Competition Categories, Divisions, and Entry Classes



There are three Categories in the SMGS Competition.  The Categories are Growers, Crafted Gourds and Other.  The Crafted Gourds Category has five Divisions:  Youth, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Masters. 

 

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact: Nancy Amburgey  — amburgey21@centurytel.net

Category 1: Growers

The Growers Category are for entries of gourds in their natural state.

  • Gourds must have been grown by the exhibitor.
  • Gourds must have stems, be mature, and true to type.
  • Gourds must be clean of outer skin, unfinished, and uncut.
  • Gourds must not have any stain, oil, or wax applied to them.

Judging Points for Growers

  • 50% Cultural Perfection: mature, clean, and free of imperfections, such as bug scars, etc.
  • 50% True to Type: represents the ideal shape and size of its type name

Growers Entry Classes

  1. Largest – Circumference; measured at widest diameter. 
  2. Smallest – Height (length) and Circumference combined; Both measurements added together and the circumference to be measured at widest diameter. 
  3. Longest and Straightest – Dipper gourd 
  4. Shortest and Straightest – Dipper gourd 
  5. Longest – Long gourd or snake gourd, not a dipper gourd, measured straight from top   to bottom. 
  6. Odd or Unusual – Deformity as a result of natural growth; not hand-trained or artificially malformed or constricted.
  7. Hand-trained – One dried, cleaned, hand trained gourd (knotted or twisted during growth); Green cleaned preferred but not required.  (Any manipulated or molded gourd grown by the entrant since 2009 when the JSA (Jim Story Award) was established is eligible for entry this year, provided it has not won a previous JSA competition.  This class will be judged according to the JSA criteria.Winners of this class may be eligible to compete for the Jim Story Award in the American Gourd Society (AGS) competition.  Please refer to the AGS website and read the requirements for this award if interested in advancing to the Jim Story level as the requirements are very specific for entry.  Please notify the Competition Chair if pursuing the Jim Story Award, as additional information may  need to be submitted to the AGS by the grower and the Competition Chair.
  8. Molded – Grown in a commercial or homemade mold.  (Any manipulated or molded gourd grown by the entrant since 2009 when the JSA (Jim Story Award) was established is eligible for entry this year, provided it has not won a previous JSA competition.  This class will be judged according to the JSA criteria.Winners of this class may be eligible to compete for the Jim Story Award in the American Gourd Society (AGS) competition.  Please refer to the AGS website and read the requirements for this award if interested in advancing to the Jim Story level as the requirements are very specific for entry.  Please notify the Competition Chair if pursuing the Jim Story Award, as additional information may  need to be submitted to the AGS by the grower and  the Competition Chair.)
  9. Conformation – 3 gourds of any variety that are identical in size and shape. 
  10. Luffa – 3 dried, prepared (peeled), and identical in size.

 


Category 2: Crafted Gourds

The Crafted Gourds Category is for entries that are have been altered, or crafted, from the natural state and includes five Divisions: Youth, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Masters.  A description of each of the Crafted Gourds Divisions and entry classes  follows.  It is the responsibility of the individual to make certain that their entries are placed into the correct Division.  An individual may enter into only one Division within the Crafted Gourds Category.  They may enter multiple classes within a Division, but only one entry for each class.

  • All crafting and artistic work must be done by the exhibitor.
  • Gourds may be purchased for crafting and should be of good quality.
  • If the gourd is cut (opened), it must be cleaned and finished on the inside as well as on the outside.  If there is a stem, it must also be cleaned and finished. 
  • In the past only natural accessories were allowed for any embellishments.  We do realize that there are a great number of new artificially made products that can be used that will not detract from the natural beauty of gourd art if used appropriately.  Acrylic paints, Apoxie-Sculpt, Quick wood, plastic armatures to allow moving parts (if not visible), etc. While this rule is being loosened to allow less restriction to our artists please keep in mind the spirit of the rule which is to keep the gourd art as natural as possible.  Art that has obvious artificial embellishments will not score as high as those with all natural embellishments.
  • Natural accessories include wood, dried plant material, seeds, shells, stones, sand, glass, bone, feathers, wool and small amounts of clay, metal, etc.
  • Artificial flowers, plastics or synthetic man-made materials (glitter, Styrofoam, etc.,) are not permitted as embellishments (unless the Competition Class Description states otherwise).
  • Plastic beads are allowed only in four classes of competition (Class #35, #39, #65, #81).
  • A clear finish, such as wax or varnish is acceptable on all entries.

