April 2014 Arizona Gourds Newsletter - 2 gourd book reviews, gourd field trip, and reader photos. April-2014
Arizona Gourds
(Somewhat irregular) news from the desert southwest...
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Featured Books of the Month:

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Use our Amazon search box link to find all kinds of books and other products!  We appreciate those of you that do so; Amazon purchases made through the links on this website help to support this site.
There are some books you buy and enjoy, but rarely return to.  There are others that are workhorses, and you find yourself visiting them again and again.  These are 6 books that have stood the test of time and are still on my bookshelf after many years.  They are either great reference books, filled with tutorials, or filled with inspirational gourd art.

I have to admit that I'm still very proud of my own Gourds book (called "Gourds with Southwestern Motifs" in the paperback version, or "Gourds from Simple to Sophisticated" in the hardcover version).  I spent an entire year working to create a book that would serve people as they grew in skills and would offer ideas and techniques for all levels of ability,  as well as some fun and interesting projects.

You might enjoy visiting my "Listmania" list on Amazon where I note some of my other top choices for gourd related books.  I hope to update it soon as several gourd titles have been released since I first created the list.

*Please visit the book page links shown at right to view collections of related  titles. Each topic includes a variety of suggested books about each subject.
What's new on the Arizona Gourds website? 
Featured Gourd of the Month:

"Beetle Garden V"

The most recent gourd in the Beetle Garden series. which all include a lampworked glass beetle.  This one also has a metal rim, inlaid wire and carved fancy filigree.
Printable PDF File
Newsletter Index - article and tip index from all the past newsletters
Newsletter Index
*Join the class updates list to receive advance notice of upcoming classes.  Get the news first and have the best chance for popular classes! 
The Gourd Art Enthusiasts site continues to grow!  We have about 3820 members, with gourd enthusiasts from all over the world!  Membership is free and easy.  The site also has state groups, event listings, a Q&A forum and a chat feature if you need an quick answer to a gourding question!   Check out our two great new GAE T-Shirt designs ! 
*Want to see my listing of top gourd books?  Here is my  "Listmania" listing on Amazon
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Tip of the Month:  Interesting Products from Golden Art Paint Demonstration

Do you have any helpful tips? We'd love to share them with our readers, and we'll be sure to give you proper credit.  
Please send them to: bonnie@arizonagourds.com
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Unless othewise noted, photos and designs are copyright © 2014 by Bonnie Gibson and may not be used without express written permission.

Welcome to the April issue of the (irregular) Arizona Gourds newsletter! 
UpdateGourd Classes

New items:  Ball Tip burning pens in 6 sizes,  Smaller size Saburr Tooth Ball bur,  Braided Rope conchos, Pheasant Patches, Wings and Tails

In addition to artist paints, Golden also makes a variety of mediums and glazes.  There were some products at the recent demo I attended that were different and interesting.  Crackle Paste is a thick, opaque cracking material designed to develop deep fissure-like cracks as it cures.  Fiber Paste offers a dry film that has the appearance of rough handmade paper, and Pumice Gel is used to create rough textured surfaces.  It would be interesting to add texture to gourd with any of these mediums.  The Golden website has some interesting tutorials and videos and is worth a visit.  Click for an example video; this one is about using Crackle Medium. In addition, the site has an fun and informative interactive color mixing chart.  You can blend virtual paints to see what colors you can create.
Were you a winner of a top prize at the recent competition at the Wuertz Festival?  Are you hoping to be a big winner at a different 2014 AGS gourd competion?  Please read below. 

To reward excellence in artistry, and to promote interest in entering artwork in gourd competitions, Arizona Gourds will offer a special  2014 "Gourd Artistry" award including a cash prize. 

This year, any gourd art that wins "Best of Show", "People's Choice" or "Best of Division" awards, OR is entered into a "Grand Master" category at any 2014 AGS gourd show, will be eligible to compete for a $100 cash award OR a $150 merchandise credit from Arizona Gourds.   In addition, a $50 donation will be made to the state society that hosted the show where the winner qualified.  (If the winning entry won awards at more than one show, the donation will be divided among these state societies.)   Other prizes may also be awarded depending on the number of entries received.

