Feature - Interesting Gourd Stands and Displays

A good gourd stand is one that adds to the gourd and does not overpower or detract from the gourd itself.  Stands can be functional only or decorative only - or a combination of both.  When choosing a stand, keep in mind that the gourd should sit firmly in place without danger of slipping or falling out.  In some cases, the stand can be mounted permanently to the gourd if necessary.  Many lovely stands are simply scrap gourd pieces that have been finished nicely and glued to the gourd base.  Other stands may be made from found objects, such as candle holders, plant stands or other repurposed items.  Commercially made stands are also an option, especially when they blend well with the style of the gourd.

Here are a few photos that were submitted for this issue.  Some of these are very creative and I never cease to be surprised by the good ideas that abound.  Thanks to the artists that sent in photos,  I appreciate your participation.

Arizona Gourds
July updates from the desert southwest...
Welcome to the July issue of the Arizona Gourds newsletter! 
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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.

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All photos and designs copyright © 2013 by Bonnie Gibson and may not be used without express written permission.
Featured Gourd of the Month:

"Fly Away Home"

This ladybug gourd was shown in progress in the last newsletter.  Here is the completed piece - the fourth in my "Beetle Garden" series.
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The Gourd Art Enthusiasts site continues to grow!  We have about 3350 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 GAE T-Shirt designs ! 
*Want to see my listing of top gourd books?  Here is my  "Listmania" listing on Amazon
I had a very busy June this year, traveling to both Colorado Springs and to Raymondville, Missouri, for 3 day gourd workshops at both locations.  I enjoyed both events and want to thank all of those who participated and a special thank you to Merle Dallison and Sophia Delaat, the workshop coordinators in the two locations. 

***For those of you that have not heard, my husband is undergoing some serious medical treatments. Because of this, I will not be traveling to teach any classes during this time.  I know you will all understand that his health is the most important thing for us right now.  We are hopeful that he will be able to accompany me on future trips.  (A special thank you to Phyllis Sickles for stepping in at the last minute and helping me at the Colorado workshop!) 

In the meantime, perhaps I will have some time to do some much needed and long delayed chores at home, and may even have time to work on a few new gourd projects. 

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Tip of the Month - Gourding Gloves and Other No-Slip Surfaces

Have you ever sat with a gourd on your lap, only to have the gourd squirt out from between your hands and knees?  It is a sickening feeling when the gourd hits the ground and breaks.  There are a couple of helpful ways to hang onto that wayward gourd and keep it firmly in place while you carve or clean.

The first helpful item is something you can easily make at home.  Purchase a sheet of rubberized shelf liner (you can even buy it at the dollar store) and sew it onto the front of an inexpensive work apron.  The grippy surface will always be right there in your lap.

The second helpful item is to use a pair of grippy gloves - these work especially well if you remove the fingertips, leaving your fingers free but with a grippy surface on the palms of your hands. 

Another helpful tool is to use a "Staybowlizer" silicone ring.  The surface of the ring grips without stickiness, and can be wiped off with a damp rag periodically to maintain the secure grip.  Tip from Phyllis Sickles: Mount a Staybowlizer to a small sheet of plywood (she used screws through the outer rim to mount it in place on the board) and then prop the board up at an angle.  This allows her to work with better posture, and it relieves the neck strain from looking straight down at her lap while she is doing a lot of carving.  She placed foam on the bottom edge to protect her legs, and also trimmed and covered the screw ends where they projected from the back of the board.  You might also consider adding a small cross piece to the back of the board that can hook onto the edge of your work table.  This will keep the board positioned securely.

Upcoming new release from Marianne Barnes: Creative Embellishments for Gourd Art.  This book is not scheduled for release until January 2014, but this will give you something to look forward to in the new year! Mateology is all about yerba mate - the drink, the culture and of course "mate" gourds. 
Reader's Mailbox
Hi Bonnie - you wondered why I was taping off areas on my patina/added texture and handles class gourd in Colorado Springs.  This is what I had in mind, and it turned out just the way I envisioned it.  Thanks for the classes! 
Lona Warne - New Mexico

* Love the creativity!  Bonnie
New the to website, two different coin conchos. The large concho is the obverse side of a Morgan dollar, while the smaller one is the obverse side of a standing liberty quarter.  These are exact replicas of the actual coins.  The quarter is so real you will swear it is an actual coin.  On the Metals page.