Judging Points for ALL Crafted Gourds

  • 50% Workmanship:  skill, technique and attention to detail
  • 40% Creativity:  originality and impact of design; use of color and line; enhancement of gourds natural beauty and shape.
  • 10% Gourd Quality:  gourd variety, size, shape and structure “fit” well with the overall design used.

Crafted Gourds — Youth Division

The Youth Division is divided into Gourd Crafting Competition Classes based on age.  This Division is for youth up to 17 years.  The goal of this Division is to introduce young people to the "world of gourds" and the wide variety of crafting that is possible using gourds.  All types of gourd art may be entered.  ­

 

A young person who feels they can compete at a higher level is welcome to do so.  However; they MUST choose only one division to enter.  Once they win a blue ribbon in the Novice division, the next year they will then have to participate in the Intermediate division regardless of their age. 

 

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons as well as “participation” ribbons will be awarded in each age group of the Youth Division.

  • The Youth Division is divided into Gourd Crafting Competition Classes based on age. The age groups in the Youth Division are: 5 and under, 6–8 years, 9–11 years, 12–14 years, and 15–17 years.
  • All work must be done by the child.  
  • Bases/Stands may be made by an adult to help display gourds or to help them stand on the table securely and will not be judged.
  • The Youth division is not restricted to natural embellishments only and are free to use any items on the gourd to complete their project.  The gourd must remain predominant.
  • K-12 art teachers, 4-H leaders, Scout troop leaders and parents are encouraged to plan “gourd art projects” for young people that can result in entries in this Gourd Festival.

Youth Entry Classes

  1. Five-years old and under – One crafted gourd; any theme; any technique. 
  2. Six–Eight years old – One crafted gourd; any theme; any technique. 
  3. Nine–Eleven  years old – One crafted gourd; any theme; any technique. 
  4. Twelve–fourteen years old– One crafted gourd; any theme; any technique. 
  5. Fifteen–Seventeen years old – One crafted gourd; any theme; any technique.

Crafted Gourds — Novice Division

The Novice Division is for gourd crafters/artists who are relatively new to gourd crafting and have not won a blue ribbon in the Novice Division.  Once you win a blue ribbon you MUST move up to the Intermediate Division. It is not necessary to enter the Novice Division if you feel you are working at a higher level.  If you win Best of Show they MUST move up to the Masters Division. You MUST choose only one Division to enter in the Crafted Gourds Category. 

 

Novice Entry Classes Based on Techniques

  1. Beaded – Whole or cut gourd; beading design must predominate; see “Gourd Crafting Terms & Definitions” for details on various types of beading; this is a class in which plastic or acrylic beads may be used.
  2. Carved – Relief-carved; surface-carved to create texture; chipped, chiseled or power-carved; does not penetrate or cut entirely through the gourd shell; may embellish with color.
  3. Clay – Whole or cut gourd; clay design must predominate.  Any type of air-dry clay, oven baked clay or epoxy clay may be used.
  4. Combination of Techniques – Whole or cut gourd; at least 3 different techniques must be used; MUST submit a list of the techniques used, to be displayed with your entry.
  5. Painted – Painting must predominate; may use acrylic, enamel, oils, watercolor, etc.
  6. Pyrography with or without color – Woodburned design must predominate; cut or whole gourd; cut edges may be laced; color may be added (i.e. stain, ink or dye also allowed).
  7. Weaving – Whole or cut gourd; weaving design must predominate.  It can include Tenerife, but must not include coiling, kumihimo or braiding.  Reference AGS Judging Guidelines by Category (2013).

