Announcement - 2015 AGS Special Artistry Award

The American Gourd Society board has voted to take on responsibility for an annual Artistry award, and it is anticipated that the cash award will be a higher dollar figure for 2015.  Entries for 2015 will be limited to those who enter an AGS judged show and receive a Best of Show, a People's Choice award, or are entered in a non-judged Grand Masters division which is typically open only to previous winners of those two awards.  Because the award is now be sponsored by the AGS, the artists must be a member of the American Gourd Society to qualify for entry. The winning entry will receive a $300 cash award.  
With festivals already having taken place this year, there are already several people eligible to send in their entries.  This is not automatic; artists or show chairmen must submit photos of their qualifiying entries for consideration. Photos of qualifying entries should be sent to the Artistry award committee chair: 
Look for more details in the  AGS Gourd Magazine.   Not a member?  It's easy to join at  Membership is only $15 a year and includes 4 full color magazines!    ENTRIES TO DATE: 2
Arizona Gourds
Updates from the desert southwest...
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Gourds with Southwestern Motifs by Bonnie Gibson

Out of Print - some copies still available through Amazon. 
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(Click on book cover for ordering information.)
Featured Gourd of the Month:

Mask Rattle
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Newsletter Index - article and tip index from all the past newsletters
Newsletter Index
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Check out our two GAE T-Shirt designs ! 
*Want to see my listing of top gourd books?  Here is my  "Listmania" listing on Amazon
July ane August are smoking HOT in the desert, but that doesn't stop me from working outdoors as long as I am in the shade.  Having a portable evaporative cooler helps a lot, and the summer months are some of my rare downtime where I can work on my own projects.  I will be taking a trip to enjoy a family activity and to teach in Washington State in August, so there will be a window where I will not be shipping from the website.  Please check dates below.   I appreciate your patience during these times; I know it is an inconvenience, and I promise to ship your orders as soon as possible on my return.
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**NEW GROUPS on Facebook - "Gourding Destash".  This is the place to sell your used gourd tools and excess supplies. Also "Gourd Art Sales" - a place to offer your own gourd art or from your collection for sale.  No fees to sell on either site!  ** 
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UpdateGourd Classes

The first book is the hardcover version of my "Gourds" book.  The book is now out of print, but copies of it are available on Amazon for a very reasonable price.  If you ever come to a class or attend the Wuertz Gourd Festival, be sure to bring along your copy and I will be glad to autograph it for you. 

Basket Weaving Essentials (DVD) and Coiled Designs for Gourd Art are two of my favorite weaving resources for gourders.

Admit it - you loved to color when you were a kid, and perhaps you would still love it if you had a coloring book filled with beautiful adult designs!  This is just one of a series of delightful adult coloring books.
There are several new embellishments on the site this month.  Click on the photos for links leading you to the page where they are listed.
Arizona Gourds Newsletter Index
See all our old newlsetters from the past 9 years!  Articles and Tips are indexed.
Newsletter Index
I often get questions about shipping costs that are added to shopping cart sales.  To clarify things, I've added a new page to the website,
Shipping Policies.
I am using a no-frills shopping cart program that has limitations and little flexibility.  By not paying for expensive software, I can offer you lower prices on the website merchandise.  I'm not looking to make a profit on shipping;  if you order lightweight items you will likely get a refund or some freebies to make up for it. Please take a minute to look at the shipping policies page for clarification and explanation of how things work.  If you ever have any questions, please feel free to email me directly.  I value your business!
Welcome to the July/August issue of the Arizona Gourds newsletter! 
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Tip of the Month:  Mini Disc Sanders and Dust Blowers

Did you like the article in the January 2015 newsletter about using Abranet sanding mesh with power sanders? I understand that not everyone can afford to add additional power tools - but here is an inexpensive way to turn your carving tool into a sander.  Small disc sanding mandrels have been available for a while, but one of the drawbacks with these is that  the heat created by friction causes the PSA adhesive to loosen and allow the disc to fly off.  I have now rigged up my smaller sanding mandrels using velcro dots so that I can use hand cut abranet sanding discs with them.   You can use the PSA dots - but I recommend you glue the dots onto the mandrel using something like E6000 or epoxy.  Use the sanders at low speed, too much speed causes excess heat and burning of the gourd surface.   As a bonus, if you purchase one of the small sanding mandrels, I will throw in a velco dot to go with it.  This offer is valid until my supply of dots runs out.   Minis disc sanding mandrels are on the Rotary Tool Accessories page, Abranet sanding mesh is on the Tools page.  

May/June Travels and Classes

My husband and I did a lot of traveling in May and June and had a wonderful time at each location.  We experienced a variety of class locations, temperatures, and scenery.  I was honored that people traveled from many states to attend one of my 3 day workshops, and it was great to see the groups establish some wonderful new friendships during each 3 day session.  Below are few photos from each location.

