Linda Callahan: Crazy Gourd Lady!
Linda Callahan, who cheerfully acknowledges she is known as the 'crazy gourd lady,' is a native of Camp Verde, Arizona. She is married to her best friend of 44 years, Butch, and they have two children, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Linda started working with gourds three years ago because she grew them in her yard and didn't know what to do with them. She researched gourd work and developed her own style. She incorporates old western leather, horses, and wildlife into her work.
Gourds are a vining plant. It takes approximately a year to dry the gourds. Then they have to be washed and cleaned before they can be used. Linda starts out with a raw dried gourd and works on it for anywhere between 15 and 100 hours.
Gourds have been used for centuries for utilitarian purposes (bowls, scoops, storage bins, etc.). Archaeologists have found gourds that are thousands of years old. Artists have also been using gourds for years due to their versatility. They can be cut, carved, painted and wood burned. Gourds will last for years.