Novice Entry Classes Based on Themes

  1. Bowl, Vase, Basket with Handle(s) – Any combination of techniques. Natural embellishments allowed.  Handle(s) may be a part of the gourd, or may be made of any natural material.  Can be functional or decorative.
  2. Fantasy Plant or Creature – Any technique allowed.  The entries can depict a magical or supernatural the me.  It can overlap with science fiction and include steampunk, dragons, wizards, fairies, etc..  
  3. Gourd Doll/Spirit Figure – constructed entirely of gourds; clay or wood filler may be used to seal or smooth joints); any combination of techniques; small amount of natural accessories allowed.
  4. Mixed Media – Utilize a range or combination of different media or materials.  Examples of possible materials are paints, papers, fabrics, found objects, photos, fibers, natural items, inks, pastels, pencils, etc.  Materials may be natural or man-made. At least 3 different media and/or materials must be used; MUST submit a list of the media and materials used, to be displayed with your entry.
  5. My Way! – Your unique gourd crafting that fits no other competition class.   This Class will be judged on:  the unique character/design of the crafted gourd; use of new/unusual techniques or combination of techniques and natural accessories or embellishments; artistic impact; and skilled workmanship.
  6. Seasonal – Any season; any combination of techniques.
  7. 2017 Theme “A Gourd Day at the Zoo” – Gourd that focuses on the festival theme for the year. Any combination of techniques and any natural embellishments allowed.
  8. Wall Hangings/Masks – Any techniques.  Natural embellishments allowed.  Must be ready to hang on the wall or have a display stand. May be mounted on a board, canvas, or in a frame. Masks without a display stand MUST have a hanger so they can be hung for display at the show. 
  9. Wearable – Jewelry, hats, purses, etc. Any combination of techniques.  Sets (such as jewelry) MUST be displayed in a box, case, on a board or stand, but the method of display will not be judged. Masks are not included in this category as they are categorized with wall hangings.

Crafted Gourds — Intermediate Division

This Division is for crafters/artists who understand and use basic techniques.  They may have sold gourds but have not taught a gourd class for a fee.  If they have won five blue ribbons at the Intermediate Division, they MUST move up to the Advanced Division.  If they have won Best of Show they MUST move up to the Masters Division.  You may enter a higher Division if you feel you are working at the next level.  You MUST choose only one Division to enter in the Crafted Gourds Category.

 

Intermediate Entry Classes Based on Technique

  1. Beaded – Whole or cut gourd; beading design must predominate; see “Gourd Crafting Terms & Definitions” for details on various types of beading; this is a class in which plastic or acrylic beads may be used.
  2. Carved – Relief-carved; surface-carved to create texture; chipped, chiseled or power-carved; does not penetrate or cut entirely through the gourd shell; may embellish with color.
  3. Carved and Cut Combination – Design combines carved surface texture as well as penetrating “cut-through-the-shell”  fret-work/filigree/lattice-work; any combination of color, finish and natural embellishment may be added.
  4. Clay - Whole or cut gourd; clay design must predominate.  Any type of air-dry clay, oven baked clay or epoxy clay may be used.
  5. Coiled - Whole or cut gourd; coiling design must predominate.  MUST not include weaving.  Reference - AGS Judging Guidelines by Category (2013).
  6. Combination of Techniques – Whole or cut gourd; at least 3 different techniques must be used; MUST submit a list of the techniques used, to be displayed with your entry.
  7. Covered Container – Lid may be part of the gourd or constructed from natural materials; any combination of techniques.
  8. Painted – Painting must predominate; may use acrylic, enamel, oils, watercolor, etc.
  9. Pyrography with or without color – Woodburned design must predominate; cut or whole gourd; cut edges may be laced; color may be added (i.e. stain, ink or dye also allowed).
  10. Sculpture – Multiple gourds used to make one sculpture. Gourds must predominate the piece; clay or wood filler may be added to the gourd surface to create a 3-D design and seal or smooth joints; must cover no more than 30% of the gourd surface; additional techniques may be used to complete the design;  limited natural embellishments may be added..
  11. Weaving – Whole or cut gourd; weaving design must predominate.  It can include Tenerife, but must not include coiling, kumihimo or braiding.  Reference - AGS Judging Guidelines by Category (2013).

