Feature - Gourd Jewelry

Wow - there are so many great things you can do with gourds - just look at some of these great jewelry ideas!  Jewelry is a good way to use small gourds and gourd scrap pieces.  Thanks to everyone that sent in photos of their jewelry.  

Arizona Gourds
January updates from the desert southwest...
Welcome to the January 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 three books are additonal titles by Jim Widess.  The Complete Book of Gourd Craft is the best selling gourd reference book and belongs on every gourders' bookshelf.  The other two books are interesting Hawaiian weaving techniques that reflect his interests in both weaving and the Hawaiian culture.

The last three books combine beading, and mixed media jewelry techniques. All three books are highly rated by Amazon readers and reviewers. These are good resources if you want to combine some of these related jewelry skills with your gourd work.
*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 © 2011 by Bonnie Gibson and may not be used without express written permission.
Featured Gourd of the Month:

"Lizard Fetish"

Gourd with antler and pine needle weaving.  The lizard is carved and is part of the antler.  Inlaid cactus fiber. 
*(With thanks to Judy Richie for coming up with the idea of using cactus fiber on gourds!)
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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 almost 2300 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: My classes are both full - but please stop by my booth if you come to the fesival!

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 only a few spaces  left in individual classes.

I'll  be teaching at the conference "Baskets and Gourds - Containers of Our Culture IV" to be held April 21 & 22 (Opening Reception April 20), 2012.  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 or to suggest classes (the exact classes are still being considered), please contact Sophia Delaat, the event coordinator.

I'll be teaching at the Michigan Festival of Gourds, September 14-16.  Classes and 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.
Welcome to another great new year of gourds!  The new year promises lots of great adventures - and for many of us, it is time to renew our memberships in our local, state and national gourd organizations.  It's well worth your time and dollars to join the American Gourd Society - www.americangourdsociety.org.  I am a member of the board of directors, and we've been working hard to make the AGS a more valuable resource to our members.  Top item of value is our wonderful, full color Gourd Magazine that you'll receive 4 times a year as part of your membership.  The magazine sponsors a quarterly gourd art competition that is free to members, and they welcome your articles, show reports, tutorials and items that will be of interest to other gourders.  Hope you'll join us!
"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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Reader's Mailbag:
I finished my first oil lamp yesterday - there are mistakes, but I guess that is part of homemade.  You would have laughed when I glued my fingers to the gourd and had beads flying everywhere.  Another lesson... Gail Dumas - VA
Editor's note: Wonder if it had anything to do with that wine bottle in the background?
Right: Sherry Benedict of Indiana made these two necklaces.  The first one is made from a gourd shard, proving you do not need to waste any small gourds pieces, you can use them all.   The feathers are wood burned.
The second one has two mini jewelry gourds strung with beads and a clay leaf.

Sandy Taylor of Georgia created this lovely "Hibiscus" necklace/earring ensemble from and egg gourd and small jewelry gourds. They are woodburned and colored with ink pens.  This won the Blue Ribbon jewelry category, Grand Masters Div., at the Georgia Gourd Society Festival 2011.
Sandy's website is Hot off the Vine Gourds.
Feathered Cabochons are back -  a language barrier has been making it difficult to obtain these, but I was able to get a limited quantity before the company moves back to China!  Colors are limited to mostly blues, browns, greens and black.
Below: Tamsen Fox of Hawaii made these interesting woodburned necklaces using gourd pieces, beads, and other items.
Wondering why a gourd lamp is pictured below?  Kristin Johnson of Kansas created this lovely necklace using the pieces that were cut out from this project.  What a great use of gourd shards!
Right:  Sue Berger of California made these gourd pins and necklaces with gourd scraps and inlaid stones.

Below:  Linda Dunlap of Ohio made these gourd necklaces with strung beads.  The gourd pendants are woodburned and colored. She also made the knotted waxed linen necklaces with small jewelry gourds.

