We are delighted to have a fine roster of a dozen instructors in 2023!

Brenda Berryman-Elshof

North Carolina

Brenda has been weaving baskets for over 25 years.  She has taught basket weaving for several years and has been the coordinator for the North Carolina Basketmakers’ Association several times.  A dear friend Jean Sloop-Davis taught her the first coiled basket and from there learned more from Judy Wilson.  Judy also showed how to incorporate gourds with coiling and the rest is history.

Contact Brenda at [email protected]

Cara Bevan

North Carolina

Cara is a self-taught artist from Trinity, NC. She’s been creating art professionally since 2007. Her specialties are realistic acrylic paintings and gourd sculptures of animals. She focuses on details and refined techniques learned through her years of experimenting, combining gourds, wire, and various clays together to create complex creatures. Her work has been in gallery and museum exhibits across the US and sold worldwide online. You can see her work at her website www.carabevan.com .

Contact Cara at [email protected]

Bob and Sherry Briscoe

North Carolina

Sherry has been crafting gourds since 2002; and her husband, Bob joined in that endeavor a couple of years later. The couple has traveled all over the country teaching, vending, and demonstrating. Her wide range of passions involve wood burning, painting, coiling, tenerife, kumihimo, weaving, lacing, carving, and more! Sherry and Bob both run the Giraffes Laffs Art and Craft booth.

Contact Bob & Sherry at [email protected]

Altan Erginkoc


Altan creates free-hanging and wall-mounted, light-emitting wooden gourd works and ceramic sculpture. Originally from Turkey, he has exhibited his artwork internationally, at numerous art fairs and festivals, at the American Craft Council’s American Craft Show in Baltimore, and at the National Folk Festival in Salisbury, Maryland. You can see his work at his website https://gourdlights.com/ .

He is a construction Project Manager and has been working on gourds for over five years.  He was inspired by gourd lamps made for artists from Turkey and Japan.  He only uses natural gourds and transforms them into lampshades.  He intends to bring a more environmentally sustainable lampshade to living spaces instead of plastic.  He hopes to share these ideas with students to joyously transport you and your living space.

Contact Altan at [email protected]

Judi Fleming

North Carolina

Judi has been creating gourd folk art and fine art for nearly 30 years and has won many best of show and gold medals at gourd festivals, fairs and juried art shows.  She has taught gourd classes around most of the east coast and southern United States and does gourd talks and demonstrations from fairs, to garden clubs to historic sites as she enjoys spreading the gourd word about this versatile vegetable.  Judi is the current President of the North Carolina Gourd Society and the 1st Vice President of the American Gourd Society.

Contact Judi at [email protected]

Anna Fountain

South Carolina

Anna has a small business degree that is heavy on the accounting side. She has 20 years in Technical Writing, Illustrating, and training in an industrial environment, and moved into the self-employed side of business doing the book keeping for her husband. She started designing and creating jewelry as a side job and stepped into gourd art accidently, and was hooked forever.

She has been working with gourds for around 15 years and loves it as much or more as the first time she created a bird house and a gourd light. She loves teaching gourd classes and watching her students sometimes take it way beyond where she stopped. It is satisfying to see her designs grow into different things based on the student. She believes heavily in detailed tutorials so students can go back in a year or two and still be able to create what they did in class.

Contact Anna at [email protected]

Robyn Goode

North Carolina

Robyn has been doing art for over 30 years and has a background in fine art. She discovered gourds in 2010 when she went looking for a new media to work with.  She has won many ribbons for her work and is a part of the N.C. Society and American Gourd Society. Robyn teaches gourd art at various festivals and events in NC. She sells her gourd art and fine art at various shows and venues. The joy of meeting people and teaching different techniques is one of her favorite things to do.

Contact Robyn at [email protected]

Wanda Hilton

North Carolina

Wanda is a long-time lover of basket making and has attended many weavers’ retreats and events, creating baskets on her own to give to friends and family. Her interest in gourds and the weaving on gourds started in 2018.  Teaching for the first time at the Mountain Gourd Gathering 2022, she is excited to teach at the NC Gourd Society again this year! 

Contact Wanda at [email protected]

Kristie Hull

South Carolina

Kristie Hull is the social media manager for the South Carolina Gourd Society and one of the managers for the Cypress Gourd Patch, a local patch held in Sumter, South Carolina. She has been creating for most of her life. She started with gourds in 2009. Since then she has come to love creating with gourds, and being a teacher for others. Kristie loves taking things that you wouldn’t think of and creating fun and funky things with them.

Contact Kristie at [email protected]

Barbara McGeachy

North Carolina

Barbara discovered gourds by attending a few NC Gourd Art & Craft festivals starting in 2005.  But she really got crafting with gourds when she took a week-long class at the John C. Campbell Folk School in 2012 with Fonda Haddad. 

She taught basket weaving and gourd art for several years at the NCSU Crafts Center.  Her main hobby is genealogy but she continues to enjoy gourd crafting.  She is happy to take notes at meetings so being the Secretary is a good way for her to contribute to the North Carolina Gourd Society.  She’s been on the festival planning committee for several years.

Contact Barbara at [email protected]

Ana Poma


In this generation, Ana is the only daughter in the family who continues carving gourd. She learned this art from her mother and grandparents. Her objective is to teach traditional technical diversities.

Contact Ana at [email protected]

The July 2023 deadline has passed to apply as an instructor at our November 2023 festival. Check back after November for the 2024 instructor information.