How to enter:  If your gourd meets one of these criteria, submit up to three photos of your prize winning gourd,  and at the end of 2014, the winner will be announced. Because the judges will be basing their decisions on photos and will not be able to see the finished piece, it is very important that clear, high quality photos are submitted!  It will be your responsibility to submit photos of your art, but competition chairpersons are strongly encouraged to submit the photo entries for all of the qualifying winners at their shows.  Please include information about your photo including at which show the prize was awarded, your full name and contact information, and any special information about the piece you would like to include.

After a show is completed, please send photos and information about each winning piece to:
ArizonaGourds@gmail.com or bonnie@ArizonaGourds.com.  Please put "Gourd Artistry Award Submission" in the subject line. 
Entries may also be mailed to Arizona Gourds, 5930 N Camino Arizpe  Tucson, AZ 85718-4612

*  NOTE - NO entries have been received yet - if you won at the Wuertz Festival or any other AGS show, please send in your entry!
It has been a busy few weeks for me as I've finally made the effort to pull up 30 year old carpeting (it's nasty) from my workroom/computer room area and redo the space.  I'm finally going to get organized, or at least I hope so!  The biggest obstacle holding me back all these years had been the effort required to move heavy desks and complicated computer wiring.  Good bye carpeting - hello tile!  

Notice:  Due to my teaching schedule, I will not be shipping from April 24 - May 2.  I will ship orders that arrive during that time starting as quickly as possible in the order in which they were received.  Thank you for your understanding.  (It's always a good idea to order ahead of time if possible, as I may sell out of some items during classes.)
Feature - Book Reviews

Miriam Joy's  "Wax Design Technique for Gourds, Wood and Crafts" is specific to her innovative melted crayon wax technique.  While I have not tried using wax on gourds myself, after watching a demo at our local patch meeting, I was impressed with Miriam's creativity in coming up with a totally new and different gourd technique. 

The early chapters of the book deal with basic supplies and tools, as well as preparing a gourd for the wax application.  The information is in depth and complete and answers most questions people might have before trying this technique.  Later chapters have  5 projects, tips and tricks, and a gallery section.  The book is very well organized and laid out with a large number of excellent photos and step by step instructions.  The book was published by Schiffer Publishing and is 64 pages long and in full color with a cover price of $19.95

While I am impressed with the creativity of using wax crayons in a new and different way, there are some concerns about the longevity of the finished art.  Crayons can be quite fragile and suseptible to heat and sunlight.  The author has addressed this concern as well as possible, showing the use of various lacquers, glazes and varnishes to add to the stability of the finished wax project.  It is important to keep finished work in a protected area away from direct heat or sunlight.

The designs in the book are attractive and suitable for other mediums; and while only wax will give the exact results as show, there are a lot of ideas and inspirations that make this book appealing.  Miram Joy website.

Gourd Field Trip

In March, Phyllis Sickles and I went up to Phoenix to attend a Golden Artist Colors, Inc. paint demo that was arranged by the Arizona Gourd Society.  It was an interesting 2 hour lecture on using Golden brand acrylic paints.  Nancy Reyner is a Golden sponsored artist, and she demonstrated the full range of paints and mediums with ideas for their use along with tips and tricks. At the end of the presentation, each participant was given a sample bag with products along with information packets including hand painted color charts.

Your state group might consider arranging for this free demo sponsored by Golden.  In addition, you may want to visit their website, where there are many videos and other informational items.

The second half of our field trip was a stop at the Wuertz gourd farm on the way home.  The crop this year is HUGE and quite a few of those I picked up for a closer look appeared to be thick shelled.  I showed great restraint and only came home with one bag full.
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Gourds with Southwestern Motifs by Bonnie Gibson

The hardcover edition is now out of print.  This is the paperback version of my "Gourds" book.

All copies I sell are autographed.

(Click on book cover for ordering information.)
Just a few spaces remain in the War Shirt class to be held in Blue Diamond, Nevada (just outside of Las Vegas) on April 30th.  Check the classes page for more details.
Acrylic Revolution
This is a top selling book on uses for acrylics, by Nancy Reyner, the Golden Paints Artist Demonstrator.
*The Arizona Gourd Society publishes a DVD of the winners from the Arizona competition at the Wuertz festival, which includes all ribbon winners and the Grand Masters category as well.  The cost is $7.50 including shipping.  You can find out how to order your own copy by visiting the Arizona Gourd Society home page.  (They also have copies from the 2013 competition as well.)
New Braided Rope concho on the Metals page.
Gourds harvested and more in the fields behind - and snake gourds drying on a fence.

