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:
"Carved Textures - Flowing Washes"
Having fun with more contemporary designs.  This piece has several different textures - including stylized pond ripples, waves, woven filigree and river rocks.
*Check out the Classes page for a new gourd class based on this and other recent work.
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Printable PDF File
Newsletter Index - article and tip index from all the past newsletters
Newsletter Index
*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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I usually try to choose books that are new or are related to some of the subjects in the newsletter.  Ultimately, some of these titles may give you the inspiration to try something new in your own gourd work. 

Let me know if you have a non-gourd art book that you find especially useful to you (a technique, a product, an new skill - anything that helps you with your gourd projects.. I'd love to showcase some of your favorites in the next newsletter!  Drop me a note with the title/author of the book, your name, and why you like the book.
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 November 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 am already scheduling classes for 2018.  Keep an eye on the classes page for more offerings - they will be posted as soon as details are finalized.  Here is what is currently on the schedule:

Feb 8-11  4 days of classes at the Wuertz Festival in Casa Grande AZ.  Those classes will be posted for preview on Nov 14 on the Wuertz website, and open for registration at 9am MST on Nov 16. *I have nothing to do with the registrations for these. If you don't get in a class, please sign up for the wait list. Each year many people drop out or switch classes and many spaces become available to those on the wait list. 

March 22-25  Folsom/Amador (northern California) classes.  Please contact Barbara Rippetoe for more information.  Classes will include Basic Power Carving, Doodles and Glass, Fancy Filigree and Carved Textures.

May 3-8  Indiana Gourd Show/ Workshop.  I will teach at least one day at the Indiana Gourd Show (possibly more if there is enough interest) and will be doing a 2 day workshop on May 7-8  Please contact Ida Kennedy for more information.   Classes will include Basic Power Carving (Festival) , Filigree/Spiral Carving and Pueblo Ladies (Workshop)

May 18-20   3 day workshop in Boise, Idaho.  Please contact Chris Peters for more information at   Classes will include Basic Power Carving, Swept Ashore and Carved Textures.

June 1-3   3 day retreat in Temecula, California.  Please contact me for more information.
Classes are tentative, but will probably include Swept Ashore, Carved Textures, and Pueblo Ladies.

Enter your email address into the text box, and hit the submit button to join the class updates notification list.
Sorry it has taken me a while to get another issue of the newsletter out - I've been really busy with classes.  May and Sept/Oct are always the busiest time of the year for me because of the great weather! I have been fortunate to travel to a couple of really lovely areas - Colorado Springs and Page, Arizona. 

Check the class updates below - I am planning out my 2018 calendar and have some already scheduled.  Are you interested in having me teach in your area?  Please contact me to see if we can arrange something.  You will have to provide a class location, but it can be a large garage, covered patio or a building where a some dust won't be a concern. 

Coming next month:  Gourds and Baskets.  I'd love to feature photos of your work!  Please send them to:

Would your gourd art to be featured?  I add newsletter features on artists, space permitting.  Please contact me.

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:  Basket/Gourd Artist Terrol Dew Johnson

Tucson's Old Pueblo gourd club is fortunate to have some amazing artists as part of our membership.  One of our newest members is "TJ".  TJ is an internationally recognized basketry artist who often incorporates gourds into his work. He is a member of the Tohono O'odham nation, and is one of the few male weavers in his tribe.  He is a community leader and a nationally recognized advocate for Native communities and their traditional arts.  He has won many prestigious awards, and his work is in the permanent collections of museums such as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Heard Museum.  Last month, TJ gave our local club a demo and shared some of his innovative work.
Read more about the Tohono O'odham nation here:
Read more about the Terrol Johnson here:

Feature:  Gourd Travels

One of my favorite things about teaching gourd workshops is getting to travel through new areas.  In September, I traveled to Colorado Springs, and visited Santa Fe and Taos, NM along the way.  In October, I went to Page, Arizona and spend a couple of days doing activities between class sessions - I visited parts of Antelope Canyon, and took a raft trip through Glen Canyon.   Here are just a few photos at classes (they were a blast!)  and on the road.
Tip of the Month:  Seeing is Believing!

Readers Mailbag:
Hi Bonnie,  Here is my finished Rusty Nail Gourd, I enjoyed the class!!
Natalie Ashburn - AZ
I don't know about you, but between normal aging and the start of cataracts, I just don't see as well as I used to, and it hinders my work.  I have various pairs of reading glasses scattered throughout the house (different powers for reading, carving, etc.) and I own an Optivisor for really close work.
"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
New -  The new "Native Treasures" Project Packet is now available.  Check it and all our other tutorial packets on the Project Packets page.
Back in Stock - 6" extenders and finishing sanders - great for smoothing out the inside of your gourd for a professional finished appearance!  These work great after cleaning with one of the fast working carbide mushroom cleaners!  On the Tools page.

New - Individual engraving burs. The small ball has a
3/32" head and is great for stippling and working in tight
areas.  The inverted cone also has about a 3/32" head,  I
use the sharp upper edge for carving fine details. Both
have 3/32" shanks.  On the Carving Burs page.
Readers Mailbag:

Hi Bonnie,  I finally finished the bighorn sheep gourd that I started in one of your classes!   Take care and thank you for all you have taught me!  Colleen Heinemann - CO
Readers Mailbag:

Hi Bonnie,  Thank you for teaching in Colorado Springs. This my finished gourd from class.  The bear is a sign of spiritual and physical power and courage. The embellishment on his back represents a special blessings bundle. The blue beads represent the sky; the dragonfly at the signifies happiness, speed and purity. The black leather cord represents Mother Earth. The Earth and Sky are connected with a turquoise Concho.  It will be so much fun and lots of work to complete the other two gourd designs that I began in your class, but I'm so looking forward to it! Thanks again for your amazing instruction!  
Arlinda Hodges -  CO

Top Right Photo : TJ shows a contemporary basket made from wood veneer strips and beargrass.  The 2 gourds to the left are cut to make a negative space basket similar to the 2 finished ones shown in the bottom photos.  The other items (gourd rattle and woven basket plaques are some of his other work. Traditional Tohono O'odham baskets are woven from yucca, beargrass, and devil's claw pods.
At a recent class, a couple of my students had a visor magnifier that had some added features that I really liked, and I have ordered one for myself!  The Carson magnifier has an added small spot light feature (I need lots of light these days!) and it comes with different powers of lenses so you can change them if you need stronger magnification for close work, or if your eyes get progressively worse.  If you end up having cataracts removed, you can go back to the lower powered lens!  The lamp is powered by 3 replacable AAA batteries (not included) It has a limited lifetime warranty.
Click on the photo to see this item on Amazon.  You can compare it to an Optivisor here.  Optivisors have fixed powers and focal distances.
Readers Mailbag:
Hi Bonnie,  Here are two of my finished class gourds. Next efforts will be much better because I learned a lot!   Merle Dallison - CO
New - Fetish Bear and Feather dangles - with hanging loop.  3 different sizes available. On the Earrings and More page.
Readers Mailbag:
Hi Bonnie,  My latest - it is 12" high and 38" around! 
Vicki Shell - TN
Back in Stock -  Thunder drum springs with bead on one end - sold individually or in discounted packs of 5.  On the Musical Supplies page.