Left: Malachite stone donuts, large drilled flat magnesite turquoise discs, magnesite coral cabochons, drilled magnesite turquoise beads, and NEW LOWER PRICED ammonites are in stock on the Inlay Supplies page.

New engraved Chinese character bone beads.  Many different designs - but I can't tell you what they represent.  ("Eat at Joes"?)   On the Bone Beads and Embellishments page.  Pewter Native Sun charm on the Metals Page.

Below:  Bundles of 8" (approx) horse hair are economical and can be used for tassels, mask projects and more.  On the Special Embellishments page.

Announcement - 2015 AGS Special Artistry Award

The American Gourd Society board has voted to take on responsibility for an annual Artistry award.  Entries for 2015 will be limited to those who enter an AGS judged show and receive a Best of Show, a People's Choice award, or are entered in a non-judged Grand Masters division which is typically open only to previous winners of those two awards.  Because the award will now be sponsored by the AGS, the artists must be a member of the American Gourd Society to qualify for entry.  The winning entry will receive a cash award.  
With the recent Wuertz Festival, we already have several people eligible to send in their entries.  This is not automatic; artists or show chairmen must submit photos of the qualifiying entries for consideration.  Photos of qualifying entries should be sent to the Artistry award committee chair:  bonnie@arizonagourds.com. 
Look for more details in the upcoming AGS Gourd Magazine!

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

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

Desert Nectar: Coral Bean and Hummer
Created for the Tohono Chul Gallery Show "Sonoran Desert, Large and Small. On display/sale until April 26, 2015. Cannonball gourd, handcarved basswood hummingbird.
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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 over 4350 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
It was a pleasure to see so many gourd friends at the Wuertz festival in February; however I have to admit that the festival was so frantically busy, that most of it is a blur. It's hard to describe to someone who has never attended how difficult it is to focus on anything but the task on hand where there is so much going on all around you.  I never even got a chance to check out the raw gourds this year and only spent about 5 minutes in the competition area.  I totally missed all of the fabulous musical entertainment (except for the strolling mariachis that came through the vendor building), and I didn't get to see the gourd car races - it was just so busy that I had to stay in my booth area.   The Wuertz family reported that the first day of the festival was a record breaker, with 500 more people attending on Friday than any other day in the past.  Attendance was around 12,000 people this year!    If you have never been, you missed the perfect opportunity as the weather this year was absolutely ideal. Put this even on your bucket list if you've never had a chance to go.    Thank you to all who did attend and made the weekend successful.  I had some great students in my classes this year, too!

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UpdateGourd Classes

Two additional books on dyes - the first book, Gourd Art with Ink Dyes by Maria Dellos has instructions for using regular ink dyes, (which are nothing more than stamp pad refills.)  The second book, has ideas for alcohol inks, which do not require heat setting and are alcohol soluable. 

The inks show at the bottom are two of the common brands of alcohol inks, and are the type used in the book Pigments of Your Imagination.

New to the website - I am really excited about this new metallic hematite heishi.  It is real hematite stone that has been electrotreated to add color.  Each strand is a lustrous jewel tone.  It lets you add a pop of "bling" without being gaudy.  Real stone - 16" strands in 5 colors.

On the Inlay Supplies 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 business.
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 issue of the Arizona Gourds newsletter! 
Designed especially for us, the new Saburr Tooth Safety Head Dovetail is fantastic for carving ripples and for areas where a smooth, clean edge cut is important.  Because there are no teeth on the end of the bur, you can cut cleanly right along a line. On the Carving Burs page.
Back in Stock!
There are several new items on the website since our last newsletter, and a few of them are special purchase items that will only be available while supplies last. 
All of my currently scheduled classes in various locations are full at this time.  Please sign up for the class updates list if you would like to receive notifications about any future classes. 
Enter your email address and hit the submit button to join the class updates notification list.
Right: Limited supply of some of our older merchandise - when these are gone, they will not be restocked. First come, first serve until gone. 
Beaded pins with a soft backing that can be glued onto gourds - fully beaded and dimensional.  Available in butterflies, turtles and hummingbirds.  On the Special Embellishments page while they last.
New light cords for electrifying your gourd mouse houses, lamps and other smaller gourd projects.  It has a low watt nightlight bulb and an inline on/off switch right on the cord.  You can find them on the Project Packets page next to the Mouse House tutorial, or on the Kits and Misc. Supplies page.
All photos and designs copyright © 2014 by Bonnie Gibson and may not be used without express written permission.
Bonus Feature:  Book Reviews

