Arizona Gourds
Updates from the desert southwest...
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*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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What's new on the Arizona Gourds website? 
Featured Gourd of the Month:
"Looking Westward"
This gourd mask has carved faux leathertooling, faux stitching, and faux painted turquoise.  The feathers are pheasant, turkey and macaw.  It has a large carved bone feather earring accent.
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Newsletter Index - article and tip index from all the past newsletters
Newsletter Index
The Gourd Art Enthusiasts site has about 5325 members, with gourd enthusiasts from all over the world!  The site also has state groups, event listings, a Q&A forum and a chat feature. NOTE: it is time to reassess whether to keep this site alive another year. Do you use the page?

*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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This month's book selection features southwestern basketry and leather tooling pattern books.  The basketry books are all very reasonably priced and mostly available both new and used.  Some are just eye candy, while others have directions for weaving.

The leather tooling pattern books are a bit pricey, but if you like this look, these are really good resources.
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! 
Photos and design copyright © 2017 by Bonnie Gibson and  may not be used without express written permission.
Featured Books:

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Class updates

3 day gourd retreat in Page, Arizona October 21st - 23rd.  Information on the classes page.  Please contact Marcia Krickhahn at to register. Retreat will be a hummingbird gourd project and the Native Treasures gourd project. NOTE: This is an all inclusive retreat with lodging, food, gourds and instruction for an extremely low package price, plus, if you have never been to Page, you'll be amazed by the gorgeous location and things to see and do in the area.  Almost sold out!

I will be teaching classes in New Mexico and Colorado in September.  Details are being finalized.  Watch for postings about them on the classes page of the website.  Classes will be in Las Cruces, Albuquerque, and Colorado Springs.

Enter your email address into the text box, and hit the submit button to join the class updates notification list.
April and May are usually busy months for me.  This year, I taught 2 different 3 day retreats in Temecula, CA, and now I am heading up to the Pacific Northwest for classes.  It's a great chance to meet up with new and old gourd friends and to share our common passion of gourds! 
NEW - Saburr Tooth Inverted cone bur.  This bur was a special request I asked for and now it is finally available! This inverted cone has a slightly greater flare and a shorter head than the dovetail bur.  The wider angle is perfect for ripples, faux basketry and any place you want an angled cut.  It has a safe end so you can cut cleanly up to borders and edges.   On the Carving Burs page.

New - Handmade inlaid shell cabochons with bird motifs.  Each one is different since they are all handcut from mother of pearl shell.  Flat on the back for easy inlaying into your gourd project.  On the Inlay Supplies page.  Special purchase - limited to stock on hand.

New to the website - Plastic applicators with 10 different sized fine tips for glues and liquids.  I haven't had a chance to try it yet - but I picture using the finer tips for very fine line drawings with dyes or inks.  On the Glues and More 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.
Feature:  Basketry Exhibit at the Arizona State Museum

Like many other gourders, I enjoy basketry because gourds and baskets just naturally seem to go together!  Here in the southwest, we have many indigenous cultures where basketry plays a very important part (as do gourds!)  The Arizona State Museum at the University of Arizona recently opened a wonderful exhibit featuring basketry, and in conjunction with the opening, many native weavers were on hand to demonstrate, show and sell their work. They also performed a traditional basket dance accompanied by gourd rattles and song.  If you are ever in the area, the exhibit is well worth a visit.

Temecula Classes

I recently had two 3-day gourd workshops in Temecula, where the weather and location were both perfect!  This year, after watching tons of hot air ballons floating by our class, I even made time to take a ride myself - as did a couple of the students after they heard how much fun I had!
Tip of the Month:  Kraft Tex

Readers Mailbag:

Here are some photos students sent from the Added Handles, Patinas and Textures class.  From right to left:  Gabriella Cordon, Brenda Curwick, Caroline Medlin.
While at the recent Temecula retreat, our hostess, Rosie Brainerd, showed us a new product that she was having fun with. The material is called "kraft tex", and it is a paper product that feels like leather and is strong like cloth.  Rosie has an embroidery machine, and she showed us some lovely pieces she had stitched on the material.  Rather than leave it as it comes, she acually washes it to give it a bit of character - it gets some wrinkles that make it look like aged leather. 
I am pleased to announce that you can now order the revised edition of my "Gourds with Southwestern Motifs" book which has been re-released by Echo Point Publishing! 
The book has changed a bit - including a new lower cover price!  Also, it now has an added "Filigree Carving" chapter, and an updated gallery section with newer work.  (The original edition received nothing but 5 star reviews on Amazon.)  Gourds with Southwestern Motifs on
During the Basket dance, the men sang and played gourd rattles.
Below: Traditional weaving and gourds by Royce Manuel of the Maricopa tribe.  He also makes burden baskets.
Left: Alberta Selena of the Hopi tribe demonstrates closed coil weaving with traditional yucca and other native plants and dyes.
Turtles made from gourd shards and yucca and devil's claw weaving.

Left: Gourds and and weaving are combined beautifully by Tohono O'odham weaver Terrol Dew Johnson.  Terrol's work has been featured in many publications and museums.  Of course since he uses gourds, it's easy to gravitate to those pieces. 
Right: I told myself I wasn't going to buy anything, but I couldn't help myself and came home with this incredibly well done turtle basket by Hopi artist, Kathryn Kooyahoema.

Left: Beautiful butterfly basket woven by Rose Ann Whiskers, Southern Paiute tribe, from Tuba City, Arizona.  Photo by Glenn White.
Some photos from the exhibition inside the museum.  On the left, an innovative two glass sided display allows visitors to see inside the "vault" where they store the baskets that are not currently featured in the display. The second photo below shows the pottery vault.

Because of the special event, we were allowed to visit the usually off limits conservation room. On display was a pot that was being restored from shards.  The museum has an equally extensive display of native prehistoric and contemporary pottery as well as baskets.
Rosie also made a gourd with a piece she embroidered with a horse design.  After washing, she distressed it further by cutting and burning, and then attached it to the gourd with decorative tacks.

Click on the two photos to the right to see the book and material on Amazon.
Notice:  Orders will not be shipped from the website from May 16th - 22nd due to my teaching schedule.  Orders placed during this time will be filled in the order they were placed just as soon as possible.  Thank you for your understanding - your business is appreciated.