The 4 lb size of  Apoxie Sculpt is now back in stock, and available in white, black and bronze!  This size is the best value. 
Also added, Apoxie Paste.  A thinner consistency than Apoxie Sculpt, batter-like Apoxie Paste can be used to waterproof the inside of gourds.  It's an adhesive, a filler and a sealer all in one!  Can be tinted with pigments, and has a 1-3 hour working window. Cures hard and adheres to just about anything including foam.
Theresa Tyler of St. Clair, Missouri made a gourd stand from repurposed copper wire (out of a broken electronic like a drill or vacuum) and the vase is the top of a bottle gourd.

Below:  Yair Blaushtein of Israel made these very creative pieces.  In both cases, the stand really sets off the design well so that it is an integral part of the finished piece.  The first gourd is of an African girl resting inside natural fabric and some raffia.   The second piece is called "Babylon Tower".  It has a ceramic stand which symbolizes the earth.

Michelle Green of Anacortes, Washington is one lucky lady.  Not only is she a talented artist, but her father (Dale Green)  has the talent and skills to make her some custom made ornamental metal stands for her gourds.  The heron was the first of her collaborations with her Dad.  She told him that that the gourd wouldn't stand up straight, and asked if he could make a ring base to balance it in.  She loved the results and the fact that it was her first deep-relief carved piece and his first attempt at ornamental metal work.  She can't bear to part with this one!  The wrap-around wolf design is set off wonderfully by the custome shaped stand with accenting metal leaves, and the owls are a real stunner with the metal stand and leaves.   The metal worked coral stand really sets off the sea otter/shell design. 
Below:  Recent classes - June was busy with classes in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and in Raymondville, Missouri.   Thanks to everyone that hosted and attended the classes!
Below:  Betty Banks of Leedy, Oklahoma  made this gourd called "The Gathering Place". The gourd has stipling, inlay, carving, acrylic paint and wood burning. The stand is ceramic and is also hand painted with acrylic paint. The top is a turtle that is removable and also has inlay.

Classes in Colorado Springs
The gourd shown to the right, "Beetle Garden", is in the running to be selected as the cover photo for an upcoming issue of the Crafts Report Magazine! The magazine staff selected this as one of 32 entries, and it has already made it through to the semifinal round of 10, where it is competing against many different types of art.  On June 27th, you can vote for my entry and hopefully it will place as one of the two finalists.  The voting will take place on the Crafts Report Facebook page.  If you don't already "Like" Arizona Gourds on Facebook, please consider doing so.  I will share the official entry photo on Facebook on the 27th.  Thanks to all of you that voted in the earlier round and moved me closer to the magazine cover!
*Coming this week, additional new styles of the heavy inlaid earrings! Look for an updated photo in the next couple of days on the embellishments page.
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 orders. :)
Newsletter Index - article and tip index from all the past newsletters.
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Beaded Gourd with stand made by Angel Glasser of Missouri.  The  stand is made of Mississippi river drift wood.  Angel picked up the piece of wood while walking the riverside in Grafton Illinois. She gave the wood a good cleaning with my steam cleaner to make sure that no "water creatures" were lurking in the cracks and gave it a coat of water based sealer. The bowl is held in place by slight spring tension between a loop of copper wire behind the bowl and the lip of the bowl where it sits behind the quartz pebble glued just in front. More pebbles, some shells and a little starfish finish the look.

Below: Linda Yoeman of Ontario, Canada makes stands from items such as copper tubing, metal wire, driftwood, coconut shells and more.
Right:  Gourd with driftwood stand by Christine Rebert of Louisiana.  The driftwood was found on the Oregon coast, and Christine added a couple of metal leaves to help stablize the gourd.  

Below:  Bobblehead gourd made by Tami King of Missouri.  Tami used recycled items such as paper for the hat and an old bedspring for the stand.

Right:  Nothing too fancy, but Gay Shuell of California found the perfect stands for ocean drums.  A simple easel type plate holder props the gourd drum securely, while it can be removed easily for playing.
Below: Classes in Raymondville, Missouri.  Thanks to Linda Ashmore and Sharon Foster who provided their photos. 
Here's a pdf file of a newspaper article that was published about our Taymondville workshop.  The article is from the Houston Herald.  The PDF to the left is a printer friendly version; you can see the complete article with photos on the newspaper website, here.  The You Tube video was taken during class and while there are plenty of whining Dremel tools to listen too, there is a bit of class content towards the end of the video as well.  Thanks to Doug Davisson of the Houston Herald for spending the afternoon with us!
The Iowa Gourd Society contingent who attended the workshop poses with "The Duke" (who was born in Winterset, Iowa.) This photo was taken inside the ranch resort store, where they sell items for their usual clientele - horse riding aficionados.  Our gourd group was a wonderful curiosity to the locals!
Gourd by Phyllis Sickles - Done with colored pencils and woodburning.  She worked on this while she was helping me at the Colorado Springs retreat.