Arizona Gourds
Updates from the desert southwest...
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Featured Books:

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You can use this Amazon search box link to find all kinds of books and other products. 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

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

"Floral Fantasy - Lilies and Monarchs"
Side two - with contemporary leaf cutouts
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Printable PDF File
Newsletter Index - article and tip index from all the past newsletters
Newsletter Index
The Gourd Art Enthusiasts site has about 4875 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.
Check out our GAE T-Shirt designs ! 
*Want to see my listing of top gourd books?  Here is my  "Listmania" listing on Amazon
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*NEW GROUP on Facebook - "Gourding Destash".  This is the place to sell your used gourd tools and excess supplies.  No fees to sell your surplus supplies and raw gourds.* 
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Wax on Gourds by Miriam Joy is available as a prerelease from Amazon. Amazon guarantees the lowest price when preordering. Creating Wall Pockets is a brand new release by Sammie Crawford  and is now available.

The other three books deal with beading techniques and patterns.  If the work of Robert Swendsen or Marilyn Endres and Eucled Moore intrigues you, then you might want to check out these popular beading books for more inspirations and patterns.
Arizona Gourds Newsletter Index
See all our old newlsetters from the past 10 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 May/June issue of the Arizona Gourds newsletter! 
June marks the anniversary of the Arizona Gourds newsletters.  I have been writing these (mostly) monthly newsletters since 2006.  Did you know that you can still access all of the old issues via our Newsletter IndexWhile some of the class and product info may be outdated, the main articles and tips are always great reading.  NOTE: Some of you did not get to see the March/April issue due to a link problem in my last mailing. You can still see this issue via the Newsletter index.

Did you know:  I am always amused when I get phone calls from gourders who are surprised that they actually reach me personally.  Some of you may think that I have employees, but Arizona Gourds is just me!  As you may imagine, when I travel to teach or take some time off, the volume of emails and business related tasks do not change. If I am slightly delayed in sending out your order or answering your emails, please understand that I am working as hard and as quickly as possible to serve each of you to the best of my ablilities.  Most of you are so supportive and understanding that it makes helping you a real pleasure as well as a privilege.  Thank you - you are appreciated!

With that being said, I am tentatively scheduled to have hip replacement surgery on June 7th that will put me out of commission for a bit.  This will be my second hip so I know what to expect, and if all goes as well as the first one I had done 3+ years ago, I should be up and about in no time.  If you need items for classes or projects, I strongly suggest you order in May or early June so that there is no delay in shipping your order.  Thank you for your understanding. 

Tip of the Month:  Painting the inside of a gourd

It is always wisest to paint the inside of the gourd before you decorate so you don't risk messing up your work! I use flat black spray paint which is available at many stores like Lowe's or Walmart for a dollar a can.  The best part of using spray paint is that because it is not water based, you don't risk swelling and shrinking of the gourd that is a risk with water based paints or liquid dyes. If you prefer to use water based paint, you might want to use a sealer on the raw gourd first.  When using a spray can, hold the nozzle directly inside the gourd opening so you don't get overspray on the outside of the gourd.  If you do get a bit of overspray, clean it off with a bit of mineral spirits and a paper towel.
Photos and design copyright © 2016 by Bonnie Gibson and  may not be used without express written permission.
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.
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Class updates

I will be holding classes in both Las Cruces, NM and Albuquerque NM next September.  Please contact Sylvia Hendrickson for info about the Las Cruces classes, (Inlace Inlay and Closed Coiling, Sept 14-15)  and the New Mexico Gourd Society for info on the Albuquerque classes (Sept 17-18,  Basic Power Carving and Fancy Filigree).

Tucson fall classes will be posted later this summer.  If you are interested in Tucson classes, please drop me a note and let me know if there are any specific classes you would like to see offered. 

