May/June 2014 Arizona Gourds newsletter. Featured articles: After Midnight Gourd Art Retreat report, Blue Diamond Classes report, Product Review - Miriam Joy templates. Tip of the Month - gourd stabilizer. MayJune
Arizona Gourds
(Somewhat unpredictable) news from the desert southwest...
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Featured Books of the Month:

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Use our Amazon search box link to find all kinds of books and other products!  We appreciate those of you that do so; Amazon purchases made through the links on this website help to support this site.
Here are some books that relate to my most recent War Shirt Project Packet and other southwestern interests.

Lizards of the American Southwest is a wonderful pictoral reference book.  The 4 Native American titles are in my own collection of reference books.  Most of these are older books that are available used for very little money, and would be a wonderful addition to your own library.  The first two have lots of photos of Native regalia and clothing.  The second two have beadwork patterns and designs for inspiration or for actual beading projects.

Creative Rims for Gourd Art is available as a pre-release with a lowest price guarantee from Amazon.  This book is due out June 28th.

You might enjoy visiting my "Listmania" list on Amazon where I note some of my other top choices for gourd related books.  I hope to update it soon as several gourd titles have been released since I first created the list.

*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.
What's new on the Arizona Gourds website? 
Featured Gourd of the Month:

"Ancient Beings"

Gourd pottery with prehistoric pottery designs, and a collared lizard sculpted with Apoxie Sculpt and painted with acrylic paints.
Printable PDF File
Newsletter Index - article and tip index from all the past newsletters
Newsletter Index
The Gourd Art Enthusiasts site continues to grow!  We have about 3875 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 great new GAE T-Shirt designs ! 
*Want to see my listing of top gourd books?  Here is my  "Listmania" listing on Amazon
"Like" Arizona Gourds on Facebook to get special offers, up to the minute news about new products and classes, and other gourding updates. (Just a note - I don't add gourd friends on my personal page, I save that for family and non-gourding friends.)
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Tip of the Month:  Staybowlizer -  Gourd helping hand!

Do you have any helpful tips? We'd love to share them with our readers, and we'll be sure to
give you proper credit.   Please send them to:
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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!
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Unless othewise noted, photos and designs are copyright © 2014 by Bonnie Gibson and may not be used without express written permission.

Welcome to the May/June issue of the  Arizona Gourds newsletter! 
UpdateGourd Classes

In recent classes, I have been seeing more and more people using one of these Staybowlizer silicone rings for steadying their gourd work.  The soft silicone grips the gourd and keeps it in place, and when it gets dusty or dirty it is easily cleaned with a bit of soap and water.  Now, in addition to the orange color, they are available in black, green, red and white, so you will know which one is yours!
Were you a winner of a top prize at 2014 AGS gourd competion?  Please read below. 

To reward excellence in artistry, and to promote interest in entering artwork in gourd competitions, Arizona Gourds will offer a special  2014 "Gourd Artistry" award including a cash prize. 

This year, any gourd art that wins "Best of Show", "People's Choice" or "Best of Division" awards, OR is entered into a "Grand Master" category at any 2014 AGS gourd show, will be eligible to compete for a $100 cash award OR a $150 merchandise credit from Arizona Gourds.   In addition, a $50 donation will be made to the state society that hosted the show where the winner qualified.  (If the winning entry won awards at more than one show, the donation will be divided among these state societies.)   Other prizes may also be awarded depending on the number of entries received.

How to enter:  If your gourd meets one of these criteria, submit up to three photos of your prize winning gourd,  and at the end of 2014, the winner will be announced. Because the judges will be basing their decisions on photos and will not be able to see the finished piece, it is very important that clear, high quality photos are submitted!  It will be your responsibility to submit photos of your art, but competition chairpersons are strongly encouraged to submit the photo entries for all of the qualifying winners at their shows.  Please include information about your photo including at which show the prize was awarded, your full name and contact information, and any special information about the piece you would like to include.

After a show is completed, please send photos and information about each winning piece to: or  Please put "Gourd Artistry Award Submission" in the subject line. 
Entries may also be mailed to Arizona Gourds, 5930 N Camino Arizpe  Tucson, AZ 85718-4612

*  Entries to date:  0
It is hard for me to believe that I have been writing monthly newsletters since June of 2006!  That's 8 full years of newsletters, and all of those past issues are still online and full of valuable gourding info.  Some of the items may be dated, but the feature articles are worth reading at any time.  Thanks to everyone for your support and business over the years! 
Want to see the old issues?  Bookmark the Newsletter Index page and you can check them out at any time.  The features and tips are indexed on this handy page.

