4/18/2013 1:12:00 PM Elkhart Artisan Craft Fair This Weekend Features Gourd Artist
ELKHART — The Elkhart Artisan Craft Fair will be Saturday April 20, Sunday, April 21, Saturday April 27, and Sunday April 28 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in historic downtown Elkhart. As part of their April “Celebrate Spring!” Weekends, Elkhart is proud to announce that the fair’s 2013 featured artist will be Liz Drake, gourd artist from Springfield.
Drake has won blue ribbons for her gourd art at the 2008-2012 Illinois State Fairs, including the “Best in Hobbies” award in 2011 and 2012 and “Best in Show Floral” in 2010. She has exhibited and won blue ribbons in the Illinois Gourd Society Annual Show 2008-2011 and the Kentucky Gourd Society Annual Show 2009-2011.
She published and illustrated the book “Bedtime Stories for our Gourdchildren” that includes folk tales featuring gourds, and is the founding member of The Lost Gourd Society. Active in the Illinois Gourd Society, Drake holds the position of District Illinois Co-Director and is a member of the American Gourd Society.
In explaining her art, Drake says, “When I work with gourds, the world fades away and leaves me totally free to hear the whispers, the stories, the songs and the delights as well as the tears and struggles of growth that comes with the maturity of the fruit.
There is a depth of layers to explore and enjoy. When I release the voice of the gourd, even the casual viewer experiences the beauty.” Sharing her talents, Drake has taught classes in gourd art at Morton Arboretum, Springfield Ceramics and Crafts Club, Lincoln Memorial Gardens Indian Summer Festival, the Lost Gourd Society and Cross Evangelical Lutheran School in Yorkville, Illinois.
She has shared her experiences as a gourd artist with the Springfield Civic Garden Club, POE groups, the Master Gardeners and Chautauqua group. Drake tells others that “each gourd leads me to find the colors and embellishments that will allow it to sing.”
With over 20 booths, local crafters at Elkhart’s Artisan Craft Fair will showcase all types of hand-made items to purchase, including children’s items, jewelry, wood crafts, bags and totes, walking sticks and canes, hand sewn items, purses, wine glasses, and tarts and warmers for shoppers.