Arizona Gourds
Updates from the desert southwest...
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*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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Gourds with Southwestern Motifs by Bonnie Gibson

Out of Print - some copies still available through Amazon and they are at a reduced price. 
What's new on the Arizona Gourds website? 
(Click on book cover for ordering information.)
Featured Gourd of the Month:

"Pueblo Canteen"
Canteen gourd with removeable lid, basswood, leather, turquoise and acrylic paints.
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Printable PDF File
Newsletter Index - article and tip index from all the past newsletters
Newsletter Index
The Gourd Art Enthusiasts site has about 4875 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.
Check out our GAE T-Shirt designs ! 
*Want to see my listing of top gourd books?  Here is my  "Listmania" listing on Amazon
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*NEW GROUP on Facebook - "Gourding Destash".  This is the place to sell your used gourd tools and excess supplies.  No fees to sell your surplus supplies and raw gourds.* 
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Creating Wall Pockets is a new release by Sammie Crawford.  It is available for preorder and will be released this month!

The Big Book of Pyrography Projects is a compilation from the best articles of Pyrography Magazine.  This is a publication that has been very supportive of gourd artists and there are some gourd articles inside as well as on the cover!

Lora Irish is a well known author of several carving and woodburning books.  This is one of her older books and is available for a very reasonanable price.  All of her books are very well done and include instructions and patterns.

The final book, Handbook of Curcubits, is going to be out of the price range for most people, but it's definitely worth noting. This is a scholarly book by a professor of agronomy at the University of Arizona in Tucson.  
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 March/April issue of the Arizona Gourds newsletter! 
The Wuertz festival has come and gone, and it was a great show.  I hope that a lot of you got a chance to come this year.  The weather was absolutely perfect and the crowds were plentiful.  Springtime has already started blossoming in the desert, as you can see from these photos of desert wildflowers. Citrus trees are flowing and the air is heavy with their scent. That means that gourd planting season is upon us - and hopefully will not be too far behind for those of you that live in more northern climates.

Tip of the Month:  Non-Slip Work Apron

At a recent class, several people had problems with their gourds slipping off of their laps while they were cleaning or carving their gourds.  One solution is to keep a piece of rubberized shelf liner handy so that you can place it in your lap as needed.  Another solution that works really well is to simply sew a large sheet of this material onto the front of your apron!  That way you always have your non-slip surface handy without searching for it. 
Photos and design copyright © 2016 by Bonnie Gibson and  may not be used without express written permission.
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.
Reader's Mailbox
Hi Bonnie, This is my latest gourd. I used the heishi and concho I got from you.  Becky Anthony - TX
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Class updates

I will be offering "Carving with Cutouts" (Rabbit designs) at the home of Toni Best in Visalia, CA on April 25th, immediately following the Gourds and Basket conference.  Please contact Toni to register.  More info on the classes page.

I will be holding classes in both Las Cruces, NM and Albuquerque NM next September.  Please contact Sylvia Hendrickson for info about the Las Cruces classes, (Inlace Inlay and Closed Coiling, Sept 14-15)  and the New Mexico Gourd Society for info on the Albuquerque classes (Sept 17-18,  Basic Power Carving and Fancy Filigree).

New item on the website - Thunder Drum Springs.  These have a bead already installed on the end of the spring, and are $4.50 each or 5 for $20. You will find them on the Musical Supplies webpage. Thanks to Kathe Stark for letting me share this photo of her completed thunder drum. 
PLEASE NOTE:  I will be teaching in California the last week of April.  Orders on the website will not be shipped out from April 20th - May 2nd. 
Highlights from the Wuertz Festival

Here are some photos from the festival.  Thanks to Jennifer Hershman for sharing some of these.  I did get a chance to go through the competition area and really enjoyed seeing some of the beautiful entries. 
Left:  New Stone Bead Strands on the Inlay Supplies page.
New project packet now available - "Carving Burs - Selection & Uses".   People have been asking for something like this for years.  This packet will show you the differences between bur materials, sizes, shapes and what they are best used for.  Now available on the Project Packets page
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I have been busy since the festival ended, and now most items from the website have been restocked.  I also had some great classes at the beginning of March, and I am mostly caught up.  That means that now I can get outside and start working on some new gourd projects! 
Early morning on the first day of the festival, before everyone arrived.  The weather was perfect!  The Wuertz family does a fantastic job of setting up cute displays all around the fairgrounds for people to enjoy.  It's a kids (and adult) friendly atmosphere.
Our final booth was a success!  Everett has a big smile on his face because he knows he won't have to work this hard again next year!  (I hope to teach more classes instead.)
Above:  There were quite a few youth entries in the competition this year.   The rest of the photos are just some pieces that caught my eye as I quickly ran through the competition area. 
Below: Floral Fantasy classes - Just a few photos of gourds in progress at our recent classes.  This was a 2 day workshop.
Kathy Lawson of California brought this gourd to a recent class to show me the project she had done after reading the Carving with Cutouts and Filigree Project packets.  I think she did a fantastic job!
New items on the website - Magnesite turquoise flying eagle beads.  Nice accent pieces, drilled from top to bottom but also could be inlaid. On the Inlay Supplies Page.
Below: Flat backed large teardrop jasper bead sets are perfect for inlay, but can also be strung with included small round beads. On the Earrings and More page.
Back after a long absence - Small football CARBIDE burs are like a combo ball/cylinder shape with the advantages of both.  Carbide means it stays sharp for a long time, the smaller size lets you get into tight areas.  On the Carving Burs page.

Special Sale:   Sets of 10 diamond files are on sale this month!  Look for them on the Hand Tools page.