Laurens Cotten- Juried Artist

Laurens was an Industrial Arts teacher in Shelby County for 30 years. Upon his retirement in 2011 he and his wife bought a house on the side of Shades Mountain in Bluff Park. He was able to carve out enough level land to build a workshop which is nestled among the rhododendron and sandstone cliffs.

His work reflects his love and respect for nature. His materials come from small local mills using wood from sustainable urban sources. His boxes and furniture are both organic and architectural. Each piece is one of a kind. His work is guided by the spirit of the wood. There is more of this artist's work on this web site; click here to see it.


Dwight Hostetter - JURIED Artist

Dwight Hostetter is an avid woodworking hobbyist who has been involved in woodworking for about 36 years. His first major wood working tool was a Shop Smith, but over the years has accumulated most major wood working tools and equipment. Dwight loves to work with wood. He is in his basement shop almost every day working on various wood projects. He has built everything from strip canoes to baby beds and cradles and lots more. The majority of his work is one-time projects, though he has made duplicates from time to time.

Bill Payton - JURIED Artist

Although Bill starts out with a vision for each piece of wood, he says, "It sounds a little funny, but the wood tells me what to do." When asked why he turns he replies, "I enjoy taking wood that would be thrown out and revealing its beauty and uniqueness. I consider it a privilege to have others enjoy the pieces as much as I enjoyed making them. I still cannot believe it when people love my art enough to purchase it." There is more of this artist's work on this web site; click here to see it.

Dwight Hostetter - JURIED Artist

Dwight Hostetter, an avid woodworking hobbyist, has been involved in woodworking for about 36 years. After seeing and admiring pictures of Nantucket Lightship baskets a few years ago, he decided to give it a try. Dwight's first basket went to his wife, his second to his mother and before you knew it, he was producing baskets for friends and complete strangers. Dwight has taught several classes in Nantucket Lightship Basket making and is in demand to teach more. He makes all the components of his baskets from trees or milled lumber with the exception of the cane weaving and the metal rivets and brads. He even cuts down an occasional white oak tree which is used in the staves, rims and handles of the baskets. The baskets bottoms are usually made out of cherry, but occasionally have been made out of walnut, bubinga and other woods. 

Kathy Nelson - JURIED Artist

Kathy Nelson is an Alabama native and lives in Jackson. In 2012 after attending a pine needle basketry class at the local Arts Council, she was hooked! Since then she has made too many baskets to count. She harvests her own long leaf pine needles, brown and green and makes them into functional and beautiful baskets. She doesn't start a basket with a pattern or plan, what the basket becomes develops as she is coiling. She also coils around gourds. She enjoys taking pine needles and making them into baskets that will last for years if taken care of. There is more of this artist's work on this web site; click here to see it.

Teresa Wamble - JURIED Artist

Originally from West Tennessee, I graduated from American University in Washington, D. C. in 1967 with an art education degree and taught art at George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Virginia for one year. Though working at other jobs, including 14 years with Walt Disney World as a convention/group, sales/service rep, I always made use of art skills on the job or off and chose to pursue art full time after my daughters were grown.
Though previously a painter, I discovered gourds and fell in love with their possibilities. My husband brings home wings, moths, butterflies, etc, and they become my patterns. I work in my basement and participate in about 20 art shows a year around Alabama. It is humbling that people love my work enough to want it for themselves, friends, or family. There is more of this artist's work on this web site; click here to see it.


Myself, like most gourd artists, let the gourds do the talking. They tell me what they are to become: a bowl, vase, birdhouse, or even a whimsical character. I enjoy the transition process from a dirty hard fruit into a beautiful piece of fine art. This process may include pyrography, sculpting, carving, dyeing, painting or weaving. This can take from hours to weeks till the piece is completed.
I receive great satisfaction when someone breaks into a smile when they see one of my gourds for the first time. I always welcome the opportunity to share my love and knowledge of gourds to others. The gourd, Mother Nature's canvas. There is more of this artist's work on this web site; click here to see it.