Intermediate Entry Classes Based on Theme

  1. Abstract Design – Whole or cut gourd; design that incorporates color, line and texture; any combination of techniques.
  2. American South-West Design – Whole or cut gourd; designs that incorporate western landscape, flora, fauna ranching or cowboy motifs; any combination of techniques.
  3. Bowl, Vase, Basket with Handle(s) – Any combination of techniques. Natural embellishments allowed.  Handle(s) may be a part of the gourd, or may be made of any natural material.  Can be functional or decorative.
  4. Fantasy Plant or Creature – Any technique allowed.  The entries can depict a magical or supernatural theme.  It can overlap with science fiction and include steampunk, dragons, wizards, fairies, etc.
  5. Gourd Doll/Spirit Figure – constructed entirely of gourds; clay or wood filler may be used to seal or smooth joints); any combination of techniques; small amount of natural accessories allowed.
  6. Gourds in Motion – Gourd art that incorporates a mechanism for allowing motion.  An existing robot, car, or anything can be used as long as it is covered by gourds.   Any combination of techniques.
  7. Luminary – Cut gourd with light source insert; any combination of techniques.  A photo may be included with the entry showing the lighted luminary in a darkened room.  Quality of illumination will impact judge’s decision.
  8. MIxed Media – Utilize a range or combination of different media or materials.  Examples of possible materials are paints, papers, fabrics, found objects, photos, fibers, natural items, inks, pastels, pencils, etc.  Materials may be natural or man-made.  At least 3 different media and/or materials must be used; MUST submit a list of the media and materials used, to be displayed with your entry.
  9. My Way! – Your unique gourd crafting that fits no other competition class.  This Class will be judged on:  the unique character/design of the crafted gourd; use of new/unusual techniques or combination of techniques and natural accessories or embellishments; artistic impact; and skilled workmanship.
  10. Native American Design – Whole or cut gourd; designs that incorporate cultural, tribal, historical or ceremonial motifs of Native American origin or use; any combination of techniques allowed.
  11. Seasonal – Any season; any combination of techniques.
  12. Table or Desk Lamp – functional with electrical insert; shade must be made from a gourd; base and column may be made from a gourd or wood or may be purchased; any combination of techniques.
  13. 2017 Theme “A Gourd Day at the Zoo” – Gourd that focuses on the festival theme for the year. Any combination of techniques and any natural embellishments allowed.
  14. Wall Hanging/Masks – Any techniques. Natural embellishments allowed. Must be ready to hang on the wall or have a display stand. May be mounted on a board, canvas, or in a frame. Masks without a display stand MUST have a hanger so they can be hung for display at the show.
  15. Wearable – Jewelry, hats, purses, etc.  Any combination of techniques. Sets (such as jewelry) MUST be displayed in a box, case, on a board or stand, but the method of display will not be judged.  Masks are not included in this category as they are categorized with wall hangings.

Crafted Gourds — Advanced Division

The Advanced Division is for artists who have progressed to a more complicated level of work.  The artist MUST be good at multiple techniques and finishing skills.  All work MUST be the artist’s original design.  They may have taught a gourd class for a fee but are not showing their work in fine art galleries and have not won  Best of Show.  If they have won Best of Show they MUST move up to the Masters Division. You MUST choose only one Division to enter in the Crafted Gourds Category.

 

Advanced Entry Classes Based on Technique

  1. Beaded – Whole or cut gourd; beading design must predominate; see “Gourd Crafting Terms & Definitions” for details on various types of beading; this is a class in which plastic or acrylic beads may be used.
  2. Carved – Relief-carved; surface-carved to create texture; chipped, chiseled or power-carved; does not penetrate or cut entirely through the gourd shell; may embellish with color.
  3. Carved and Cut Combination – Design combines carved surface texture as well as penetrating “cut-through-the-shell”  fret-work/filigree/lattice-work; any combination of color, finish and natural embellishment may be added.
  4. Clay - Whole or cut gourd; clay design must predominate.  Any type of air-dry clay, oven baked clay or epoxy clay may be used.
  5. Coiled - Whole or cut gourd; coiling design must predominate.  Must not include weaving.  Reference - AGS Judging Guidelines by Category (2013).
  6. Colored Pencil – Whole or cut gourd; colored pencil must predominate; may use limited woodburning.
  7. Combination of Techniques – Whole or cut gourd; at least 3 different techniques demonstrating advanced skills must be used; MUST submit a list of the techniques used, to be displayed with  your entry.
  8. Covered Container – Lid may be part of the gourd or constructed from natural materials; any combination of techniques.
  9. Cut/Filigree or Fret-work – Design that cuts entirely through the gourd shell; color may be added.
  10. Inlay – Any natural material, e.g., stone, bone, or shell beads, may be fitted into the carved gourd surface.  ”Inlace” type materials are acceptable in this category.
  11. Painted – Painting must predominate; may use acrylic, enamel, oils, watercolor, etc.
  12. Pen and Ink – Line-drawn design must predominate; any color or color combination; add a finish to seal drawing; whole or cut gourd.
  13. Pyrography with or without color – Woodburned design must predominate; cut or whole gourd; cut edges may be laced; color may be added (i.e. stain, ink or dye also allowed).
  14. Sculpture – Multiple gourds used to make one sculpture.  Gourds must predominate the piece; clay or wood filler may be added to the gourd surface to create a 3-D design and seal or smooth joints; must cover no more than 30% of the gourd surface; additional techniques may be used to complete the design;  limited natural embellishments may be added..
  15. Weaving – Whole or cut gourd; weaving design must predominate.  It can include Tenerife, but must not include coiling, kumihimo or braiding.  Reference - AGS Judging Guidelines by Category (2013).

