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:
"Evening Flight"
This gourd was burned with the Lichtenberg technique (I purchased from someone - I wouldn't risk this dangerous technique myself!)  The fractal patterns were embellished in places with pyrography.  Burned and painted ravens encircle the gourd, the sky is dotted with stars - both painted and added crystal studs.  The moon was created from dichroic glass, the lid has an added metal ring, gourd top lid with manzanita branch.
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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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The "Gourd Lights" book is a new publication that is due out next fall.  You can pre-order it from Amazon and they guarantee you will get the lowest price.  There has been a need for a book on this topic and I will look forward to reviewing it when it is available.

I have a copy of "The Art of Leather Burning" by Lora Irish.  Like all of her books, it is well done and easy to follow, and has patterns you can use.  Leather is a lot easier to burn than gourds, so you might enjoy trying a new surface.

The last two books are re-releases of Jim Widess and Ginger Summit's classic books. 
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 July/August 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

I will be teaching classes in New Mexico and Colorado in SeptemberOn September 13 -14,  "Floral Fantasy" will be offered in Las Cruces, NM, at the home of Sylvia Hendrickson.  Contact Sylvia at for more information - and check the classes page for details about the class.   On September 16 -17, I will be teaching "Faux Raku with Critters" and a Basic Drum making class in Albuquerque, at the home of Linda Haakenson.  Contact Michele Powers-Hardy of the NMGS for more information about the Albuquerque classes at hardyboys3@q.comNote: This will probably be my last teaching trip through NM for the next few years.

On September 20-22nd, I will be offering a 3 day workshop at the home of Dawn Healy in Colorado Springs, CO.  Classes include Basic Power carving, Spiral Carving, and Faux Leather Tooling (NOTE: For students that have already taken these classes, I will offer some more advanced techniques for you try)  For more information, contact Dawn Healy at
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It is HOT here in Tucson - we've already had temps as high as 115 degrees!  This hasn't kept me from working - I have a small portable evaporative cooler which allows me to work outside comfortably as long as our humidity stays low. (Right now it is only about 5%)   I have been finishing a lot of gourd projects that were started as class demos, and have been sitting on my workbench for quite a while.  I also did this moose antler carving as a gift for my daughter. It was similar to carving gourds but actually a nice change from the routine.  I'd love to do more - anyone out there have an old moose antler for sale? 
Saburr Tooth Inverted Cone and Concave Cylinder Burs.  Both have a safe end so you can cut cleanly up to borders and edges - the concave one is good for faux basketry.   On the Carving Burs page.

New - Set of 10 Carbide burs for those carving on a budget. These burs will stay sharp longer than steel burs and they are more aggressive.  I still prefer the Saburr Tooth tyle carbide burs (they are actually designed for wood and gourds) but this set is good for those who need some variety without spending a fortune.  On the Carving Burs page.

New to the website - Plastic applicators with 10 different sized fine tips for glues and liquids.  Try 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:  The Gourd Art of Diane Daubert

Every now and then, I spot someone on the Gourd Art Enthusiasts website or on one of the facebook groups whot is doing something unusual or different with their gourds.  Diane Daubert of Murray, Kentucky is doing some inteesting things with her gourd art.

Diane has been painting and drawing for most of my life after getting a paint by number set when she was 8.  She went on to graduate with a BS in Art, where she spent most of her  time in the design materials lab experimenting with wood, metal, clay, and glass. Like many artists, she needed a full time job and a steady paycheck, so for years she worked in the restaurant industry for ten years and worked on art in her free time. She later worked at a local childcare center where she taught very young children the fun of painting and drawing. Finally, she took a position at her local Public Library as a full time circulation staff member. In the last five years, she has started competing again in art shows and showing her work. She was looking for another canvas when she took a workshop at the library on gourd art and found that she really enjoyed it. After discovering all the wonderful art that can be created with gourds, she fell in love. Diane enjoyes the challenge of working with the shape of the gourd when making a piece, and takes most of her  inspiration from nature. She loves color which is evident in most of her pieces and she enjoys experimentation.   Diane says, "I'm humbled and amazed that so many people like what I do and want to buy my work.  It's hard to let a piece go when you have spent so much time on it.  A little piece of you goes with it when it sells".

Classes in Onalaska, WA, and Portland, OR

In May, I traveled to the northwest and taught in Washington and Oregon.  The weather was definitely a change from Tucson, and I enjoyed seeing all the lush greenery and flowering plants.  In Washington, I had mostly repeat students, while in Oregon, many of the students were newer to gourds.  It seemed like everyone had a good time in both locations - I know I enjoyed working with everyone that attended!
Tip of the Month:  Resp-O-Rator™

Readers Mailbag:

Here are some photos students sent from recent classes.  From  left to right:  Heather Steinman, Mary Lou Linton, Lisa Bauermeister.
If you really need extra protection, or are dissatisfied with regular respirators, here is one you might consider.  The Resp-O-Rator™ particulate respirator uses two HEPA filters that have a minimum filtering efficiency of 99.97% down to 0.3 microns.  It is compatible with a face shield and all other safety equipment, will not fog glasses, and has a stand-by position for intermittent use. The filters are located behind your head in a cleaner environment.  The only thing comparable is a battery operated helmet costing around $430.00 or more.   This is one of the few respirators that work well for men with beards.  Click on the photo below to see more details of this system on Amazon, or watch it in use on the YouTube video.
"Gourds with Southwestern Motifs" - Revised Edition with added Filigree Carving chapter and updated Gallery.
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
Notice:  Due to family activities, orders will not be shipped from the website from July 1st to 8th, and then again from July 28th - August 8th.  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.
New - Safety Glasses  *Special purchase - limited to stock on hand. These will fit over your prescription or reading glasses.  If you've ever carved and gotten gourd dust in your eyes, you will understand the need for eye protection.  High impact, polycarbonate lens with lightweight frame and wide angle of vision. On the Tools page.
New - Fetish Bear and Feather dangles - with hanging loop.  3 different sizes available. On the Earrings and More page.
Some photos from Onalaska, WA - where despite the calendar saying that it was May, the temperature never rose above 57 degrees!  The wonderful gourd hot air balloons were made by Sally Favors- they are even more wonderful in person. 
Left:  What an amazing location for our classes just outside of Portland, OR.  They were held inside a seasonal, open air (but roofed) garden center.  3/4 of the building was filled with gorgeous hanging baskets and flowers, and the other 1/4 was wide open for our gourd class!  The weather was even perfect - much warmer than up in the mountains of Washington.
*Don't be like these ladies!  Use proper lung protection.  (Disclaimer: This photo was taken as a joke when paint fumes became an issue.) Thanks for the humor, Arleen Hammer and Rosalie Gochnour
New - Inlaid shell cabochons with bird motifs.  Handcut from mother of pearl shell and flat on the back for easy inlaying into your gourd project.  On the Inlay Supplies page.  *Special purchase - limited to stock on hand.
New - New designs of brass butterflies and dragonflies.  The wings can be bent, the metal can be oxidized with patina solution, or paint them!  On the Metals page.
Back in Stock - 6 and 12" extenders and finishing sander sets - great for smoothing out the inside of your gourd for a professional finished appearance!  On the Tools page.