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 and the weather was great this year.  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 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! 
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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. 
*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

The hardcover edition is now out of print.  This is the paperback version of my "Gourds" book.

All copies I sell are autographed.

What's new on the Arizona Gourds website? 
(Click on book cover for ordering information.)
All photos and designs copyright © 2013 by Bonnie Gibson and may not be used without express written permission.
Featured Gourd of the Month:

"Hummingbird Urn"

Gourd with added handles, carved wood hummingbird, and textured patinas.
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Newsletter Index - article and tip index from all the past newsletters
Newsletter Index
The Gourd Art Enthusiasts site continues to grow!  We have about 3100 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 wonderful GAE dinner up at the Wuertz festival - we hope to do this at more events!
Check out our two GAE T-Shirt designs ! 
*Want to see my listing of top gourd books?  Here is my  "Listmania" listing on Amazon
It's been a weird spring in Tucson - one day we had a blizzard, and two days later it was in the 60's!  It was fun to see a good snowstorm, and here in the desert they don't last long.  Before we know it, it will be planting time!  I taught classes here at my house two days after this photo was taken.
It was cool, but I didn't even need a sweatshirt. 
The cactus skeleton is what is left of our saguaro
that died after the freeze we had 2 years ago.
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We took a few photos of the Arizona Gourds booth before the show opened on Friday morning.  Things looked different just a few moments later when the crowds descended!
Below: Some random photos of gourds that caught my eye!
The Wuertz family makes the festival fun and inviting with clever displays, entertainment, activites, and thousands and thousands of gourds!  Thanks to Sue Haberer and Kim Bilek for sharing some of their festival photos.

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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!
Above: Best of Show - Sculpture made from gourd pulp and seeds.
New ~ Small Faux Turquoise Studs   Added to the site by request, these small studs are the perfect accent for faux leather tooling designs or just for interesting accents.  See the metals page for an example done by Hellen Martin of Texas.  It's a beauty! On the Metals page.
New ~ Extra Large Graduated Stone "Fans"
These are a special one time purchase from the recent gem show. Unlike our other stone fans, these are large pieces, measuring around 4 - 6". (See ruler at top for sizes)  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.  While they last - $10 each
UpdateGourd Classes
All class sessions are currently full.  Watch for new offerings on the Classes page! 
*Join the class updates list to receive advance notice of upcoming classes.  Get the news first and
have the best chance to sign up for popular classes! 
Coming Soon....   Colored Pencil Gourds!
Looking for photos of interesting gourds where colored pencils were used.  We'd love to feature your work in the newsletter!   Got a photo or two? Please send to: bonnie@arizonagourds.com.  Please include what brand of pencils you used, and if you have any comments about them either pro or con.  There are so many types of pencils out there, and your input will really help out other gourd artists.  Thanks for your help.
Magnesite Stone Cabochons - new sizes & shapes! These 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 just $1 each!    SALE - This month, for every 5 bags of these cabochons purchased, you'll receive an additional bag (we'll surprise you) at no extra charge!     
On the Inlay Supplies page.
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.)
I was really happy to finally meet online friend and carver extraordinaire, Jordan Straker of Canada.  Jordan was only at the show for a short time, but did come and join us at our Gourd Art Enthusiasts dinner.  Trivia - both Jordan and I like cotton candy.  Wonder if sugar is a carving "PED" ?    
Left:  Antique Globe by Teri Camp. She won the People's Choice award.

Below - Some pieces in the Grand Master category
Tip of the Month - Reconditioning Paintbrushes

You can use ordinary cake hand soap or Murphy's oil soap to recondition paintbrushes that have dried paint in the bristles.  *Don't bend the bristles until after they have softened, as they could break.  

Lather the bristles with cake soap, or place the bristles into full strength Murphy's oil soap.  Let them sit for a couple of hours, then scrape off any softened residue, and rinse with warm water.  You may have to re-lather or resoak several times to get all of the old paint out.  If the brush has a wooden handle, try to keep the handle dry, as water will cause the wood to deteriorate or warp.  When all the paint is gone, rinse the bristles thoroughly, then dry completely with the bristles hagning down or smoothed into shape.
Congratulations to all of those that entered the show!
The first three books are a few favorites from my own bookshelf. 

The last three books are available as pre-releases.  The first book, Learn to Burn, is a basic beginners woodburning instruction book.  Relief Carving Workshop is by Lora Irish, who has written many excellent woodcarving books.  The first two have a March release date. Cut Out Gourd Techniques is s available in May.   (Preorder any of these titles from Amazon and they will be shipped as soon as they are available.) 
New ~ Limited Supply of Drilled Turquoise nuggets. On the Inlay Supplies page.
There were lots of classes going on from Thursday through Sunday.  Here's photos from my Fancy Filigree and Cholla carving classes.
New ~ Cholla Cactus Carving Tutorial
Due to a high level of interest, I have written a new project packet for the Cholla Cactus Carving project.  While taking a class is usually the best  way to go, I realize not everyone is able to do so.  This packet has complete instructions on how to do the cactus carving (it does not include directions for the clay sculpture.)
*To carve this efficiently, you'll need a specialized bur.  I have them on order, and hope to have them in hand this week. You can order, and  I will ship as soon as the burs arrive.
On the Project Packets page.