Norma Prickett of California made these elegant necklaces and bracelet.  Below, the 3 pendants and the starfish bracelet are made from gourd shards with woodburned designs and inlaid turquoise cabs.  The shell pendant to the top right is actually a piece of cut and carved gourd, and the cross below right is inset with turquoise.
Related Hobbies:  Gourd artists, woodturners and woodcarvers ~ we all share tools, ideas and skills.  Here are some turned and carved wooden bowls from John Cobb of Colorado.  You can see more of his wood turnings on his website.

Coming next month - MASTER woodcarver creates his first gourd - featured artist article.
         Book Review: Creating Bottles with Gourds and Fiber

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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!
Left: Embossed copper inlaid into gourd shard, embellished with bone mud bead and a cotton cord.

Marcia Hintz of Ohio did these "doodle" type pieces after taking a doodle class from Jane Weller at the Ohio gourd show.  The large oval piece is a woodburned barrette.  The necklace was done with a Pitt pen.
Above Left: Fran Rich of Texas embellishes gourd rounds with woodburning, beads, paints and metallic leaf to make these lovely earrings.  You can see more examples on her etsy page.
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:   Pyroengraved tribal honu (turtle) necklace
Below:    Piko with Hawaiian tribal designs necklace
Pyroengraved bangle bracelets and blanks. She says these are hard to come by because you need a center cut from a gourd which is 3" across or less for it to slip onto a wrist, and the center cut is the strongest part of the gourd.  
Earrings were done by pyroengraving one piece then cutting it into two pieces.  (This technique could also be used to create two part "Best Friends" type necklaces.)
For more photos, visit Tamsen's website.

Below: Terri Schmidt of Wisconson makes gourd pins from gourd shards, paper beads, wire and natural embellishments.
Right and Below: Carrie Rogers of Ohio makes these spectacular jewelry pieces from gourd pieces, beads, copper wire, acrylic paint, metallic powders and more. A few were even pictured in BeadStyle magazine for 2012.  Photos by Ceclia Wetzel
I recently received my copy of Jim Widess's newest book, "Creating Bottles with Gourds and Fiber".  Like all of Jim's other books, this one is well written and heavily illustrated with color photographs.  The book includes 7 projects, all of which show ways of weaving or knotting to create decorative and functional fiber covered gourd containers.  All of the projects are inspired by actual gourd vessels from around the world, and use a variety of materials from cordings to reeds and bark.  Some of the projects are relatively easy, while others are very complicated.  If you are good at weaving techniques, then you will enjoy the challenge of trying some of the more complicated designs.  Beginners will be a bit intimidated at first glance, but each project has many photos showing each step along the way.  *You must be comfortable following written/photographic instructions! There is a nice gallery section at the back showing additional woven gourd containers.  Cover price: $19.99  - 96 pages Schiffer Pub
Left: Maria Dellos of Arizona makes beautiful gourd necklaces - and these two are wonderful examples. 
Below: Three necklaces by Melissa Crites of Kentucky
Kathleen Troutman of South Carolina makes lovely earrings and pendants. 
Below: Nancy Overmeyer of Kansas also makes beautiful earrings and pendants - and invites you to visit her website
Gail is a new gourder - this is the FIRST piece she did!
Reader's Mailbag:
I carved the dragonflies on this gourd from gourd pieces - this was great fun to create.
Glenda Woodsmall - MO
Lori Ashley of Massachusetts makes lovely mixed media gourd jewelry that ranges from inspirational, to vintage, to Native American-style pins and necklaces.  She starts off with a cut-out gourd shape and uses acrylic glazes around the focal point, which is often a vintage picture or word covered with glass or framed by metal. Then she embellishes with whatever accentuates the theme - beads, chains, or bone, etc. Each piece is 2-3 inches.

COMING NEXT MONTH -  Soldered edge jewelry and gourds by Denise Henderson!
New!  Decorative metal conchos with a turquoise (synthetic) center stud!  4 designs to choose from including florals and celtic knots.
On the Metals page.