Tip of the Month: Writing an Art Grant Proposal by Jennifer Zingg
In December, I enjoyed having a couple days of private classes with Jennifer Zingg of Kentucky. She received funding through a grant that enabled her to take classes and to visit art galleries and exhibitions. She also brought along several of her large gourd sculptures that she was delivering to an Arizona gallery, and they were fabulous. I'm sure I learned just as much from her as she did from me! When she was ready to leave, I asked her if she would consider writing a short article about how to apply for a similar grant. Grants offer opportunities to gourd artists that they wouldn't otherwise have. Check your own state and local resources to see what possibilities are available.
Last summer I received the annual grant application from the Kentucky Foundation For Women for the "Artist's Enrichment Grant". This grant is available to all female artists in varying stages of their professional careers who reside in Kentucky. I first found out about KFW from another artist while discussing plans for a web-site several years ago. She explained to me that KFW offers small grants up to $7500 which help fund professional development for women artists. I drafted a grant proposal, filled out the application and a few weeks later received word that I would receive a grant! The money helped me to purchase computer software and digital camera to photograph my artwork and design my web-site.
When I received the application this year, I already had a proposal in mind. I wanted to travel to Tucson, AZ and spend a couple of days with artist Bonnie Gibson, and learn a technique for carving and inlaying materials into gourds. The proposal also included a trip to the gallery where I sell artwork in Tubac, AZ and a trip to Santa Fe, NM to see the Huichol art exhibit at the Museum of Indian Art and Culture. While there, I would meet and speak with the curator, Dr. Jill Grady, concerning the mythology and techniques related to Huichol art. I applied, and once again, I received nearly $4000 to assist me with expenses for the trip.
I realize that not every state has a grant foundation such as KFW, but there may be other organizations in your state that offer grants to artists. A good place to start is the internet. Use the search engine and find out if there are grants for artists available in your city or state. Large corporations sometimes set aside large sums to be used philanthropically. Toyota is one example. Few grants are offered to individuals for professional development, but there are several available to 501C3 organizations. As an artist, you can always team up with an organization to write and receive grants. It really just depends on the project and the grant requirements. Several states have arts organization built into their government structure. The Kentucky Arts Council is one such organization that also offers arts grants to individuals, groups and schools.
In most all cases the guidelines for the grants can be found on-line or come with the grant application. A few tips for writing the proposal:
Always follow the guidelines closely.
Be very specific and straight forward.
Do NOT include personal feelings about your work, let the jurors be the judge.
Make sure to use an easy to read font while using proper grammar and spelling.
Always have someone else proof-read the proposal before creating the final draft.
Always remember that jury panels change every year, so if you apply and get turned down, don't give up. Apply again next year.
A few good web-sites concerning grants are:
February updates from the desert southwest...
Welcome to the February issue of the Arizona Gourds newsletter!
Thanks for checking out the latest news! Feel free to pass the newsletter link along to your friends.
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Featured Media of the Month:
You can use this Amazon search box link to find all kinds of books and other products. I appreciate those of you that do so; Amazon purchases made through the links on this website help to support this site.
"Gourd Pryrography" by Jim Widess is the only book devoted solely to burning on gourds. The book is heavy with great photographs from many different artists, and is very inspiring. This is not so much a how-to book, so if you are mainly looking for basic burning instructions, then you may want to try one of the other titles. "The Great Book of Woodburning" by Lora Irish and "Woodburning with Style" by Simon Easton are written for people that burn on wood instead of gourds, but they have great basic burning information and how-tos.
The next three items are all from Sue Walters, an Australian pyrographer who is an acknowledged master of the art form. Her book "Wildlife Designs" is a pattern book of North American wildlife, but also much more. Both it and the complementary title "Pyrography Workbook" are extremely well done. If you learn better from videos, then try her 2 DVD set "Pyrography Workshop". I highly recommend all of these titles!
The last DVD title "Woodburning on Gourds" features Carrie Dearing, a popular gourd technique instructor. The video was produced for Welburn Gourd Farm.
*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.
Note: Please check your spam folder near the end of each month and add our address to your "safe senders" list. Many emails bounce each month due to spam blockers.
If your email address changes, just sign up again with your new address - no need to email me the change, as I purge non-working addresses monthly.
Gourds Southwest Gourd Techniques & Projects from Simple to Sophisticated
by Bonnie Gibson
The hardcover edition is now OUT OF PRINT!
I still have some on hand, but supplies are limited. Last chance to get a copy before they are gone!
(Click on book cover for ordering information.)
All photos and designs copyright © 2011 by Bonnie Gibson and may not be used without express written permission.
Featured Gourd of the Month:
Carved Santa Rita prickly pear cactus with Anna's hummingbirds. Added lid, gold leaf accents and painted with acrylics. Carved basswood hummingbird accent. If you are attending the Wuertz festival you can see this gourd in person.
