Feature - Gourd Lids

Lids on gourds are as simple as cutting out off the gourd top and placing it back on the gourd, to complicated lids with wooden stoppers, woven basketry edges, and fancy added handles.  Thanks to everyone that sent in photos of their lid projects!  
Arizona Gourds
February updates from the desert southwest...
Welcome to the February 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. 
The first two books are good technique and ideas books on soldering techniques and some simple projects you can try.  If you are more of a visual learner, the DVD on soldering is helpful.  It is written for jewelry artists, but the principles of soldering are the same as those used by glass artists.

The last three books are for those that are inspired by great woodburning and woodcarving.  The first book, Relief Carving Projects and Techniques, is a compilation of great articles from Woodcarving Illustrated magazine, and it includes projects, patterns and tips.   Woodburning Projects and Pattern Treasury has lots of projects and patterns as well - and instruction on woodburning including tools and techniques.  Finally, The Art of Ian Norbury - Sculptures in Wood, is an art book showing carvings from one of the best woodcarving sculptors. 
*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.
Note:  Not getting the emailed notices about the newsletters?   Please check your spam folder near the end of each month and add our address to your "safe senders" list.  Many emails bounce each month due to spam blockers. 

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 © 2012 by Bonnie Gibson and may not be used without express written permission.
Featured Gourd of the Month:


Carved gourd with added cholla wood, Collared Lizard made from Apoxie Sculpt,  and brass butterflies.
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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 over 2375 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

February 18th - I have a few spaces left in a Filigree Carving class here at my home in Tucson. Email me to register.

April 13th -16th I'll be teaching 4 days of classes at the annual art retreat at the After Midnight Art Ranch in Sonoita, Arizona.  There are a few spaces remaining in the Ocean Drum class.

I'll  be teaching at the conference "Baskets and Gourds - Containers of Our Culture IV" on April 21 & 22.  For more info or to register, visit the events page on the California Gourd Society page.  Location: Mill Creek Conference Center, Visalia, CA   *I'm also teaching a "Native Treasures" class the day after the conference - Monday, April 23rd, at Cecile Garrison's gourd farm in Visalia.  Please contact Cecile to register.

I'll be teaching a 3 day Missouri gourd workshop at the Golden Hills Ranch & Resort in Raymondville, Missouri.  Dates: June 4-6th.  For more information or to register, please contact Sophia Delaat, the event coordinator.

I'll be teaching at the Michigan Festival of Gourds, September 14-16.  I will be teaching Power Carving, Filigree Carving,
3-D Feather Carving, and the new Native Treasures class.  More details will be posted soon.  *Sign up for the class updates list to the left if you want to get advance notice of all classes.
*Want to see my listing of top gourd books?  Here is my  "Listmania" listing on Amazon
Coming Soon....    LIDS!
Looking for photos of interesting gourds with lids!  We'd love to feature your work in the newsletter!  Got a photo or two? Please send to: bonnie@arizonagourds.com.
It's almost time for me to go to the Wuertz Festival in Casa Grande - and I'm hoping to see many of you there!  It's usually pretty hectic and crazy, but please do take the time to say hello!  I'll be teaching a class on Thursday before the festival (outdoors in my usual spot, barring any crazy cold weather like we had last year!) and I'll be in the same booth location that I've had every year, D8 & E8, right at the crossroads of several aisles.  I'll be bringing all the supplies from the website, plus a few extras.  I'm also exhibiting in the Grand Master's category of the Arizona Gourd Society Competiton.

PLEASE NOTE:  Orders placed on the website from February 1st -6th will be delayed.  In addition, some items may be out of stock due to sales at the festival.  To avoid additional delays, please order before these dates!
"Like" Arizona Gourds on Facebook to get special offers, up to the minute news about new products and classes, and other gourding updates.   (Just a note - I don't add gourd friends on my personal page, I save that for family and non-gourding friends.)
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Gloria Christian of  Alabama made these three gourds with lids.  She  used antlers and wooden pegs as handles.
Susan Ashley of Texas makes gourds with hinged lids.  On the gourd to the left, the second row of sea grass fits just inside the rim of the gourd to keep the lid from slipping off.  The gourd below also has a row of weaving that fits down inside the rim to make the lid fit. They are woven with dyed pineneedles and artificial sinew.
Rhonda Kesner made these gourds using 3 different styles of lids.  The first has a lid made from a second gourd, the next one has a lid cut from the gourd which follows the leaves design, and the third has added pine needle weaving. The handle is an added small gourd.

Below:  Kathy Kopjak of Arizona added a lid using a top from a second gourd, and added a stone handle .
June Johnson of Florida made this flower petal lidded gourd.  She used a salad bowl finish so it would be food safe for use as a candy dish.   The beads (6/0)
were sewn on with 26 gauge wire after it was painted. 
Right: Roy Cavarretta of Texas made these pieces from  canteen gourds.  The one with the antler handle is a dyed custom gourd with the brands of the ranch owner who received it for Christmas....The three pictured together are made with colored pencil and dyes with the dark lines burned.

Sondra Hodson of California did the three lidded gourds below.

Photos from some of my Turkish gourd friends on Facebook - we don't speak the same language, but I guess we all speak "Gourd" !
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*ALL Amazon purchases made through site links and the search box help support  Arizona Gourds and the Gourd Art Enthusiasts websites, and it costs you nothing extra!
Marty McCarter of Illinois made this snowman lidded gourd when her gourd patch had a snowman project.  She used beads, coal and twigs as decoration on the lid; the snowman was painted with textured snow and he has an added homemade scarf.
Below: Sioux Westberry-Kaufman of Arizona writes "I made this gourd after taking your class on "Making Lids".  I used your instructions with a top from another gourd, a base and a stopper. (I found that using a wooden closet rod and cutting sections from that was  a really good shortcut and fit the opening perfectly.)
Since I wanted to add the heishi for interest on the top, I made the base wider than the dome top so that it would support the glued-on beads.  I carved a groove in the dome so that the antler would fit in it rather than sit on the top.  Since it was so heavy (as compared to the lid) I drilled a small hole in it and the lid, clipped the head off a nail, and used that as a "dowel" to hold the antler in place along with the glue."

