Workshop Instructors

Our class instructors have years of experience in gourd crafting. We at Northern Dipper are honoured to be able to present so many different talents under one roof.

JENNIFER HENRY wove her first basket in 1991. She has taken numerous courses at the Haliburton School of Art & has studied with both Canadian and American basket makers. She uses pine needles, reed, willow, or whatever is available to weave with. As a basket maker, the discovery of gourds as an art form opened the door to elaborate pine needle & reed rims. Jennifer has shown her art in Peterborough at Autumn Treasures, in Toronto at the Cabbagetown Fall Festival, & at the Basketry Network Show & Sale. She was a guest demonstration artist in Toronto at the One of a Kind Craft Show in December 2002. Jennifer is a member of the Basketry Network, the Canadian Gourd Society, the South Western Ontario Basketry Guild, and the American Gourd Society.


CAROLYN COOPER is one of the owners of Northern Dipper Farms. Originally a woodworker designing whimsical creations and reproduction furniture, she quickly feel in love with gourds. The love of growing gourds and creating with them quickly resulted in the woodworking being set aside.

SIOUX GEORGE became addicted to gourds in November, 2000 after taking a basic gourd class. Since then she has traveled far and wide to attend classes, buy gourds, sell gourds and give classes.

Her first project involved sewing a zipper into a gourd, and her latest joy is gourd purses. Her reputation for "thinking outside the box" is reinforced by this corner-less media.

She is currently a member of the California Gourd Society, the Calabash Connection patch, and the Santa Cruz Gourd and Basket patch.

Dena Lee is the daughter of Appalachians and Cherokees of the Eastern US. She has been making mountain music since she was born. Now she shares her knowledge of building gourd instruments through workshops and demonstrations. She has a studio in Cookstown, Ontario called Story Gourd Workshop. You can follow pictures of the instruments she makes at "...let it begin with me."

Elizabeth Gordon was born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut and has now lived in Ontario for over 20 yrs.As a child she was taught to sew by her mother and great aunt. At first she learned how to make little seal skin oopiks to sell to tourists and then on to making leather mitts, beaded slippers and duffel socks. She watched and learned as they made outer wear such as parkas and kamiks. The elder gourd has a special place in her heart. She started out making elders faces out of polymer clay in loving memory of the elders that she grew up with. As a child would marvel at the creases and folds of elders faces. She remembered asking her grandmother and her sisters if she could touch their wrinkled and aged faces and was always amazed at how soft they were. She would sit and list to them telling stories of her family and history and customs of Inuit. When she started working with gourds, it was natural to put a face on their ever versatile gourd and just to look at one brings back so many memories.
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