Arizona Gourds
Updates from the desert southwest...
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Featured Gourd of the Month:
"A Charm of Hummingbirds"

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Newsletter Index - article and tip index from all the past newsletters
Newsletter Index
The Gourd Art Enthusiasts site has over 5000 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.

*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.

"Pumpkin Chic" is a fun book from the editors of Country Living Magazine, with decorating ideas using pumpkins and gourds.  Creative Coiling features the innovative pine needle coiling of Jean Poythress Koon, a noted instructor who has encouraged the movement away from strictly traditional pine needle weaving.  Basket Weaving Essentials (DVD) by Nadine Spier is one of the most well done instructional videos I have had the pleasure of viewing.  This DVD was reviewed in the March 2011 Arizona Gourds Newsletter.
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 October/November issue of the Arizona Gourds newsletter! 
In this issue, enjoy a fun feature on gourd artist, Kimberly Dublo (photo above!)  Would you like to be a featured artist? Please send some photos and a bio and I will contact you when there is space in a future newsletter.  Please send your info to
Tip of the Month:  Repairing Cracks and Flaws

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

Tucson fall classes will be offered in November. I will post them on the classes page on Sunday, October 9th.   Please check the Classes page for more info - or email me with your requests for specific classes. 

Tentatively scheduled classes: 
4 Days of classes at the Wuertz Festival in Feb. 2017.     3 day retreat classes in Temecula, California at the end of April/beginning of May 2017   Classes in the Portland, Oregon area May 20-21st, 2017, and possibly classes in New York and Pennsylvania sometime in June.  To receive details of these classes when they are available, please sign up for the classes email list below.

New items on the website - New, extra long Saburr Tooth long taper bur.  This one is about 1/4" longer than the regular long taper, is slightly thinner, and has a finer pointed tip.  On the Carving Burs page.

Thunder Drum Springs and Kits and Kalimba/ Thumb Piano kits are on the Musical Supplies page.
***Powertex substitute  - Clarification***

In the September newsletter , I featured an article on Powertex substitutes used by Phyllis Sickles.   Powertex is a great product, and the article was not meant to discourage people from using it.  This was simply one artist's search for a less expensive substitute on a specific gourd project.  Also, please note that Powertex is weather proof for outdoor applications, which the substitutes are not. 
Enter your email address into the text box, and hit the submit button to join the class updates notification list.
Readers Mailbag:

Dear Bonnie,  Just for fun I'd like to show you my latest gourd.  I would never have been able to this without you...thank you thank you.  Sophia Delaat - MO
Now available - a new, deeper red coral color stud.  Additional colors include turquoise,  deep teal blue, and black.   Also available - beautiful high quality conchos with an inset coral, turquoise or black stone. NOTE:  These conchos have been discontinued by my supplier and once they are gone I will not be able to get more. On the Metals page.
NOTICE:  I will be teaching classes and will not be shipping from October 26 - October 31.  Orders placed during this time will be held and will go out in the order they were received starting on November 1st.  Thank you for your understanding. 
Featured Artist - Kimberly Dublo

Kimberly Dublo is a gourd artist  from west central Illinois, where she lives near the Mississippi river.   Kim has been a gourd artist for almost 15 years.  Her prior background of pumpkin painting and woodcarving, and the subsequent discovery of the humble gourd many years led her to her one and only true love, the gourd . Kim says that the organtic and simplistic nature of the fruit makes it the overall perfect canvas for her.

Kim raises and harvests her own gourds,  but she also purchases from other growers when she travels.   She says she has never met a gourd she didn't like !    Being self-taught, much of what she creates is influenced by her Midwest surroundings.  The techniques and processes she uses are from experimentation, trial and error, and a generous crossing of fingers.  Depending solely on this, she believes it has helped her to express her own distinctive and personal style.  She strives to separate herself from other artists and their work, not wishing to copy and to develop her own voice.   She does take pride in successfully creating a method and tools for acquiring an efficient clean and smooth interior to her gourds with little effort. While she knows it is a chore that most do not appreciate doing, she has chosen not share some of her trade secrets, or what she calls "the methods to my madness".  For the same reason, she limits what works she shares online.

Kim says that gourds allow her to indulge in shape and texture, and that carving and burning are the things she enjoys the most.  It is very seldom that she will  just paint on a gourd.  She says that she has a fear of color, even though she loves it.

