Arizona Gourds
Updates from the desert southwest...
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You can use this Amazon search box link to find all kinds of books and other products. Amazon purchases made through the links on this website help to support this site. 
*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:  Not getting the emailed notices about the newsletters?   It is probably going to your spam folder.  YOU ONLY NEED TO SIGN UP ONCE.   *The current issue is always available from our home page.

What's new on the Arizona Gourds website? 
Featured Gourd of the Month:
"Infinity Weave"
This is a gourd that I did several years ago - the woven pattern is carved and the gourd is finished with transtint wood dyes, lacquer and a basketry handle.

Look for a new class based on the infinity weave pattern coming soon!
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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
"Like" Arizona Gourds on Facebook to get special offers, up to the minute news about new products and classes, and other gourding updates.   (Just a note - I don't add gourd friends on my personal page, I save that for family and non-gourding friends.)

*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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Just type what you are looking for into the seach box below. *Can't see the search box?  Please disable your ad blocker for the Arizona Gourds domain.
Upcoming new releases from Lora Irish: Painting Gourds - Techniques and Projects for Natural, Seasonal Decor , and "Crafting with Gourds" These are due out on October 8th, but you can order now and guarantee that the price you will pay is the lowest possible.

The Little Book of Pyrography - Techniques, Designs, Exercises and Patterns is another new issue from Lora Irish.

Decorating Pumpkins and Gourds is a new release and just in time to start getting ready for the fall season.

Arizona Gourds Newsletter Index
See all our old newlsetters with indexed articles and tips from the past 10 years!  NOTE: OLD Newsletters are being gradually  phased out and converted to PDF Files.
Please view soon while they are still web based!     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 September issue of the Arizona Gourds newsletter! 
Featured Books:

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Class updates

At this time, I am preparing to submit classes for the 2019 Wuertz Gourd Festival.  If you have a specific class requests, please email me ASAP at so that I may take your requests into consideration.  (I always teach at least one Basic Power Carving Class and one specialty Filigree type class.)

*Interested in having me teach a workshop in your area?  Let me know if your club or state group is interested in hosting classes.  You provide the location and we'll try to make it happen! Contact me at

Notices of classes will now go to the entire newsletter list
If you aren't already a newsletter subscriber, enter your email address here. Be sure to hit the submit button to join.
PLEASE READ!   It has been a while since I have published a full blown newsletter.  I was amazed by the number of responses I got when I sent out my last notice via Mail Chimp - I received over 100 responses, and probably by a 9 to 1 margin, people said that they preferred the shorter emails over having to visit the webpage to view a full newsletter.  It seems that everyone has a busy life.

A lot has transpired over the past couple of years, and I am finding it more difficult to invest the same amount of energy and time into newsletters and other business activities - so this may be the last full newsletter that will be published for a while.  In fact, I am thinking about selling the web based business and doing only occasional classes in the future.  While I love what I do, I would like to have more time to just enjoy reading a book, visiting with my family, and creating my own art.  My goal is to be at least semi-retired by next summer. (If you are interested in acquiring a well established gourd internet business, please contact me and we can discuss it!)

It has been a great 20 years, and I've made a ton of great friends along the way. I'll still be active in gourds and will teach classes, but it will be nice to just slow down and enjoy each day a bit more.

Thank you!  Your purchases made from Arizona Gourds and from our Amazon links enable us to keep these free newsletters  available. 
We sincerely appreciate your business.
Feature:  Lone Star Gourd Festival and Competition

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Texas "Lone Star" Gourd Festival in early August. I taught classes Wednesday through Sunday, so I didn't get a lot of time to see everything, but I snuck into the competition long enough to take some photos.  I also enjoyed meeting Ana Pomo, a Peruvian gourd carver who had a booth to show and sell her brother Roy Pomo's amazing gourd art.  Roy had entered several pieces in the festival and won prizes on all of them, including Best of Show!

Tip of the Month:  Paintbrush holder

Peggy Lyons of Texas sent me this photo of an ice cube tray that she uses as a paintbush holder.  I've never seen an ice cube tray that looks exactly like this one, but it looks perfect for keeping your brushes sorted out.  She's even found a container with a lid for keep everything all in one place and protected.

"Native Treasures" and "Carving Burs Selection & Uses"  are the newest tutorials on the Project Packets pageI'm hoping to offer 2 or 3 new ones soon; Pueblo Ladies, Spiral Carving, and Woven Filigree.
Readers Mailbag:
Hi Bonnie,  I do like the short, informative emails you send, however, I LOVE THE NEWSLETTER.  Here is a photo of the woven filigree gourd from the class I took in Temecula.  Andi Hartgrove - CA
"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 on the Earrings and More page: Intricately inlaid feather earrings.  These make great dragonfly wings - I know quite a few of you have purchased these, and I'd love to see your finished projects!  Please email me a photo and I'll be glad to share it with my readers. 
Plan Ahead:  I will not be shipping from October 2 -7 and again on October 15 -21 while I am teaching classes.  Orders placed during these dates will be shipped in the order they were received as quickly as possible.  Thank you for your patience during these times.  *Please keep in mind that some items may sell out at classes, so if you need items please consider ordering before these dates.
Bur boxes on the Rotary Tool Accessories page.  These bur boxes have a high density foam insert that holds burs in an upright postion so the you can easily choose the bur you want.  The burs won't fall out when you carry the box by the integrated handle!

Readers Mailbag:
Hi Bonnie, I just had to share with you how much I love my new Mystisa portable microcarver.  It's size and battery powered portability has made it perfect to take any and everywhere including 2 livestock shows and a ski boating trip.  Here's a photo of one I carved on the boating trip.  Thanks, ML Carey - PA
Class pieces by Elaine Linton
September SPECIAL: Order $10 or more during September, and get a free bag of small glass eyes for gourd animals  (while supplies last).

I am getting rave reviews from those who have purchased the Mystisa portable microcarver and the powerful BP50 carver with brushless handpiece.  You can read full reviews in the July 2018 newsletter, or visit the microcarvers page.

"Just an fyi,the BP50 carver arrived and I thoroughy enjoyed using it today. Very nice; so glad you had on at the Texas festival and I heard you explain about the differences from the others. Definitely a superior unit to the Pro Carver II I was using."  Karen J.
Visiting with Ana Pomo.
Readers Mailbag:
Hi Bonnie, After carving into the flesh of the gourd, do you use anything to seal the carving so that it doesn't blister up when it is painted with acrylics? I am getting tired of all the extra sanding.  Mike Munter - TX

A: Yes, I treat carved gourds with a light mist of spray lacquer sanding sealer. It seals the porous surface so that the water in acrylics will not raise the gourd fibers, yet a light mist will still allow enough "tooth" and a good painting surface.  Lacquer sanding sealer will also work well underneath alcohol based dyes, but NOT ink dyes, which have a different solvent.

Mike Munter gourd carvings. 

Other household items are useful for storage.  Cylindrical 2 part toothbrush holders are great for taking paint brushes, files, xacto knives or pencils to classes.

What handy household items have you found for storing and protecting gourd tools?
New Conchos in stock, and ready to ship!   On the Metals page.

New Micro Brushes with tiny fuzzy heads are great for dyes and are a nice compliment to the pointed micro brushes we also stock.  These cost less than the pointed micro brushes and are about half the price that you'd find from other suppliers.   Color may vary - ready to ship!   On the Tools page.

Photos and design copyright © 2012 by Bonnie Gibson and  may not be used without express written permission.