Tip of the Month: Gourd Storage ideas
March updates from the desert southwest...
Welcome to the March 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:
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.
In honor of the "500 Gourds" book, here is a look at some of the other popular titles in this series. Titles include: Wood Boxes, Clay Sculptures, Pins and Brooches, Teapots, Polymer Clay, Silver Jewelry, Raku Pottery, Vases, Bowls, Dolls, Metal Vessels, Enameled Objects, Knives, Bracelets, Necklaces, Pitchers, Glass Beads, Plates, Tables, and many more.
*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: 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!
(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:
Crushed glass wings on dragonfly; cactus fiber inlays on gourd and lid handle.. Top of gourd is polished natural gourd, lower portion is dyed. Gold leaf accents.
March Feature - Wuertz Gourds Festival Report
The Wuertz festival is practically in my backyard - so it's the only festival where I ever have a booth. Between teaching and running the booth, I don't get a lot of time to wander around and take photos. Thanks to Cathy Toot and Darlene Propp for sending me photos for the newsletter!
The festival was a great success, and despite some unseasonably cold weather, attendance was very high - with well over 9000 wristbands being sold (and some people bought multi-day wristbands, so the actual attendance numbers was probably much higher.) There were plenty of activities going on all the time. Musical entertainment included Hawaiian dance groups, mariachi bands, and folk and bluegrass groups. There were plenty of kid friendly activities including the famous gourd car races, and lots of tasty "Fair food" from the fairground food vendors. There were also lots of wonderful gourd art and supply vendor booths, raw gourds for sale, and a fantastic gourd art competition sponsored by the Arizona Gourd Society.
Thanks to Sandy Williams for passing along this story from Joni Canada of California:
I belong to Z-Gourd Miners and had participated on a "breast cancer gourd quilt " along with the other gourd members. That gave me the idea for a "gourd-quilt" representing all differant types of cancer. I am a nurse in a radiation oncology clinic . We treat all types of cancer with radiation. Our quilt represents 19 types of cancer, the remaining squares are words of encouragement, etc... My nursing staff, which consists of medical assistants, another RN, our boss's son, our house-keeper, etc., whoever wanted to participate. My boss loved the idea and now it is in our clinic permanently. One of my medical assistants developed the legend, calling it "Cancer Awareness Gourd Quilt", with the name of each cancer that the chard represents and the name of the artist. We used acrylic paint, wood-burning, sculptey clay,beads etc.. Everyone, patient and staff seem to enjoy it. I used a "wire-wrapping" technique that is usually used for jewelry with 22 gauge wire with beads in between each chard. We also displayed the quilt with decorative shower rod holders. I am now trying to encourage my co-workers at the "rancho-cordova" clinic to also participate in their own quilt. It has been a great learning experience. You can reach Joni at : Joni.Canada@kp.org
Newsletter Index - article and tip index from all the past newsletters
*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 now have about 1675 members and almost 5700 gourd photos to inspire you. 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!
Update: Gourd Classes
Last chance to sign up for Tucson classes in February and March. Please check the Classes page for more information and dates. A new class, "Doodles and Glass", has been added. I'll be teaching at the 3rd annual After Midnight Art Ranch Retreat in Sonoita, Arizona. Classes will be held April 15-19th. There are still a few openings for single classes. For more information and registration, please visit the After Midnight classes page, or contact our hostess, Linda Hanson. I will be teaching 3 days of classes in Visalia, California, May 6-8. These classes will be held at the Garrison gourd farm. Please check the Classes page for more information and dates. If you would like to register, please contact Cecile Garrison at 559-740-6060, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Plans are underway for a gourd workshop/retreat in Kentucky next August. Look for more information here next month. I also plan on teaching at the Texas Gourd Festival in October, watch future newsletters for more details.
Book and Media Reviews
This month, I am reviewing two new books, both from Schiffer Publications, and a DVD.
Bonnie Adams "Luge Man" gourd car
Some of the vendor booths on Friday morning early before the crowds descended!
If you are in the Tucson area on March 5th, please stop by the Saguaro National Park (West)! Also, check out this ad from the Southwest Art magazine - reception at the Red Door Gallery in Tubac, AZ. I'll be there Sunday afternoon, March 27th (after I finish classes that day!)
Spring is arriving everywhere, the worst of winter weather is behind, and it's time to think about planting gourds! I don't grow my own, but I love the smell of the air in springtime when everything seems fresh and new. It makes everyone excited to get outside again.
