Feature - Wuertz Festival Report

I always have a great time at the Wuertz Festival - except for the fact that I am so busy I never really get a chance to see much of the show myself.  Crowds were in abundance - especially on Friday and Saturday - and the weather cooperated this year.  The days were sunny and reasonably warm.  Everyone I saw seemed to be having a great time and the competition was spectacular.  I didn't get much time to spend looking at the entries, but I flew madly around the room one morning before the show opened for the day and took photos of some pieces that caught my eye! 

Arizona Gourds
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:

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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. 
This month we feature books on Gourd and Basketry technique books.  The first book is not yet released - "Different Materials for Weaving and Coiling" will be out at the end of April.  It's written by Marianne Barnes, who also wrote "Weaving on Gourds". The other books in this grouping are other reference and project books with weaving techniques. 
*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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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:

"Wild Brothers - Mask"

Large canteen gourd with antlers, turkey, macaw and pheasant feathers, turquoise, horsehair, leather, shell.
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Printable PDF File
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 over 2400 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!  
We also had a greate GAE dinner up at the Wuertz festival - we hope to do this at more events!
Check out our two great new GAE T-Shirt designs ! 
UpdateGourd Classes

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 the Ocean drum class.

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

The June Missouri workshop is now full - but for those of you in the midwest,  I'll be teaching at the Michigan Festival of Gourds, September 14-16.  Classes and details are now posted on the festival site. 
*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
In the next issue ....    Gourd BOTTOMS.  We did an article on gourd lids, so our next feature will be on ways to make your gourds sit.  This can include sanded gourds, gourds with feet, gourds with stands - anything goes!
Looking for photos of interesting gourds and how you've made them sit!  We'd love to feature your work in the newsletter!  Got a photo or two? Please send to: bonnie@arizonagourds.com.
Spring has arrived in the Southwest - we've had great weather, up to 80 degree days, and gourd growers have been planting already!  Hopefully spring will be close behind for everyone else, and that you'll soon have healthy, growing gourd vines.
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Reader's Mailbag:
I wanted to send you a picture of the gourd from yesterdays class.  I brightened up the gourd with gold leafing and added a little embellishment to make it "pop". I thought it turned out pretty good and I like the "cactus lace" effect.
Kathy Baylor - AZ
Below: The wonderful gourd competition was run by the Arizona Gourd Society (The competition is not affiliated with the festival - but the Wuertz family kindly provides space.)
Below:  Banyan Tree and Saguaro Cactus gourds by Phyllis Sickles.  She won the People's Choice award.
The Wuertz family makes the festival fun and inviting with clever displays, entertainment, activites, and thousands and thousands of gourds!
Right: Little Clayton Wuertz was born right after the festival last year.  This year, he was out helping Mom and Dad measure gourds!

I'll be participating in the first annual Gourd Festival, March 15-17th, at the beautiful Tohono Chul Botanical Park in Tucson, Arizona.  I'll also have gourds in the Entry Gallery show (March 8 - May 6) along with other great gourd artists.  If you live or vacation in Arizona, we hope you'll stop by and check it out.  *Poster hard to read?  Click on the PDF file below to see the full sized version.

        Book Review: R2 Designs on Teneriffe

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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!
Beautiful pyroengravings - James Perry won Best of Show with the piece to the right.  The other pieces shown below are also his.
The newest gourd book has just been released by sisters Diane Richins and Shelley Fletcher of Arizona.  They had the first copies hot off of the press at the Wuertz Festival.  This is the first book I've seen that has instructions for doing teneriffe weaving on gourds, and the book has over 115 full color pictures of examples, step by step instructions, materials, recommended products and sources.   It's written in a casual, easy to read style, but the instruction are clear and the accompanying photos make the dierctions easy to follow.  The  material progresses from basic weaving stiches to more complicated ones.  There are a lot of examples to look at, but the book does not include specific patterns to follow. Once you learn the different kinds of stitches, you'll be able to experiment and come up with your own designs.
50 pages - Self Published   To order, email info@r2gourds.com  Mailed copies are $24 including shipping.
Below:  Wonderful diorama display - all creatures made from gourds!  Artist Marilu Savage created these as well as the wonderful Wuertz Festival logos.
Opposite side has a lovely pyroengraved sea turtle.
Reader's Mailbag:
Prill Neagles of Arizona did these wonderful thunder drums using prickly pear cactus fiber as an accent.  They were glued onto the inside of the gourd before adding the bottom drum skin and spring.
New ~ Magnesite Stone Cabochons
These cabochons are magnesite stone, dyed to look like turquouise, coral and lapis. They are REAL stone, with natural markings. Great for the budget minded crafter that wants the look of real gemstones, but at a fraction of the price.  All bags are $1 each!  Special purchase; limited to stock on hand.   On the Inlay Supplies 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. We've only received a few entries so far - so hope you'll send in a photo!  The deadline to submit a photo is April 15th. The winner and other selected entries will be published in the May newsletter.
New ~ Large Metal Rim Rings   These are heavy, cast metal rings that add a beautiful accent to a gourd rim!   On the Metals page.

SALE - To celebrate the return of the carved bone and turquoise feather earrings, they are on sale this month while supplies last.
On the Bone Bead and Embellishments Page.
Below: More activities at the festival - Gourd car racing was popular.
Left: I took this photo early one morning before this big brute was adorned with gourds on his horns.
        Book Review: Woodburning with Style

Woodburning with Style by Simon Easton is a very nice resource for beginning woodburners.  It does not deal specifically with gourds, but the information provided in the well laid out chapters may be applied to any kind of burning surface.  The author begins with very basic information about woodburning systems, materials that may be burned, maintenance and pen types.  From there, he delves into practice exercises for different burning techniques.  Some chapters deal with creating designs, transferring patterns and finishing with borders and decorative touches.  The final chapters have ideas for using color with burning, lettering and even laying out Celtic designs.  If you are looking for patterns - this is not the book for you.  However, if you are looking for thorough and basic instruction on pyrography, this is an excellent resource.  208 pages - Publisher: Fox Chapel - Cover price $24.95
New ~ Graduated Stone "Fan" Accents
Choose from synthetic Turquoise or Multi-Stone mixes!   Use them around a gourd neck and create a great necklace effect on your art  - or use them to make a great piece of jewelry.

On the Bone Bead and Embellishments Page.
Left: This is a wonderful state quilt made by the members of the Southwest gourd patch of Phoenix.  It commemorates the Arizona Centennial - what a wonderful way to celebrate our state's 100th birthday!  It was on display at the Wuertz Festival.