I've had a lot of fun (along with some hard work) the last few weeks.  I taught at the 6th annual After Midnight gourd retreat in Sonoita, AZ, then headed up to the Las Vegas area for more classes at Blue Diamond.  It was a lot of fun and the weather was mostly cooperative this year.  I'm beginning to think it may not ever rain in the desert again.

I also finished up my office renovation and that should help me be more efficient when packing and shipping your orders.  I'm very happy that it is finally finished and I can find things again. 
Feature - Product Review

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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.

(Click on book cover for ordering information.)
I'm starting to think about possible summer/fall classes.  The only classes firmly scheduled at this time are being held in Phoenix on October 25-26th.
For more information or to register, please contact class coordinator Kathy Baylor at  Classes include Inlace Inlay, Peacock Feather and War Shirt.

Keep watching for more classes to be posted - or join the class updates list.
Gourds harvested and more in the fields behind - and snake gourds drying on a fence.

Below right: Phyllis Sickles filling a tub with treasures.
New Smaller size Saburr Tooth ball bur on the Carving Burs page.
Cast resin eagle and bear claws - no animals were harmed.  On the Embellishments and Beads page.

Below: Mini Dragonfly charms!  The silver charms have raised red enamel on the wings, the copper charms are thinner and larger. On the Metals page
New Ball Tip burning pens on the Woodburners page.
A dramatic sunset over the mountains while at the Sonoita Gourd Retreat.  No rain - but close enough to create some spectacular lighting.
Reader's Mailbag
Hi Bonnie,  Here is my latest project – couldn’t have done it without your burrs!   Pamela Gaspard
New Project Packet!  The "War Shirt" project packet is now available on the Project Packets page.  Included with the project packet is a packet of suede texture medium that is sufficient to do 1-2 projects. Extra medium is available.
Magnesite Turquoise Butterflies are available again - and this time in 3 sizes!  These are drilled top to bottom for stringing.  On the Inlay Supplies page.

Notice:  Due to my teaching schedule, I will not be shipping from June 5th - 11th.  I will ship orders that arrive during that time as quickly as possible in the order in which they were received.  Thank you for your understanding.  (It's always a good idea to order ahead of time if possible, as I may sell out of some items during classes.)
Below:  Fun at the After Midnight Gourd Art Retreat in Sonoita, AZ.  Classes included Feather Weaving, Steampunk Style, and War Shirt.  It was a rowdy bunch of repeat students along with a fun group of newcomers.  As you can tell by the photos below, it turned into a pretty crazy bunch, but they sure had fun!
Miriam Joy sent me a collection of crafting templates that she sells which are used for drawing on gourds.  I took all of them to my recent classes and let everyone give them a try.  Several of the students already had at least one set of the templates and others tried them out enthusiastically.  The templates come in several different shapes; the favorites in class use were the round and oval shapes.  Each set of templates is made from 100% rubber, and appear a bit like the old canning jar rubber rings you might be familiar with.  Shapes include round, oval, diamond, and square, and each set came in several different sizes.  One of the interesting items was a flexible rubber ruler.  Miriam suggests using removable "glue dots" to hold templates in place while drawing.  A white pencil works great on those darker shelled gourds.  Below is a youtube video where Miram Joy shows some tips for using the templates. You can see more on Miriam Joy's website.

In all honesty, I still prefer to draw my lines freehand or by using the old pencil on a stack of books method - but if you aren't good at freehand these are very helpful.  Most of my students really loved them.
Classes at Blue Diamond, Nevada (near Las Vegas) were a lot of fun and the weather was perfect.  When you think of Las Vegas, you think of casinos, but Blue Diamond is a small oasis about a 20 minute drive from the glitz of the city.  Our hostess, Kathie Clinesmith, arranged for a great location and everyone had a great time.  The classes offered were beginning and intermediate Power Carving and the War Shirt class.  We also enjoyed taking a bit of extra time to visit some non-casino attractions while we were there, including the Clark County Museum. 
Buffalo gourd plants along the road.

Thanks to Jennifer Hershman and Sandy Stowell for some of their photos!
Hawaiian night festivities.  We were all a bit silly.
Left - Amazing hand painted cookies
Jana Ward brought a few of her lovely creations to show.
Lion's Paw shell pendants are back in stock on the Embellishments page.  This beautiful mask made by Karen Phillips shows how nice they look.
*I'm auctioning off one of my handcarved basswood carousel horses on my Arizona Gourds Facebook page.  All proceeds will be donated to the American Gourd society.  Bidding ends Saturday, May 17th at 9pm Pacific time.  Click here for details.