The first book is by Angela Mohr, who has written many other books for this publisher. If you are familiar with any of the other books from this author, then "Making More Gourd Ornaments" will be no surprise. The writing style and content is consistant with her other books, they are very basic and are intended for beginners. The book is heavily illustrated with good photography but very little written information - but since the projects themselves are very simple, the photographs make it easy to follow the steps. The materials used are easy to find items such as spray paint, markers, wire, beads and glue. If you are an experienced gourd crafter, then this book offers very little in the way of new material. However, if you are looking for a book suitable for use by non-crafters, beginners or children, then you may find this useful. 64 pages - Cover price: $19.99
The second book is by Betsey Sloane, who also wrote "Inlace Techniques for Gourd and Wood Crafts". The new book is called "Antler Art for Baskets and Gourds." Gourd crafters have been using antlers and antler parts in their art for quite a while, but there has been very little written instruction on the topic until now. The book begins with some helpful facts about the legal use of antlers, antler types, and their various uses. The next section deals with antlers and basketry. I've never tried making a basket with antlers, so I read this section with interest, and found the directions to be clear. With the accompanying photos, most crafters should be able to weave a project succsesfully. There are instructions for attaching antlers to baskets and information on weaving materials. The next section deals with wall hangings and antlers on gourds, and there are plenty of different projects to try. Many of the projects are written by guest contributors (I even have some work in the book) so writing styles and the amount of instruction varies from project to project. The book concludes with a gallery section full of beautiful "eye candy". This book has a lot of information and I would recommend it to gourd crafters who are interested in using antlers or weaving in their gourd designs. 80 pages - Cover price: $19.99 *Do you have a tip or tutorial we may feature in a future newsletter? Please contact me. Several new items on the website - some in limited quantities. New large rolls of artificial sinew in black and natural, large rolls of short horsehair at a special price, and flower beaded cabochons on the Special Embellishments page. New hanging metal conchos in nickel silver and copper on the Metals page. Turquoise dragonfly wing cabochons, a great assortment of freeform cabochons, and ammonites back in stock on the inlay supplies page. New small bur holders on the Rotary Tool Accessories page. Pitt pen sets back in stock, and new Mini Drum Necklace Kits on the Kits and Supplies page.
"KinderGourden" and the kindergourden teacher
Gourd-Bearing mini beasts of burden.
Gourd Classes were held Thursday through Sunday.
Friday morning crowds - the building warmed up fast!
Gloria Crane is very happy and tired at the end of the day.
Linda Points shows off her new Gourd Art Enthusiasts t-shirt at the GAE dinner on Friday night.
Below: Random Competition Entries - I only had a few minutes to take photos of pieces that caught my eye. There were lots of great entries.
March Special - buy any size drum skin in stock and receive 2 free jewelry size drum skins with each one! Drums skins are on the Musical Supplies page. The final item is a 2 hour DVD tutorial by Nadine Spier. The subject of pine needle basketry in "Basket Weaving Essentials" intriged me enough that I bought a copy. Videos cost more than books, but for those that learn more effectively with classes or hands on instruction, a well made video is the way to go. This video is professionally done, and Nadine does a great job at the pacing and the amount of information given. The photography is excellent; you'll enjoy the serene backdrop of Mammoth Lakes in the background and great closeups of the techniques. The video starts with introducing materials you can use to weave, basket samples, supplies and general weaving information. The second part of the DVD is a tutorial project that starts you from the beginning and provides instruction on each step all the way through to completion. Nadine provides plenty of tips along the way and gives you ideas for making your project individual and unique, the detail in the presentation is superb. Look for additional DVDs on more advanced techniques in the future. I would highly recommend this video to anyone that would like to learn pine needle basketry. (Even though it doesn't deal specifically with gourds, the information and materials used are perfect for gourd projects.) is 2 hour DVD - Cover price: $39.99
Another winning piece from woodcarver/gourd carver Daniel Montano of California.
Beautiful pyrography on the back of a banjo made by Patrick Loafman. (You can see more of his work on the GAE website.
How do you store your dried, raw gourds? If you are a grower and have thousands, your only choice is to put them in large bins or wire cages, or huge boxes, and then decide if you must leave them outdoors or if you have room in a barn or shed. If you are a hobbyist, then you may have other solutions since you (probably!) don't have as many gourds to contend with.
If you have the luxury of a trailer or a shed, you may have room for storage. But still, how do you see that perfect gourd if it is down in the bottom of a huge box? Of course, you can have multiple boxes, each one carefully labeled as to size and shape, but most gourds are individual enough that even that isn't a perfect solution. I have seen gourds stuffed into collapsable mesh laundry sacks and hampers (at least you can see into those), chicken wire corrals, old hammocks, and every kind of storage tub and box. Some people have come up with some innovative ideas. My favorite is the fishnet method. The fishnets are strung from the rafters like a long hammock, or attached to a wall where one side may be loosened and gourds retrieved.
Another clever idea is for storage of ornament sized gourds. Wholesale stores like Costco and Sam's sell apples in formed plastic packaging. Each package has 12 perfect round spaces that will hold buffalo gourd ornaments, egg gourds, etc. You can see through the package, and it provides protection for thin shelled ornamentals. (If you don't shop at these places, your neighbor's recyling bins might yield a few!)
Storage for small gourds used by Cathy Toot.
Last Chance - Gourd Book Opportunity!
Lark Publishing's call for submissions for their newest book in the "500" series - "500 Gourds" is almost at the deadline.
If you've ever seen one of their other "500" titles, you'll be really excited to see this new offering, which is scheduled for release in 2012. This book attract a much wider audience than just gourders. Jim Widess and Ginger Summit, authors of several other gourd titles published by Lark and Sterling (Lark's parent company) will be jurying the submitted photos. *The official deadline for entries is March 1, 2001 - but contact email@example.com if you need a short extension. They haven't received as many submissions as they like, so they will work with you for a couple of extra weeks. Without enough quality entries, the book may be cancelled! Please visit Lark's website: http://www.larkcrafts.com/submit/calls-for-submissions/ and download the entry form. You'll be submitting photos: transparencies, negatives and high resolution digital images. Please don't let the photo submission info scare you off. Use a plain background, (a sheet of posterboard taped to the wall, and curved and taped to a table provides a nice, seamless background) and set your camera to the highest resolution. Do not alter the photos at all with software - send them as is; their photo editor will do any corrections!
Storage for large gourds used by Phyllis Sickles.
Storage for large gourds used by Irma Brewer.