Kim has taught and shown in various galleries locally along with festivals and events, but she rarely travels with her art.  She says her artwork has more air travel and road time than she will ever see.  He work has been featured in the American Gourd Society magazine, online contests, area newspapers and gourding newsletters.   She just recently was awarded best in show for overall works for the second time at a local fine art show, but hase never entered her work into an official gourd show competition.  You can follow Kim's facebook page, "Special Interest Artistry - Kimberly Dublo",  or contact  her via email at

This photo of Kim gives you a good idea of the scale of some of the pieces she creates!
Fall is in the air and that means that many of you are done with vacations and are ready to get back into gourding and creating holiday treasures.  In the next issue, I would love to share photos of your holiday gourds - especially those with a fall theme, or with a Thanksgiving or  Christmas feel. If you would like to submit a few photos of your fall/holiday gourds, please email them as attachments and send them to:  I will include as many photos as possible in the next issue
Sale priced while current stock lasts:  Carved and painted bone feather earrings.  These are available in 2 sizes, see photo above for scale.  These work great for gourd masks, or wear them as earrings yourself! 
Check for details on the Earrings and More page.
SPECIAL: Every now and then I am able to buy bags of deer lace "seconds". The seconds are not perfect - sometimes they are shorter or thinner than the regular laces, but the price can't be beat.  While they last, we have bags of black, dark brown and dark saddle lacing at a fraction of the cost of regular deer lace.  Each bag contains approximately 10 laces.  These won't be available for long....!    
On the Special Embellishments page.
Special Purchase - Bone cabochons in an antiqued silver bezel and prepared as a center for pine needle coiling.  These are mounted on a leather like vinyl backing that has a cloth woven inner part, which keeps the material from ripping during weaving. The cabochons are made from bone, and could be etched or engraved if desired.  Nice creamy, neutral color.  Use large hole bone beads as accents in open coil weaving for great results!.  (See the example below which was done in the same manner, but with a turquoise cabochon.)

Look for these cabochons and pine needles on the Kits and Displays page.  Bone beads are on the Embellishments and Bone Beads page.

For instructions on making this type of weaving check out the DVD in the Featured Books section below.
NEW!  Turquoise colored bone beads are on the Embellishments and Bone Beads page.
Readers Mailbag:

I want to thank all of my gourding friends for your many emails and notes of sympathy.  They were very much appreciated.    Bonnie

It is frustrating to pick up a beautiful gourd only to discover that it has an insect hole, stress crack or other flaw.  It's even more frustrating to drop a half finished gourd and discover that it is broken!  If the damage is severe, you may not be able to complete the project exactly as intended; but almost any break can be repaired or at least disguised so you can salvage the gourd. 

Small insect holes can be easily filled with wood putty (I use PC Lumber), but cracks will require a bit more work to fix.  Drill a small hole at the far ends of the crack before repairing.  This hole will prevent the crack from spreading further.  Next, add some glue to the crack.  You can use wood glue, PC-Universal, Weldbond or a gap filling super glue, but you'll want to force the glue thoroughly into all areas of the crack.  Once the crack is full, force some gourd dust into the glue mixture.  This will make the crack less noticeable after it is sanded.  You may have clamp the repair with some masking tape or duct tape while the glue dries.  The closer together you can bring the edges of the crack, the better the repair will look. 

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, the crack is going to be visible. Instead of fighting it, paint a design over the area, or turn the crack into part of the design.  I've seen some really beautiful gourds where a crack was decoratively laced.  Sometimes you can cut an unusual shaped opening in the gourd to remove a cracked area.  You can disguise some soft pitted areas by carving and adding stone or resin inlays.

When a fragile gourd piece near the top edge or at a cutout area is broken, it can be repaired it so it is even stronger than the original gourd.  Use a couple of small dowels pins made from toothpicks, paper clips pieces, bamboo skewers, or whatever seems the right size and strength for the job. Use at least two dowels to hold the repair.  Drill small holes into the edge of the broken piece, and insert the dowels.  Snip them off so they protrude about 1/4", and then glue them into place.  Carefully line the pieces up as closely as possible and make small pencil marks where the protruding dowels touch the connecting gourd section.  (You can also dip the ends of dowels into paint, so when they are pressed against the other surface, they will leave precise marks to follow.)  Drill holes to match, then test fit to see how the pieces line up.  Once you are satisfied with the fit, you can glue the whole thing together and use some tape to clamp the repair in place while the glue cures.  This will make a very strong joint which can be sanded and smoothed after it is completely dry.
Nora Graf of Arizona did a great job repairing this crack while making it a beautiful part of the finished piece.  She used copper wire hammered flat and made into staples.

Below:  Stitched gourd repair by Julie Wendlberger
This gourd bowl was repaired by couching a row of pine needles over top of the repaired area.  Stitching shows on the back side of the bowl.
After starting the wood burning on this gourd it slipped out of my hands. I was about a 1/3 finished wood burning the cowboy boots. Since I'm SO tired of throwing broken gourds away and I really loved the shape and feel of this gourd I decided to try to repair it.  I dug around through my old jewelry making supplies for wire and anything else I might need. 
Each stitching hole has a 3mm silver plated bead inserted into it prior to lacing with jewelry wire. On the outside of the gourd each stitch of the beading wire was strung through a curved tube bead. The top and bottom of the crack each have a hole drilled to stop further cracking and then a small rivet was glued into the "stop" holes. After lacing the crack, I applied a thin layer of Apoxie Sculpt on the interior to ensure the repair held.
In 2015 I entered this gourd in the Georgia Gourd Society Festival and won first place in  a class called "I Did It My Way."  Lesley Orr - Georgia.