots.


Good news: I found a very nice person who was willing to trade shed antlers for a gourd bowl. So awesome!


Kalamazoo in one week!

One week until the Kalamazoo Living History Show in Michigan. It’s a long running, BIG indoor show at the Expo Center. First time for us, so we’re excited. Friends have said we won’t be sorry.

The bins are all packed and ready to load in the truck. Although, I’m working on a new technique, (Oak leaf pattern is pictured above) and might squeeze in a few more gourds.

We’ll be dressed in period appropriate clothing for the event, 1750’s. It’s time to shake out my stays (corset) and iron my dress.

Thanks to hubby’s skills in the workshop, I have a new display to use for my gourd necklaces and other hanging gourds.

Sneak peak at my practice gourd for learning to carve on gourds.

Carved gourd vase



2018 Schedule of Events

This year we are adding a new event, the Kalamazoo Living History Show in Kalamazoo, MI  at the Expo Center on the fairgrounds, March 17-18, 2018. It’s an indoor event with tables and booths, people dressed in pre-1840 clothing.  We have 3 tables reserved. I’ve been working hard to get ready for this first event of the year.


Feast of the St. Claire in Port Huron, MI is a nice French and Indian War time period event that we really enjoy. The weather is great, never hot since it’s so far North. Love being on the the big port and watching boats go to and from Canada. A great way to spend Memorial Day weekend. May 26-27, 2018


Koh-Koh-Mah & Foster Living History Encampment in Kokomo, In is a lovely event with a large Eastern Woodland Natives component and an emphasis on historical accuracy.  French and Indian time period. They do a wonderful job organizing, and it really has a family feel. September 15-16, 2018


Last, but certainly not least, The Feast of the Hunter’s Moon at Fort Ouiatenon in West Lafayette, IN.  It’s an awesome event that we’ve been participating in for 15 years.  French and Indian time period. Oct 5-6, 2018








We had fun in 2017!

2017 brought a lot of fun to Gentry Gourds. We participated in 3 historical reenacting events: The Feast of the Hunters Moon in Indiana, Kohkohmah also in Indiana and The Feast of the St. Claire in Michigan. All were fun and profitable, with new and old friends met along the way. Pictures from all of the events will be shown on this post. Yes, we’ve neglected our gourd blog. You’ll see new gourd art techniques, wood burning, Celtic, water bottles and more. We also have a new, smaller and easier tent. 

Countdown to The Feast of the Strawberry Moon

June 13-14 in Grand Haven, Michigan. One month to go! Actually, we have less than a month, as we are taking 10 days out to visit family in Texas.  There are a few pieces  to finish up, lots of tagging and packing to do.

Celtic Knot Gourd

This simple knotwork design has a big impact. Woodburned on a light colored gourd with a waxed finish.

many gourds, one dog

Tagging a selection of gourds with lids. Nelson the dog in the background.

gourds on a rack
Ornament gourds, wood burned and waxed on a new display rack.
Unfinished gourd
Work in progress.  I could use a few more antlers!


fish design on gourd
Three fishes swimming in a Celtic sea