Below right: Phyllis Sickles filling a tub with treasures.
New Smaller size Saburr Tooth ball bur on the Carving Burs page.
Cast resin eagle and bear claws - no animals were harmed.  On the Embellishments and Beads page.
Phesant rump patches, wings and tails on the Special Embellishments page.
New Ball Tip burning pens on the Woodburners page.
Our cat enjoyed the multi story cat hotel temporarily created while cleaning out my computer desk.

Artist Reception: 
Please join me on Saturday, April 12th at the Pink Door Gallery, located in the Old Town Artisans complex in downtown Tucson, Arizona.  The reception will be from 2-7pm, and there will be refreshments and entertainment in the complex.
Marianne Barnes's  "Creative Embellishments for Gourd Art" is another offering from Schiffer Publishing.  This title compliments her earlier books on weaving and coiling with gourds.  Creative Embellishments explores the wide variety of materials that can be used to add the extra zing to a gourd project.   This book was compilied with the help of many creative artists, who contributed photos, tips and tutorials on using different embellishments.

All chapters are well illustrated with color photos and there are patterns in the project chapters.  The first section deals with various type of embellishments including beads, cabochons, rim treatment materials, antlers and more.  Five short tutorials show how to use various embellishments, and then a gallery of examples finishes the section.  Following sections all include tutorials and patterns, these sections are: Masks, Dolls and Whimsical Gourds, Gourd Jewelry, Holiday Gourds, Folk Art, Recycled and Old World Angels, and Knots.  There is a photo gallery at the end showing some completed projects as well as short biographies of  38 contributing artists, and a one page listing of some gourd suppliers and general supply sources.

All of the projects in this book are suitable for beginning gourders.  More advanced gourders will find most of the projects to be too simple, but they will enjoy seeing some of the contributing artist gallery photos and using them as inspiration for their own future creations.  There are quite a few lovely pieces, but the book does not include instructions for many of the more challenging appearing photo examples.  This book is full color and is 128 pages with a cover price of  $24.99
"Creative Embellishments for Gourd Art" is now available, and an additional title, "Creative Rims for Gourd Art" will be released on June 28th.

(Creative Rims may be pre-ordered through the above link, and the book will be shipped when it has been released.  This guarantees the pre-release pricing and fast  shipment from Amazon when it is available.)
Reader's Mailbag
Hi Bonnie, remember those few extra turquoise brads you so kindly sent me?  Well, here is the gourd I used them on... Thanks!  Leslie Hassett - WA
Reader's Mailbag
Hello Bonnie,  Here is a picture of my first attempt to Filigree carve. Thank you for the How to packet.  I still haven't finish the gourd. I just finished the filigree. Am I on track with it?  Arturo Robles - CA
Reader's Mailbag
Bonnie,  I finally finished the gourd from your Fancy Filigree class and thought you might like to see it.  Had a good time and always learn new techniques. Thanks, Natalie Ashburn - AZ
Reader's Mailbag
Bonnie, Finished my floral gourd I started in class, a total  of 9 flowers.  Karan McManis - AZ
*The turquoise studs used in someof these projects are available on the Metals page.
* Fancy Filigree tutorial available on the Project Packets page.
Reader's Mailbag
Thank you so much for teaching me filigree at Wuertz...I loved learning and growing with your tutelage and just finished this"class" gourd for my moms 90 birthday. She will love it...almost as much as I am loving the journey...I saw a gourd of yours for the first time and knew I wanted to learn...started in Sept and am HOOKED...thank you   Val Vaaler - CA
Reader's Mailbag
Hi Bonnie,  Just wanted to share my gourd from the War Shirt class with you.  I really liked doing this one!   I look forward to taking other classes from you...keep them coming. Thanks for your hours and encouragement and introducing me to a wonderful new art form.  Linda Strugla - AZ