Updated Tip of the Month:  Abranet Sanding Mesh

In January, I wrote a tip about using Abranet sanding mesh for hand sanding and for use on disc sanders.  I had a huge response from this article, and because of that,  Abranet sample packs are now available on the Arizona Gourds website.  Unlike the sample packs sold through Amazon and other places, these packs are in 9" lengths, which allow you to cut the material for use with small disc sanders without a lot of wastage.  You can get at least 3 discs from each sheet, or cut it to size for smaller sanders or hand sanding.   Each sample pack has 5 different grits from 120 to 400 grit, and double packs offer even more savings. (The price on these packs works out at a lower price per square inch than the standard sample packs sold on Amazon. )

"Bonnie, I just wanted to let you know how impressed I am with the Abranet sanding mesh I got from you.  Where has this been all this time?  Great stuff!  Soooo much better than sandpaper.  Thank you!"  Debbie W
While this sandpaper is a bit pricey, it lasts so long and is so easy to use that I think it is well worth the cost.  The  Abranet assortment pack shown to the right is available on the Tools page and is an assortment of grits from 120 - 400.  80 grit sheets are also available.

Limited Supply of Battery Operated Turntables - These run on a single D battery, and will operate continuously for about a week.  Perfect for gourd shows. Only a few left in stock.
On the Kits and Displays page.
Right:  The Wuertz family always has some great displays each year at the fairgrounds.  This was the new gourd wall and gourd soldier protecting the festival this year. 

*Thanks to Val Kimball for some of the photos used in this month's newsletter!
Feature - 2015 Wuertz Festival

Another great festival is over, and a lot of people have asked for photos from around the festival, especially of some of the competition entries.  I had only a few minutes to dash through the competition building, but thanks to Val Kimball I have some photos to share with you.  Everyone who entered the competition is to be congratulated.  Not everyone always agrees with the judging results; but just putting your work out there for people to see and enjoy makes you a winner.  The photos below are not all ribbon winners, I often take photos of pieces that I enjoy because of their creativity or excellent craftsmanship.

Above: Best of Show by William Bruns
Below People's Choice by Jennifer Hershman
Above:  Ron Swank Display of laser cut gourds
Doodling Borders for Wood Burning, Gourds and Drawing is the most recent gourd title released, becoming available at the beginning of 2015.  The author, Bettie Lake, wanted to offer some doodle patterns that would transfer well to woodburning and gourds.  The idea was to create patterns that worked well with simple grids using a lot of straight lines instead of complicated curves or circles.  These types of patterns are much easier to burn.   The book is designed for beginning gourders/doodlers and has information on basic gourd preparation, tools and working with soft woods.  There  are 25 different doodle patterns with some ideas for modifying them to make them look similar but different.  

While there are burning pens out there that burn circles, dots and "C" shaped curves, many people only own basic tools.  The patterns in this book should be easy to burn even for those with simple burners and limited tips.  Most of the doodling books on the market are written for those that doodle on paper with pens, so it is nice to see someone offer an instruction book geared towards those that work on gourds.

If you are already an accopmplished pyrographer, doodler, or gourd artist, this book will not offer a lot of new challenges, but if you are just starting with burning, gourding or doodling, this book is comprehensive enough to meet your needs and give you information to start.
Schiffer Publishing - 56 pages - $12.99  cover price.

While Pigments of Your Imagination is not a gourd book, this book will be of strong interest to any gourder who works with Alcohol inks.  Cathy Taylor is an award winning mixed-media artist
and a popular workshop instructor.  The first thing you will notice is that the book is bright and colorful, and is filled with ways to use the medium in creative ways.  It may seem like a small point, but the book is made with a spiral lay-flat binding, so you can open the pages and follow directions easily, and it makes the book more practical.  

I rarely work with alcohol dyes, but there are things in this book that make me excited to give them a try.  The author used several brands of alcohol inks, and provides a lists of inks, adhesives, mediums and tools that might be useful in your experimentation.  Some of the techniques may not work as well on gourds as on paper, but there are plenty of ideas to get your creative juices flowing.   You'll enjoy the gorgeous art projects, photography and bright colors!
Schiffer Publishing-  136 pages - $24.99 cover price.