Colorado Springs  It was pretty chilly in Colorado, and I actually had to break out a pair of long paints and a long sleeved shirt.  (That is hard to believe as I sit here in our 100 degree weather...)  We also enjoyed seeing the Red Rock area.   Thank you to Merle Dallison for the use of her fantastic 3 car garage, and thanks to all of the students who attended.  We did an ocean drum, closed coil weaving, and the war shirt project.
Anticipated dates where I will NOT be shipping due to my teaching/family activity schedule - August 12 - 22. 

Below:  My backyard "studio" with a portable evaporative cooler.  These only work well in dry climates but provide a steady stream of cold air created by blowing air across wet pads inside the unit.  Unfortunately, my desk is usually messy...!
All of my class sessions scheduled through October are currently full. 
Sign up for the email class updates list to find out when new offerings are posted on the website.
Reader's Mailbox
Hi Bonnie,   I finished my gourds from the Sonoita retreat with your excellent instructions.  I'm already signed up for your rabbit carving class in October. Vicki McKenna - AZ
All photos and designs copyright © 2015 by Bonnie Gibson and may not be used without express written permission.
Temecula, California We were fortunate to teach two separate 3 day sessions at the beautiful rental property owned by Rosie Braniard, and lucky also that we held classes during wonderful weather, right before the heat wave that hit the following week!  Thank you to Rosie for the use of her lovely property, and to all of the students who attended - some of them made great sacrifices to be there.  We did the war shirt project, spiral carving, and the sea life patterns classes in each of the two 3-day sessions. We also had a great pot-luck dinner.  Thank you to Brenda Cross and Carolyn Medlin for some of the photos.
Thank you!  Your purchases made from Arizona Gourds and from our Amazon links enable us to keep these free newsletters and the Gourd Art Enthusiasts site available.  We sincerely appreciate your business.
Closed coil and War Shirt projects by Dawn Healy, ocean drums by Merle Dallison and Vicki Dyas.
Raymondville, Missouri  It was warmer in Missouri - in fact the weather was just about perfect.  Our classes were indoors, but we enjoyed lunch outside each day.  Classes in MO included a mask rattle, cholla cactus carving and the war shirt project.  We also had a fun evening of sharing our gourd art.  Thank you to Sophia Delaat for arranging for class space and havingus at her place in the evening, and to all of the students - we  enjoyed the friendship and cameraderie.  Thank you also to Rachael Hoch and Madonna Waterman for most of the class photos.
Reader's Mailbox
This lovely yerba mate gourd set was made by one of the students in my Temecula Classes.  She has kindly allowed me to share the photo. Gourds by Gabriela Cordon.
Another interesting accessory is the Dremel dust blowing attachment.  The attachment works on the tool itself or may also be used on a flexshaft.  It blows dust away from the working surface.  The only disadvantage is that it can't be used in conjunction with a keyless chuck.  Also, although it is very small, it may restrict your vision when doing fine detailing.

I have ordered some of these for the website.  They will be on the Rotary Tool Accessories page as soon as they arrive.  Thank you to Scott Nelson of VA for bringing these to my attention.
Product review:  Carbide coarse grit bur

I recently purchased a new carbide bur to try out and see how I liked its performance.  This bur is made with coarse grit carbide so it shouldn't ever wear out. The carbide grit on this bur is essentially the same coarse grit that is on the mushroom cleaning tools (which are sold on the tools page of this website if you want to compare.) 

The biggest advantage to this bur is the head shape.  This blunt cone is a large headed bur (1/2" at base, 1/2" long head length), and the head size makes it possible to hold your tool so that you can use the full side of the carving bur.  The bur cuts fairly aggressively, especially on the inner gourd pulp.  It leaves a rougher surface than some burs, but a smooth surface is something you usually sacrifice for the sake of fast removal.

This is a bur I will keep in my tool box.  I may never add similarly made burs because I prefer the cutting teeth found on Saburr Tooth burs, but until Saburr Tooth or another manufacturer comes up with a bur of this size and shape, I will will use this one for fast roughing out.
Max speed on this bur is 30,000. As a comparison, the recommended speed for Saburr Tooth burs is between 4000 to 25,000 rpm

Want to order one?  I will have these available on the website by mid July.  Please send me an email if you would like me to preorder one for you.  I will contact those who preorder just as soon as they are available.  Retail price is $12, far less than many carbide burs.
Coming soon -1.75 inch sanding mandrels!
Reader's Mailbox
Hi Bonnie,   Thank you for 3 incredible days of classes and fun. 
Pam Donnelly - CA
Door Prizes for all!
Gourd Water Drum
Special Sale Price on 3 Diamond Wheel sets  These diamond wheels are what I use for background sanding and inlaying cabochoons.  Some can be used for undercutting.  Each set is different but includes 3 different sizes and shapes.