Advanced Entry Classes Based on Theme

  1. Abstract Design – Whole or cut gourd; design that incorporates color, line and texture; any combination of techniques.
  2. American South-West Design – Whole or cut gourd; designs that incorporate western landscape, flora, fauna ranching or cowboy motifs; any combination of techniques.
  3. Bowl, Vase, Basket with Handle(s) – Any combination of techniques. Natural embellishments allowed.  Handle(s) may be a part of the gourd, or may be made of any natural material.  Can be functional or decorative.
  4. Fantasy Plant or Creature - Any technique allowed.  The entries can depict a magical or supernatural theme.  It can overlap with science fiction and include steampunk, dragons, wizards, fairies, etc.
  5. Gourd Doll/Spirit Figure – constructed entirely of gourds; clay or wood filler may be used to seal or smooth joints); any combination of techniques; small amount of natural accessories allowed.
  6. Gourds in Motion – Gourd art that incorporates a mechanism for allowing motion.  An existing robot, car, or anything can be used as long as it is covered by gourds.   Any combination of techniques.
  7. Luminary – Cut gourd with light source insert; any combination of techniques.  A photo may be included with the entry showing the lighted luminary in a darkened room.  Quality of illumination will impact judge’s decision.
  8. MIxed Media - Utilize a range or combination of different media or materials.  Examples of possible materials are paints, papers, fabrics, found objects, photos, fibers, natural items, inks, pastels, pencils, etc.  Materials may be natural or man-made. At least 3 different media and/or materials must be used; MUST submit a list of the media and materials used, to be displayed with your entry.
  9. Musical Instrument – Any combination of techniques; must be playable.
  10. My Way! – Your unique gourd crafting that fits no other competition class.  This Class will be judged on:  the unique character/design of the crafted gourd; use of new/unusual techniques or combination of techniques and natural accessories or embellishments; artistic impact; and skilled workmanship.
  11. Native American Design – Whole or cut gourd; designs that incorporate cultural, tribal, historical or ceremonial motifs of Native American origin or use; any combination of techniques allowed.
  12. Seasonal - Any season; any combination of techniques.
  13. Table or Desk Lamp – functional with electrical insert; shade must be made from a gourd; base and column may be made from a gourd or wood; any combination of techniques.
  14. 2017 Theme “A Gourd Day at the Zoo” – Gourd that focuses on the festival theme for the year. Any combination of techniques and any natural embellishments allowed.
  15. Wall Hanging/Masks – Any techniques.  Natural embellishments allowed.  Must be ready to hang on the wall or have a display stand.  May be mounted on a board, canvas, or in a frame. Masks without a display stand MUST have a hanger so they can be hung for display at the show.
  16. Wearable – Jewelry, hats, purses, etc.  Any combination of techniques.  Sets (such as jewelry) MUST be displayed in a box, case, on a board or stand, but the method of display will not be judged.  Masks are not included in this category as they are categorized with wall hangings.

