Gourder of the Month: Kathy Foran

Gourd art by Kathy Foran

Gourd art by Kathy Foran

Thunder gourd by Kathy Foran

Thunder gourd by Kathy Foran

Martha Spillane

Meet another gourd club celebrity, our very own Kathy Foran.

Kathy and her husband, Royal, have lived at Robson Ranch since 2009. Within six months of their move to the Ranch, Kathy was seeing many transformations. She watched the construction of the Creative Arts Center, and she was thrilled when she found out that a pottery studio was going to be established. As a child she was taught how to manipulate clay to form ceramic art pieces.

Kathy was raised in Tualatin, once a small country town of 300 just south of Portland, Ore. She recalled her childhood as a very active one, maybe even a bit tomboyish. Kathy, along with her brother, loved going to the riverbed where they would watch the beavers build their lodges. Part of Kathy’s exercise was chasing chickens around the yard after her father had “oops slipped” with the butcher knife. She also raised pigs, 20 to be exact. After raising them they were sold to Yum Kim’s, the local Chinese restaurant. Kathy had developed a rapport with Yum Kim’s, so much so that they honored her and her family with a banquet dinner that went on forever, she recalled with a great big smile.

This country girl left the farm and headed to the University of Oregon, where she received a B.A. in social science. She landed a job with Workers Compensation. Here she used her skills to find new vocations for injured workers. It’s a profession she spoke fondly of, knowing she was able to help people who were afflicted by a lifelong injury.

Kathy and her husband enjoyed four-wheeling, boating on the Oregon coast, and traveling. Visiting relatives in Arizona is what prompted their move to Robson Ranch. She loved the environment, the friendliness of the residents, and all the new clubs that were being established. Kathy got involved with the pottery club, becoming their president and holding other official positions.

During a visit to the Casa Grande Gourd Festival, she became extremely interested in learning the art of gourding. In 2019 Kathy became a member of the gourd club. I remember meeting her, and recall her being a bit shy, showing her simple designed gourds. Now there’s no stopping her! Her thunder gourds, bowls, and flower gourd creations are one-of-a-kind and creative. At our art crawl, Kathy sold all her thunder gourds and even took special orders for sports-themed gourds. She is always creating another color spectrum with powders, dyes, and stains. If you haven’t seen her work, come by our studio 3 showcase where you can admire it and purchase some of our members’ gourds.

The gourd club studio is open Monday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. We always welcome visitors and questions.

P.S. Kathy does not eat spareribs.