February Feature - Gourd Pyrography
The word "Pyrography" literally means "Fire Writing". The term woodburning is a more generic term that is also used by gourd crafters to describe using a hot tool to burn designs into the gourd surface.
Almost thirty years ago, I bought my first "professional" type woodburning unit to burn feather barbs into my hand carved wooden duck decoys. At that time, there were only one or two different brands and types available, while now there are many different kinds available on the market. There is a wealth of information available on pyrography, and almost as many opinions about tools as there are artists! If you are interested in purchasing a burner, the best advice is to talk to as many people as possible to find out what they like or don't like about their tools. If possible, go to a festival and actually try out some of the tools. Visit your local library to read more about pyrography - or simply search the internet.
Thanks to everyone that submitted their photos for this issue!
*Jennifer Zingg and I along with some of her beautiful sculptures
Newsletter Index - article and tip index from all the past newsletters
*Join the class updates list to receive advance notice of upcoming classes. Get the news first and have the best chance for popular classes!
Do you own a GAE T-Shirt? If you are attending the Wuertz Festival, please wear it! Informal GAE dinner gathering will be held Friday night at the Casa Grande Golden Corral restaurant.
Update: Gourd Classes
New classes for Tucson have been added in both February and March. Please check the Classes page for more information and dates. A new class, "Doodles and Glass", has been added. I'll be teaching at the 3rd annual After Midnight Art Ranch Retreat in Sonoita, Arizona. Classes will be held April 15-19th. These are available as single classes or you can come for the entire retreat! For more information and registration, please visit the After Midnight classes page, or contact our hostess, Linda Hanson. I will be teaching 3 days of classes in Visalia, California, May 6-8. These classes will be held at the Garrison gourd farm. Please check the Classes page for more information and dates. If you would like to register, please contact Cecile Garrison at 559-740-6060, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Plans are underway for a gourd workshop/retreat in Kentucky next August. Look for more information here next month. I also plan on teaching at the Texas Gourd Festival in October, watch future newsletters for more details.
Below: Jenn Avery of Pennsylvania creates beautiful Celtic style gourds and wonderful wildlife scenes with woodburning. You can see more of her work on the Gourd Art Enthusiasts site and on her JRA Gourds website.
Hi, Bonnie! I love your newsletter and look forward to receiving it.
I don 't remember many gourd fountains in your newsletter and am attaching a photo of one of mine. I won "People's Choice" in the Master's Division at the Georgia Gourd Society's Show in 2010. Needless to say, I was very proud. It's done in an old earthen ware pot style and I used Apoxie Sculpt for the ivy.
Hope that you like the fountain and keep those newsletter coming. BTW, I also love the Gourd Art Enthusiasts web site. You are such a champion of our art. Thanks! Sandra Hutchins - Georgia
Far Right: Mask Rattle made by Jo Clark of Arizona at one of my gourd classes.
Christine Rebert of Louisiana used a traditional soldering style burner on this elephants bowl and Koshare clown gourd. (The lighter outlines around the Koshare were carved after the burning was complete.)
Due to our festival participation, the Arizona Gourds website will not be shipping from February 3rd - 7th. All orders will be filled as soon as possible starting on Monday, Feb. 8th, and will be processed in the order in which they were received. Please note that some items may sell out at the festival. I restock quickly, but to avoid delays you may want to order early.
Coming next month - Wuertz festival report. I will be really busy all weekend long. so if you get any good photos or videos at the festival, please send them to me! I'm especially looking for activity shots - pictures at the gourd car races, at classes, entertainment and shoppers visiting the booths (gourd art photos are also appreciated!)
This month, I am happy to review three smaller books that are either self published, or published by a small press. You probably haven't seen these books unless you happen to know the artist or see them at a show.
Don't miss the "Running of the Gourds" - Gourd car races!
Nice gourd bowl that makes great use of the neck and stem. This piece was done by Doug Wolff.
Milica Palatinas of Belgrade, Serbia has been crafting gourds for the last 3 years. The beautiful lamp below is a combination of burning and holes.
"All my gourds are hand crafted and I am not using any drills. I make my own tools. Usually I use different kind of needles because when making faces on gourds that need to glow, holes need to be precise. I usually do pyrography first and then the holes are made. It takes lots of patience and time. But at the end it is all worth it.
I wish you were closer so I can go to your classes and learn more different technics on gourds. Love your site and it is nice knowing that there are people that make beautiful gourd art."
Roy Cavarretta of Texas says that he is "just a beginner" - but his pieces are beautifully done. These are his first two burned pieces.
Conway Lundquist of California lives near the ocean and has used sea designs on the pyroengraved bowls below. The chalice was made as a commissioned piece for a microbrewer.