Crafted Gourds — Masters Division

This Division is for artist’s work that shows excellent use of multiple techniques and finishing skills.  All work MUST be the artist’s original design.  Their work may have been shown in art galleries, may have won top awards in competition or have reached the level of Fine Art.  If you have previously won Best of Show, you MUST enter at the Master Craftsman Division.  You MUST choose only one Division to enter in the Crafted Gourds Category.  First, second, and third place “Master Craftsman” ribbons will be awarded in each of the Master Craftsman competition classes. 

 

Masters Entry Classes Based on Technique

  1. Carved – Relief-carved; surface-carved to create texture; chipped, chiseled or power-carved; does not penetrate or cut entirely through the gourd shell; may embellish with color.
  2. Carved and Cut Combination – Design combines carved surface texture as well as penetrating “cut-through-the-shell” fret-work/filigree/lattice-work; any combination of color, finish and natural embellishment may be added..
  3. Clay – Whole or cut gourd; clay design must predominate.  Any type of air-dry clay, oven baked clay or epoxy clay may be used.
  4. Combination of techniques – Whole or cut gourd; any theme; at least 4 different techniques demonstrating advanced skills must be used; MUST submit a list of the techniques used, to be displayed with your gourd.
  5. Cut/Filigree or Fret-work – Design that cuts entirely through the gourd shell; color may be added.
  6. Painted – Painting must predominate; may use acrylic, enamel, oils, watercolor, etc.
  7. Pyrography with or without color – Woodburned design must predominate; cut or whole gourd; cut edges may be laced;  color may be added (i.e. stain, ink or dye also allowed).
  8. Sculpture – Multiple gourds used to make one sculpture.  Gourds must predominate the piece; clay or wood filler may be added to the gourd surface to create a 3-D design and seal or smooth joints; must cover no more than 30% of the gourd surface; additional techniques may be used to complete the design; limited natural embellishments may be added.  

Masters Entry Classes Based on Theme

  1. Bowl, Vase, Basket with Handle(s) – Any combination of techniques. Natural embellishments allowed.  Handle(s) may be a part of the gourd, or may be made of any natural material.  Can be functional or decorative.
  2. Fantasy Plant or Creature – Any technique allowed.  The entries can depict a magical or supernatural theme.  It can overlap with science fiction and include steampunk, dragons, wizards, fairies, etc.
  3. Gourd Doll/Spirit Figure – constructed entirely of gourds; clay or wood filler may be used to seal or smooth joints); any combination of techniques; small amount of natural accessories allowed.
  4. Gourds in Motion – Gourd art that incorporates a mechanism for allowing motion.  An existing robot, car, or anything can be used as long as it is covered by gourds. Any combination of techniques.
  5. Mixed Media – Utilize a range or combination of different media or materials.  Examples of possible materials are paints, papers, fabrics, found objects, photos, fibers, natural items, inks, pastels, pencils, etc.  Materials may be natural or man-made.  At least 3 different media and/or materials must be used; MUST submit a list of the media and materials used, to be displayed with your entry.
  6. Musical Instrument – Any technique or combination of techniques; must be playable.  
  7. My Way! – Your unique gourd crafting that fits no other competition class.  This Class will be judged on:  the unique character/design of the crafted gourd; use of new/unusual techniques or combination of techniques and natural accessories or embellishments; artistic impact; and skilled workmanship.
  8. 2017 Theme “A Gourd Day at the Zoo” – Gourd that focuses on the festival theme for the year. Any combination of techniques and any natural embellishments allowed.
  9. Wall Hanging/Masks – Any techniques.  Natural embellishments allowed.  Must be ready to hang on the wall or have a display stand.  May be mounted on a board, canvas, or in a frame. Masks without a display stand MUST have a hanger so they can be hung for display at the show.

Category 3: Other

All may enter these classes even if you have entered in other divisions.

 

Other Entry Classes

  1. “Gourds in other Media” Item – An art/craft item which is not made with gourds but has a gourd subject or theme such as painting, sketch, photograph, writing, beadwork, lathed gourd shapes, quilt, embroidery, stained glass, leather tooling, pottery, etc 
  2. Pen and Ink Challenge – Line-drawn design must predominate; any color or color combination; add a finish to seal drawing; whole or cut gourd.   The purpose of this class is to encourage artists to stretch and  try a technique that is new to them without making them compete at a more difficult level.  Please do not enter this challenge if you are already doing this technique and have won any ribbons for it.