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Arizona Gourds
January updates from the desert southwest...
Welcome to the January issue of the Arizona Gourds newsletter and another wonderful year of GOURDS!

UpdateGourd Classes
Still a few spaces in my February classes that will be held at my home in Tucson; check the classes page for availability.  *If you would like to get notice of classes as soon as they are posted, then please add your name to my classes updates email list.  People on this list will get the news first and have the best opportunity to select the dates and classes they prefer. 

Upcoming East Coast Classes!  Things are still in the planning stages,
but I hope to  be teaching a few weekend classes at the Gourd Gallery in
Sugarloaf, NY,  the weekend after Easter, April 14-15. Watch future
issues of the newsletter for more details.

Advanced Carving workshop - A two day workshop on high relief and advanced carving techniques taught by Bonnie Gibson and Phyllis Sickles.  The  March session is now full, but please send me an email if you are interested in taking the class in the future.  If there is enough interest, we will schedule it again.
Some early reviews:
I got mine last Friday and it is SO GREAT!  I have a ton of ideas to do with the projects now.  I think it may be the best book out there for all levels of gourders.     Lisa Toth, Gourd College Online

I just got my copy of Bonnie Gibson's new book yesterday and I have not been able to put it down - it is just jam packed with good info as well as projects.  She has information for the new to the more advanced gourd artists - something for everyone and it is all well written too!    .... it is the most comprehensive gourd book that I have seen on the market …  The projects do spark your imagination of things that you can do.        Karel H.

I  have never come across a gourd art book that is as informative, filled with the variety or the high sophistication of the gourd art as in your new book! Your work is so well thought out and each detail of each piece is finished to perfection.  You  seem follow your own art beat, creating distinctive and fresh work. You should be so proud of this book!    Carla B

Received my gourd book today and I just don't know what to say. I have other gourd books, but this is THE BEST.The book itself is so beautiful, but the projects, diagrams, instructions are so much more than I expected. There is so much information in this book that, had I seen it before I purchased it, I would have gladly paid more.  Jay W.

Please visit the Gourds Book page for more information.
*While they last - the first 500 copies sold will include an extra free project that is not included in the book or on my website.   Note: If you pre-ordered but have not made payment arrangements, please do so now to ensure that you will receive your free project.  Less than 100 numbered copies remain!

Tip of the Month:  Dye Ink Cleanup

This tip comes from Sharon Donahue of Wisconsin ~ Thanks, Sharon!
I've been playing with the "Memories" ink dyes made by Stewart Superior (also distributed as Gourdmaster products.)   I found out they do not mix with water or alcohol and ruined a couple of brushes trying to thin down the ink. (Guess thats why they sell disposable daubers!)  I found that "Delta Creamcoat Brush Cleaner" works on brushes and your hands like a charm. It just takes a small drop or two straight from the bottle. Wet your brush / hands first then add the cleaner and manipulate it through your brushes bristles, then run through water to rinse and the brush is clean, and the same goes for your hands. The cleaner is really inexpensive, a dollar or two at most.  I keep it at my kitchen sink since I use my kitchen table as my gourd work station. Hope this helps out anyone who has questions on how to clean ink dyes from their brushes or hands.

Thanks for checking out the latest news! Feel free to pass the newsletter link along to your friends.

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Featured Gourd of the Month:
My first Gourd "Mouse House"

Before I discovered the world of gourds, I enjoyed the hobby of scale dollhouse miniatures.  I found that gourds made wonderful small houses similar to those that I had read about as a child in the "Borrowers" series books by Mary Norton.

(Want to build your own?  Instructions for this type of mouse house can be found on my Project Packets page.)

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Featured Book of the Month:

*Do you have a tip or tutorial we can feature here?  Please contact me.
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Coming Attraction:  The Wuertz Farm Gourd Festival
It's almost time again for the 4th annual Wuertz Festival.  This festival has grown quickly and is now one of the largest festivals in the country (if not the biggest!) with thousands of attendees, at least 100 vendors and exciting activities you won't find anywhere else.   The Wuertz family has worked tirelessly to make this event unique and fun-filled.  I hope to see many of you there.

The festival will be held on February 2nd - 4th with some classes also held on February 1st.  The event is held indoors so weather is never a concern - but if you've ever wanted to visit Arizona to escape the snow and cold, this is the time to do so!  

Special Attractions:  The Arizona Gourd Society (Gamma chapter of the AGS) sponsors its annual gourd crafting competition at the festival.  Last year's entries were spectacular and this year promises more of the same.  More information is available on the chapter website.

New Event:  In addition to the annual "Grande 500" Mini Gourdster Derby,  you're sure to enjoy the Wuertz's newest event, "Man Overgourd!"

Pyrography Workbook
by Sue Walters
Sue is one of the modern masters of pyrography.  This book gets consistently good reviews from gourd artists and has plenty of great information for both beginners and advanced woodburners.
What's new on the Arizona Gourds website? 
Pyrography Workbook
by Sue Walters
Gourds Southwest Gourd Techniques & Projects from Simple to Sophisticated
Just released and now available!   I have already shipped over 400 copies so this is your last chance to get one of the signed and numbered copies that comes with a free extra project.  Click on the book cover image to get more information about ordering.  

Move over Pirates of the Caribbean, make way for the first ever Running of the Gourds Deep Water Sailing "Regourda!" Picture the scene:  Scores of Hand-fashioned boats, ships, canoes, gondolas and other-sea worthy gourd vessels, sailing briskly across the sparkling pond at the Pinal County Fairgrounds.  Cash prizes will be awarded for craftsmanship and uniqueness, as well as the ability to make it successfully across the finish line!  (Additional wind available if necessary).

For more information on the festival or any of these events, please visit the Wuertz Festival site.
The First Gourd Car Races held in 2004.  This event has grown and continues to be one of the most popular events at the festival!
Huge crowds attend the Wuertz festival each year.  This event has grown to become one of the largest in the country (and is probably THE largest now!)
Right: A closeup of the top floor of the mouse house.  The sleeping baby mouse is in a small cradle.  This was a Christmas ornament that worked perfectly!
*Be sure to visit all these different book pages to see some of the many other titles that are available. Click on each topic to see a variety of books about each subject.
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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 the site.
Newsletter Index - article and tip index from all the past newsletters
Newsletter Index