Susan Bidwell-Williams of AZ likes to use zendoodle patterns on her spirit gourds.
It's almost time for the Wuertz Gourd Festival in Casa Grande, AZ, February 4th - 7th. I hope to see many of you there - it should be busy, exciting, and fun. I will be teaching classes on Thursday, Feb 3rd before the festival starts, and again on Sunday. *The festival building is closed to the public on Thursday, but many of you will be on hand to drop off entries for the competition. If you have placed a pre-order you can pick it up at my class location on Thursday, but otherwise only class related supplies will be available on that day.
The rest of the time you will find me at the Arizona Gourds booth. Our booth will be in the same location as previous years, spaces D8 and E8. This is the only show where we have a booth - be sure to stop by and say hello!
Sandy Taylor of Georgia sent in these wonderful examples of her pyrography. Sandy has won many awards for her gourd art, and it's easy to see why! You can see more of Sandy's art at her website, Hot off the Vine Studio. Sandy uses a Burnmaster “Eagle” Wood Burner by Mastercarver. She mainly uses Optima pens and skews, ball tips, writing tips and bent shaders are her favorites.
Detail of piece above, "If I were a Gardener"
Shirley Nesbitt of Arizona (left)
and Betsy Taylor of Arkansas (right) show that even simple burned line engravings are beautiful.
The first book is by Juanita and Mary Marotta, a mother and daughter team that have self published a small booklet called "Easy Guide to Decorating Gourds". It is a collection of articles, instructions, and demos that were originally written for a gourd patch newsletter. The booklet is 5.5"x8.5" and has 25 pages. It includes general information for new gourders, instructions for simple projects such as floral painting, masks, patio strings, ornaments, and southwestern designs. The color photos are small, but sharp and clear, and even though it has very basic content, it is well written. The booklet is $12 postpaid and may be ordered from the author. (The Marottas will also have them available at their Wuertz booth.) The second booklet is by Beth Coheley, and is published by Mossy Oak Publishing. "Hot Gourds - The Art of Pyrocarving" is an 5.5"x8.5" booklet of 32 pages. This book title is a bit misleading, as there are only one or two pages on using a woodburner to carve (cut) openings in the gourd shell. (*Note: I wouldn't recommend using this technique on anything other than thin shelled gourds!) The rest of the book is very basic woodburning information such as transferring a pattern, using pyrography paper, and preparation for painting. There is minimal text on each page, and the quality of the photography is very poor - most photos are overexposed and have a yellow cast. The booklet is $6.99 on Amazon.com.
The third book is an 8.5x11" paperback edition of 60 pages. "Gourds: Seeds of Inspiration", was written by Jeanne Morningstar Kent, and this book approaches gourding in a unique way. The subtitle of the book is "How to work with gourds when you have physical challenges such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome or other hand injuries". Since these are common ailments among the gourding population, it is refreshing to see some basic alternatives offered for various tasks that some of us take for granted.
The book has basic information including: the history of gourds, gourd growing and gourd varieties, protective gear, cleaning gourds, and design layout. Later chapters include coloring, finishes, carving, and burning. The book concludes with a 7 page biography/history of the author, a list of resources and a bibliography. The book is written in the first person, so you feel like you are chatting with the author at a class. It is well illustrated with color photos and is laid out in an attractive, easy to read format. The biggest drawback of the book is that it covers a lot of material, but nothing in any real depth. The book is available from the authors website, and costs $20 plus shipping. *Do you have a tip or tutorial we may feature in a future newsletter? Please contact me.
Right and below: "Warrior" and Dancing on the Wind" are by Jeanne Morningstar Kent of Connecticut
Here are 3 pieces done by James Osburn ("Oz") of Washington.
Grapevine gourd burned by Jessica DiGiacomo of California
Sharon Foster of Iowa used colored pencils to highlight this barn scene.
Available for preorder and pickup at the Wuertz Festival: Dremel tool hangers. These hangers are portable and clamp quickly to almost any table. The upper hook is detachable with two mounting bolts for transportation in a suitcase. Send me an email to reserve one, and pick it up Thursday at class or during the festival at the Arizona Gourds booth. $18
We will also have really nice long (dyed and undyed) longleaf southern pine needles available at the festival. If there is enough interest, these may be added to the website as well.
Rotary Turntables will be available at the festival - and after 6 months of waiting, we've finally gotten a shipment of the popular 8" size! Stop by and pick one up to show off your favorite gourd - You may see a lot of spinning gourds in the gourd competition area and in the vendor booths!
Raccoon by Elaine Sutherland of Iowa, and cat by Kim Bilek of Ohio.
Susan Zanella of Maryland did these wonderful wildlife burnings.
Coming next month: Review of Nadine Spier's Basket Weaving Essentials" DVD
Weldbond glue now available in a more economical, 4 oz size. Look for it on the Tools page.