PUBLISHED

By Nancy Vigran

" Jennifer Norpchen has always been an artist. Her minor in college was fine arts and her major was interior design; a career she pursued until about eight years ago. Norpchen moved from the Bay Area to Granite Bay with a desire to work more on her art. 

"I had been working with gourds for a while," she said, "but I wanted to take it in another direction." 

The fact that she enjoys her work is obvious when you look at the result. Norpchen has earned awards from the CA Gourd Society and at the Welburn, Leiser Farms and Davis Ranch Shows ."

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"Even the Grinch would smile. at these playful sculptures. In fact, one is coming home with me just as soon as a nasty tax surprise gives way to a resumption of discretionary spending."

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"For Granite Bay artist Jenn Norpchen, gourds are far more than a Thnksgiving decoration. With the help of wires, resin, clay, paint, prior engineering skills, and good old-fashioned creativity, the versatile vegetable has become a way of life for Norpchen the past 6 years. 

"We all have a big hit in life," she says. "This was my hit." Seeing animals hidden in the [gourds] shapes, she began adding elements like ears, legs, rings, and faces. Eventually, she was accepted into .. her first 10 galleries across the Western United States."