New item on the website - Thunder Drum Springs.  These have a bead already installed on the end of the spring, and are $4.50 each or 5 for $20. You will find them on the Musical Supplies webpage.
Highlights from California Classes and Events

On my recent trip to California, I had the honor of giving the keynote address at the Baskets and Gourds Conference in Visalia, and I also had the pleasure of awarding Robert Swendsen the 2015 American Gourd Society Artistry Award.  The conference had many different basketry and gourd classes and the teachers at the conference even had the opportunity to show their work in a gallery show.  I taught 3 days of classes and I had just as much fun (probably even more) than the students.  Thanks to Toni Best and her conference committee for putting on such a well run event.   The American Gourd Society also had their national meeting and the much anticipated silent auction which raised funding for the AGS and the winning membership chapter - which turned out to be our brand new Nevada chapter with an over 400% increase in AGS membership!  The Baskets and Gourds Conference also had their own silent auction. and the California Gourd patches raffled off gourd wreaths, so there were plenty of opportunities for people to go home with treasures!
New project packet now available - "Carving Burs - Selection & Uses".  This packet explains the differences between bur materials, sizes, shapes and what they are best used for.  Now available on the Project Packets page
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You would have to see these fantastic beaded gourds in person to really appreciate the amount of time and effort it takes to create a totally beaded gourd!  The work was exquisite.  Congratulations to Robert Swendsen, 2015 AGS Artistry Award winner.
My next stop was a day of classes for the Ventura gourd patch near Camarillo, CA.  One of the members hosted us and also had the class at her home (Thank you Elsie!) and it was really special to enjoy her beautiful property.  I even got to see her 4 desert turtles strolling about in her beautiful gardens.  Class was a lot of fun and we enjoyed some great weather.
Flat backed large teardrop picture jasper bead sets are perfect for inlay, but can also be strung with included small round beads. On the Inlay Supplies page.
Small football CARBIDE burs are like a combo ball/cylinder shape with the advantages of both.  Carbide means it stays sharp for a long time, the smaller size lets you get into tight areas.  On the Carving Burs page.
A few photos from the gallery show Left: Sam McKinney  Middle: Kristy Dial  Right: Don Weeke
(Top right are a couple of my pieces showing the reception wine bar in the background!)
Above:  Turtle habitat area and one of the occupants!
Below:  Beautiful poppy garden area and a class picture.  I am so grateful to have my husband Everett along to sell supplies so that I can devote myself completely to working with students.
Next, we headed south to Temecula, CA, where our class was held right in the middle of wine country.  We were surrounded by vinyards, wineries and beautiful open land.  The 3 day workshop was held at VRBO property "Rancho Del Vinedos" which is owned by fellow gourder Rosie Brainerd. Rosie and her family all pitched in to make this a fantastic workshop.  With a second rental property next door, almost all of the students stayed on site for the entire workshop.  It was a lot of fun!  Thanks to Val Kimball for sharing some of her photos.
Below: Completed class project by Gabriella Cordon.  Everyone's gourd was unique!
Special Feature:  Woodturners Marilyn Endres and Eucled Moore of Kazi Studios

Every now and then, I stumble upon an artist from another medium who is doing really wonderful things, and has ideas that might serve as an inspiration for gourd artists.  Marilyn Endres and Eucled Moore do beautiful segmented woodturnings, but then they take them a step further and inset many of them with intricate patterns made from seed beads.  From their website:  "The patterns in these vessels are created by gluing thousands of separate segments accurately into position, a layer at a time, then refining the shape on the lathe. We only utilize the natural colors of the woods. Precision is crucial in every aspect of the construction process. Each piece needs to be milled to exacting dimensions."
Here are some examples of their work, but if you want to see more, you can visit their webpage at
In addition to the new silver/turquoise and gold/coral conchos, we have now added silver conchos with black stone centers. These are really of exceptional quality.   In addition, we've added solid metal celtic buttons for inlay.  These are a lovely design and a great value. On the Metals page.
NEW on the Metals page.  Copper corrugated beads and  Scrap copper for inlay.
Large Bur Boxes with snap down lid and carrying handle are back in stock on the Rotary Tool Accessories PageGourd Cleaners in all styles and grits are back in stock on the Tools page.