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Betty Finch, founder of the Kern County Gourd Patch, was the regional coordinator of the patch for the first 7 years.  She has won many blue ribbons in gourd crafting shows including Arizona , California , Florida , Indiana , and Ohio .  Betty has won best of show at The Ohio Gourd show, The Fallbrook National Gourd Fine Art Show, the Paso Robles Gourd Art Show, The Kern County Fair Fine Arts Professional Sculpture, The California Gourd Society state competition (twice), Celebrate Ag with the Arts in Madera, CA, Arts Council of Kern Animal House Exhibition and the 52nd Lodi Invitational Art Show.
(PHOTO)  Headed towards the podium, kipping to the music of "Don't Worry Be Happy", Betty Finch was made an honorary member of the "Women Inspiring Girls" alumni at the October 4 "Girl Scouts of Central California" luncheon.
Betty has served as a judge at state gourd shows in California , Indiana , and Florida .
During her 25 year career in law enforcement Betty attended the FBI National Academy Facial Imaging Course and the Scottsdale Artist’s School Suspect Composite Course.  The influence of that training is apparent in the human-like faces on many of her gourds.

Betty completed several sections on the California “Traveling Gourd” pictured above.  A detail of her woodburned section featuring a portrait of gourd grower, Doug Welburn, is pictured below.


Betty was a speaker at the 2005 International Forum on Gourds in Huludao , China .  She has been invited to speak about gourds at numerous gardening clubs including Master Gardeners, The Rose Society and Green Thumb Gardening Club as well as Rotary Clubs and other business organizations.
Betty loves to entertain others with her gourd creations such as marionettes and masks.

Mr. Pan Dongbo, of Huludo, China working Betty’s

bird marionette at Gourd Fair LA in 2004.


She entertains senior citizens at many of the retirement communities in her area.

Betty is an avid gardener and specializes in experimenting with hand-trained, manipulated and molded gourds.  This interest is what led her to meet with master gourd trainer, Jim Story of Pendleton Indiana from whom she learned the art of growing gourds in knots, spirals and flat wood molds. 

L to R Jim Story, Betty Finch, Joe Lee at the Indiana Gourd Festival.

In 2005 Betty sought out world renowned molded gourd grower, Mr. Zhang Cairi at his farm outside of Tianjin , China .  This learning  experience ultimately resulted in her co-authoring “The Immortal Molded Gourds of Mr. Zhang Cairi” with Guojun Zhang.


Mr. Zhang Cairi showing Betty the molded gourds in his garden.

Goujun Zhang poses with gourdman and Gourdwoman in front of Betty’s studio.

Betty continues experimenting with growing gourds at ther ranch in Tehachapi, California where she lives with her Border Collie dogs, Appaloosa Horses, and husband, Ken.


Betty’s dog, Panda and horse, DREA Chelsa Twoshadow (Winnie).