Monday, August 14, 2006

Vidya Sells Some Gourds

preparing gourds on rack

Vidya preparing gourds.

On my way to UPMC Friday, I swung through Wheeling and dropped Vidya off at Enterprise. She was there before it opened at 7:30 AM so she brought a lawn chair to sit in. She needed to rent a vehicle for the weekend to do a show. A last minute opening had come available to do the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival free; normally $150. It was a chance to check out the show and see if she wanted to do it next year. It is a juried show, with 120 crafters. She only does juried shows anymore.

She got the chance through Bill. I used to set up next to him at the Farmer’s Market in Wheeling for years. He also custom grew gourds for us after the deer and groundhogs got too bad for us here. The show organizers had approached him to do the festival. As he had Farmer’s Markets Friday and Saturday, he asked Vidya if she wanted to use the spot to hold it for him. She sold down her inventory Friday and Saturday, so there was room for him Sunday. I am addicted to his blueberries, one of Nature’s powerhouse foods.

The show has booth sitters if you need a break and are alone. The guy who sat in for her turned out to be a retired surgeon. She mentioned to him about my transplant and the esophageal varices bleed I had had prior to the surgery. He said that not too long ago, the bleed would have been fatal. I went with her Sunday, and when he came by, I showed him my scar and he said it was a beautiful job.

She told me I had to go talk to the paper guy. He is someone we had met at a show years ago, and he had recognized her. He makes homemade papers and embosses them to get these great patterns. He embeds floral materials to add colors and textures to the finished products. He frames them, and sells them for up to several hundred dollars a sheet. People buy them because they are unique and beautiful. He was excited to see us, because we had given him some gourd “guts”, the dried pulp of hardshell gourds, and suggested he try them to make paper. He told Vidya it had changed his life (a little overdramatic) as once he figured out the technique, it made paper easily and gave him something to use as a base for his more labor intensive pulps, such as hydrangea blossoms.

I got a chance to catch up with Bill. His son is back from Afghanistan and going into Ranger school. A politician came by who is running for US Congress in place of Bob Ney, and Bill got up and engaged her for 15 minutes about various topics. Threatened to vote Democrat (he is a life long Republican) because he was so disgusted with the state of affairs. It was an interesting Festival.


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