CONTEST!  What can you create using our metal dragonflies and butterflies?  Let's see your creativity and artfulness.  The only requirement is that your project must include one or more of these metal findings in any size.  I will ask another respected gourd artist to help me select a winner, and that person will receive a $25 Arizona Gourds gift certificate. (If there are a lot of entries, I may add additional prizes.)  To give you time to work on your project, the deadline to submit a photo will be April 15th. The winner(s) and other selected entries will be published in the May newsletter.
Above: woodburned basket with lid. It is entirely woodburned and shaded. Leather attached to the rim of both top and bottom, then beaded-sewing thru the gourd using technique taught by Dusti Lockey. It is finished with a sterling silver concho on top as a pull.

Upper Right:  Gourd Bread Box with Comanche Ledger Art, woodburned and painted. Braintanned buckskin rimming with beading.  (18/0 Czech seed beads sewn thru the gourd.) Antler knob on lid and added brass tacks and nails, cones and fringe.

Right: "Thunder"  Areas of the lide were carved out and  turquoise was inlaid with grout. The gourd is woodburned and painted with 4 horses.  A copper concho and leather thong make a handle on the lid.
Below: Ginny Watts of Texas shares her Native American heritage in these lidded pieces.  Her beadwork is always wonderful!
Brenda DeWald of Oklahoma made this attractive gourd where the lid is the main focal point.  The lid is made with pine needles and the handle on the top is as an inverted mini gourd.
New!  Decorative metal conchos with a turquoise (synthetic) center stud!  4 designs to choose from including florals and celtic knots.
On the Metals page.
If you are looking for a Dremel hanger, here is my own version - and it not only costs less than the regular Dremel hanger, but it is adjustable and fits many more tables! 
I am taking preorders for these and will have them available up at the Wuertz festival.  I don't normally stock them on the website because of the difficulty in finding suitable shipping boxes - but the hook will come off and you can pack one of these in a regular size suitcase.  If you want to preorder a hanger, please send a note to bonnie@arizonagourds.com.      $18.50
Special Feature - Master Woodcarver Jordan Straker

Because I started out as a woodcarver long before I discovered gourds, I've always enjoyed seeing the work of some of the great contemporary woodcarvers.  One whose subject matter and work I really admire, is master woodcarver Jordan Straker of Canada.  Jordan specializes in ultra realistic carved vignettes of Native American items, guns and holsters,and items made from leather.  Jordan recently decided to try his hand at gourds, and like many of us can understand, he decided they were a lot of fun!  He's only made a few gourds so far, but I believe he can take our hobby to another new level.  After you see these photos, I know you'll enjoy visiting his website.
Yes, those are ALL carved from wood!   Below is a photo of Jordan's first gourd - which sold immediately for a hefty price.  The second piece is one he made for a charity auction.  (And yes, even the shoelaces are carved!)  I can't wait to see where his talents lead him in his gourding adventures!
Special Feature - Denise Henderson's Soldered Gourd Jewelry

Last month, you got to see a peek at Denise Henderson's lovely soldered edge gourd name tag.  This month, Denise has kindly shared her tutorial for the soldering technique.  She and Kristy Dial originally put it together for the 2006 Cherokee Gourd Gathering.  The tutorial is in PDF file format (below).   You can see more of Denise's work on her webshots site, and on her flickr photo site page.
New!  Saburr Tooth Taper bur.  This shape can be easily held at the correct angle to remove backgrounds and leave a nice flat surface. 
On the Carving Burs page.
From Denise:  Years ago I took a soldering workshop from a local stained glass artist.  Since then, I’ve used this technique on my metal and glass jewelry, small art books, and gourds.  A soldered edge gives my jewelry a finished look.  Because I use “pewter” solder, apply it in layers, and oxidize the finish, the pieces have a textured, organic look.  In addition, the solder gives the pieces a nice weight. 

The soldering technique I use is done with a soldering iron.  I’m working with molten metal & chemicals and this method is easier and safer for me than using a torch.  It isn’t difficult to learn, is relatively inexpensive, and adds a new dimension to many of my art projects.  

The internet has numerous excellent sites for anyone interested in learning to solder.  YouTube.com is a great visual source for different soldering techniques.  Another option is one-on-one instruction from a stained glass artist or craftsman.  You can solder almost anything with pleasing results.  All it takes is a little imagination and practice.  I’ve made charms and pendants from old scrabble pieces, pottery shards, dominos, glass, and, of course, gourd shards.  I also use solder to add unusual rims to gourd bowls.     Denise Henderson - Etowah, WNC 

Small lampwork and glass beads added for color and interest.

This name tag  is actually two separate pins showing a girl flying a kite on a windy day.  The solder is thick and textured.  A black oxidizing agent was applied to the solder after cooling & cleaning.  It was then buffed to a high sheen for a nice patina. 

This holiday necklace was made with a soldered gourd shard. Vintage paper scenes were soldered between glass bubbles for additional ornamentation. 
The soldered shards were combined with wire wrapping & glass beads. The solder and wire were oxidized to enhance the dark patina & texture.
Soldered rim gourd bowls
Items needed for soldering projects:

Soldering Iron   Solder    Copper Foil TapeFluxFlux Brush  Black Patina
How to Solder YouTube Video