Feature - Rim Treatments

Last month I asked for suggestions on topics you'd like to see more about in upcoming newsletters.  "Rim Treatments" caught my eye, but I hope to use some of the other topics people requested as well.  Thanks to everyone that sent in photos of their different ways of treating a gourd rim.  I was amazed and the wide variety of ideas and materials.  I hope these photos stimulate your creative juices and you'll try something new!

Arizona Gourds
December updates from the desert southwest...
Welcome to the December issue of the Arizona Gourds newsletter! 
Thanks for checking out the latest news! Feel free to pass the newsletter link along to your friends.

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Featured Books of the Month:

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You can use this Amazon search box link to find all kinds of books and other products.  I appreciate those of you that do so; Amazon purchases made through the links on this website help to support this site. 
This selection of books goes along with our topic of the month. Beadwork Techniques and Native American Beadwork are two highly rated books on the topics of beading and Native designs. Weaving on Gourds has lots of different ideas for woven rims using a variety of materials.

Leather Braiding  is the bible of the leather world - and some of these braids make fantastic rims.  I've used leather lace and braiding techniques to create some really nice finished rims.  200 Braids likewise is a great book if you want to try different kinds of braiding with different materials.  Finally, Fabulous Woven Jewelry is a lovely book that I've featured before.  Lots of great photos, ideas and information on weaving techniques in this one.

*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.
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If your email address changes, just sign up again with your new address - no need to email me the change, as I purge non-working addresses monthly.
Gourds Southwest Gourd Techniques & Projects from Simple to Sophisticated
by Bonnie Gibson

The hardcover edition is now OUT OF PRINT!
I still have some on hand, but supplies are limited.  Last chance to get a copy before they are gone!

What's new on the Arizona Gourds website? 
(Click on book cover for ordering information.)
All photos and designs copyright © 2011 by Bonnie Gibson and may not be used without express written permission.
Featured Gourd of the Month:

"Copper Kiva"

Here's my own take on a rim treatment. The weaving on the top is done with copper spokes and reed weavers.  A fun and challenging project - the copper wire hardens as you work with it, and it becomes very difficult to manipulate.
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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 over 2200 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 ! 
UpdateGourd Classes

Wuertz Festival Update:  I will be teaching Power Carving (Thursday, pre-festival) and Filigree Carving (Sunday) at festival.  This year, classes will be available for viewing on November 29th, and signups will begin on Dec. 1st. All registrations take place on the Wuertz Festival webpage

Next April 13th  -16th, I will be teaching at the annual art retreat at the After Midnight Art Ranch in Sonoita, Arizona.  Classes will be announced soon - watch the After Midnight site or sign up for the class updates list.

I'll  also be teaching at the conference "Baskets and Gourds - Containers of Our Culture IV" to be held April 21 & 22 (Opening Reception April 20), 2012.  Sponsored by Tulare-Sequoia Gourd Patch and the California Gourd Society, this promises to be another outstanding conference.  For more info or to register, visit the events page on the California Gourd Society page.  Location: Mill Creek Conference Center, Visalia, California

Plans are underway for a 3 day gourd workshop to be held at the Golden Hills Ranch & Resort in Raymondville, Missouri (in the beautiful Ozarks).  Dates: June 4-6th.  For more information about the workshop, or to suggest classes (the exact classes are still being considered), please contact Sophia Delaat, who will be coordinating the event.
*Want to see my listing of top gourd books?  Here is my  "Listmania" listing on Amazon
Coming Soon....    Gourd Jewelry
Looking for photos of your gourd jewelry creations - made from whole gourds or parts. we'd love to feature your work in the newsletter!  Got a photo or two? Please send to: bonnie@arizonagourds.com.
Hard to believe the holidays are rolling in again so soon... I don't know about you, but I spent a lot of time last month making gourd ornaments for sale and for gifts.  It was fun to work on a smaller scale project for a change and I hope they'll bring some pleasure to their recipients!

Don't forget, if you plan to order holiday gifts from Amazon.com, please use one of our search boxes or links.  Your purchases through our links help to support these free newsletters and the Gourd Art Enthusiasts website.  It doesn't cost you a thing, just use our links and order as usual.  Thanks for helping!
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Reader's Mailbag:
Here are the finished gourds from your classes in Fredericksburg, TX. Gonna' attempt a couple more!  Thanks,  Cathy Neumeyer - TX
Brenda Dewald of Oklahoma created "Acorn Bucket".  She used multicolored ink dyes and a pine needle rim, and wove in a  pine log for the handle.
Irene Gonzalez of California used a bit of innovation and added a candle lid as the top rim on this gourd.
Above: Debbie Skelly of North Carolina used a pine needle rim on this gourd - and I love the added metal dragonflies!
New - Buffalo Head Nickel and Indian Head Nickel ConchosReasonably priced and great accents for your western or leather tooled gourds.  These are on the Metals page along with the Brass Dragonflies and Butterflies.

*A price increase is coming on the woodburners and burning pens.  Please order this month to buy at the current price.

Feathered Cabochons are returning - look for them around the first week of December!  However, this is the FINAL shipment, as the company is going out of business.
Harriette Edmonds of South Carolina  too my "Peacock Feather" class a couple of years ago at the Georgia Gourd Retreat.  She was inspired to carry things one step further, and created these two gourds with interesting rims.  One has woven in peacock feathers, the second has peacock "eyes" made from gourd shards and added to the pine needle rim.
Kristin Johnson of Kansas wanted to use beads to accent her gourd bowl, and she used the 70's standby of macrame knotting  to attach them.
Susan Pekala of Pennsylvania
has been having fun creating rims with kumihimo braids
Dusti Lockey of Texas is a master beader, and her beaded rims are beautifully done.  Dusti's work was also featured in our September 2006 newsletter where she graciously shared a basic tutorial on her beading technique.   Included here are:  "Thorn Feathers" with a rolled sead beaded rim, "Fire Dance"-  coiling with sead bead accents, and "Four Feathers" where the use of rolled seed beaded rim is expanded to include the entire gourd.

Susan Atkinson of Maryland used recycled mink fur from an old stole to dress up the rim of one bowl - and braided leather cord as a rim treatment on the second piece.
Linda Ashmore of Arkansas uses paper twist as an attractive rim treatment that is an easy one for even beginners to do. The second gourd has sphagnum moss laced around the rim with artificial sinew, and added seashells and a piece of a deer antler. (The bottom wasn't completely flat so she used another seashell as a "foot"!)
The Tucson Home and Garden Magazine published an article on my gourd art this month.  If you'd like to read it, click on the link below the page to see it in PDF form.
         Tip of the Month - Sanding Backgrounds and Edges

*Do you have a tip or tutorial we may feature in a future newsletter?  Please contact me.
This month, I had several people write to ask about how I get my smooth backgrounds and clean sharp edges on borders.  I'll be glad to share the tools I use - it's not that hard, but like anything else, having the right tools and some practice under your belt makes everything a bit easier.  Most of the time, you just have to be willing to put a bit of time into the project to get that really "finished" appearance.

Tools:  I use a combination of power tools and hand tools.  Start by smoothing down the background as much as possible with a drum sander.  The larger, 1/2" sander works best as the head size is large enough so you can sand with it flat instead of angled. Smaller heads just don't work as well.  Drum sanding bands come in different grits.  Start with the coarse grit, and finish with a finer grit to remove scratches.  Tip:  I keep two drum sanders handy, one with coarse and one with fine grit.  That way I don't have to change the bands.  I also use a rubberized cleaning block to extend the life of the sanding bands so I don't have to change them as often.

Next, use either a disc sanding mandrel or diamond wheel burs. These are held vertically, and for best results, use a light touch. The wheel burs come in different sizes so you can use a small one to get into tight areas.  Diamond cylinders also work great as mini sanders on the edges of borders.  Once again, use a light touch and let the bur do the sanding, don't try to hurry it!   For final finishing in hard to reach areas, I use either riffler files, diamond files, or sanding sticks.  They much more control over using regular  sandpaper, and the smaller size makes them better for tight areas.
Search Now:
Reminder - You can use this Amazon search box link to find all kinds of merchandise on Amazon.com. 
*ALL Amazon purchases made through the site links and search box help to support  Arizona Gourds and the Gourd Art Enthusiasts websites, and it costs you nothing extra!
Tip: Want to learn more about kumihimo?  This Japanese style weaving is done with a disc and multiple cords.  Braiding patterns can be simple enough for young children or quite complicated.

Cheryl Trotter of Texas used sea grass on the rim of her carved bowl.

Marty McCarter of Illinois used horsehair from her daughter's horse to trim this gourd bowl.
June Johnson of Florida starting gourding this past September.  She enjoys beading, and has included these basic instructions:
Finish and seal the gourd both inside and out before beading.  Place holes about 1/8 " from the top (she suggests using 1/4 " tape and piercing the middle of the tape - this uses many less beads.)  She uses 6/0 beads with an average rim taking about 300-400 beads, or about around 40-50 grams.  She recommends over buying so you don't run out.  Her beads wrap all the way around the rim,  but with a narrow opening you can opt not to bead the inside.  She uses about 5-6' of 26 gauge wire.  Longer is better, but in the beginning it is a mess to handle.  You can determine the number of beads you will use on each stitch after completing one and making sure you like the design.  The thickness of the gourd determines the number but as a rule 5-6 beads each stitch.  The thinner the gourd, the less beads.  June recommends beading from the outside in, as it is easier on the eyes.  Tuck and hold the starting wire so you can hide it.  Tip: If you opt not to bead the inside, you can get wire to match the paint color, but that can get expensive.
Elaine Sutherland of Iowa finished the first gourd with a braided yarn strip that was stitched onto the gourd. (Love the beaded sunflowers too!)  The second gourd was coiled using a core that was wrapped in strips of cloth and then stitched onto the gourd.
Reader's Mailbag:
At last!  I finished the gourd with apoxie "critters" I started at the After Midnight Art Retreat last spring, and I thought you might like to see the final result.  Janet Anderson - CO
Reader's Mailbag:
Bonnie,  I'm a retired publc school art teacher (K-6th grade) and one year (about 5 or 6 years ago) I taught a 7th grade class and decided to let them do gourd ornaments. I gave them pre-drilled gourds with wire inserted. (Not a good idea to give power drills to a class of 25 seventh graders, I reasoned!) Then gave them all sorts of old and new paints, glitter, beads, whatever I had lying around and turned them loose. They came up with some neat ornaments, I thought, and had a ball! Here are 8 of them.
Linda Ashmore - Arkansas
Advertisement in the December 2011 issue of Southwest Art Magazine - I'll be doing a demo at the Red Door Gallery
(in Tubac, AZ) on December 10th.
Give an Arizona Gourds Gift Certificate!
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Creating Bottles with Gourds and Fiber

New! - Available November 28th