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                   Pathways by Gloria Christian



In This Issue: We are pleased to introduce Gloria Christian, an artist who, for many years, expressed her creative talents through photography and now, through her gourd art. Gloria's dream is that her art will inspire others and through her simple yet elegant designs she is doing just that. A national award-winning artist Gloria has left her mark in the gourd world. Please welcome Gloria Christian to the September issue of Gourd Fever.
Ken Carlson is here as well with tips on how to tie knots in the long handled dipper gourd. With frost right around the corner this is the time to practice and with your newly-acquired skills, you will be ready to tie up a storm next summer when your dipper are young.
The CGS Gourd Festival happens this month and we are gearing up for a busy weekend. It is the one time of year when we see art from right across the country. It is exciting and just reaffirms that the sky is the limit when it comes to gourd art!
September is a busy month and we have lots to cover beginning with the talented Gloria Christian.

Gloria Christian: Simple Yet Elegant Designs Make Award Winning Art
Gloria Christian bought her first 35 mm camera in the 1970's. As a free lance photographer she has been published  many times in newspapers, magazines and brochures. She has worked at a wedding chapel, in photo processing and at a portrait studio. She enjoys scenic photography but her favorite subject is people. One technique she loves is giving her images the black and white look of old Hollywood of the 30's.
A few years ago Gloria was leafing through a home decor magazine and saw a photograph of a gourd sitting on a mantle above a fireplace. The markings on the gourd were wood-burned. It was very appealing and she knew at that moment that she had to investigate the world of gourd art. 
When first starting out, she etched designs using the natural colors of the gourd. She entered an etched piece in the first Alabama gourd show and won third place. That win, as you can well imagine, just reinforced her newly acquired addiction.
Throughout the years Gloria has continued to experiment and learn new and different techniques. All add to her individual style. If she works on a piece and does not like it, it will not go to a show. It is set aside and then added to or changed until satisfaction is reached.
Always in the forefront is the plan to progress in her work, inspire others and to share her knowledge so the next artist will be able to create and inspire. Gloria has and will continue to try almost any technique pursuing the ones she likes the most. She does not consider herself a painter so to color the gourds she uses multiple colors and tonnes of paint, inks, dyes and stains. Many times she will work until the gourd looks like metal or a piece of pottery.  
Gloria does 4 - 5  shows per year and never tires of the expressions and smiles as people enter her booth. It gives Gloria a good feeling knowing that there is a strong appreciation for gourd art. Gloria has been published in newspapers, on TV and in a book about gourd weaving and all help create awareness of this unique art form.
In her down-time Gloria is a world traveller enjoying new people, places and different cultures. She loves to look at old architecture and thinks about all who have lived and how they lived so long ago. 
In addition to gourd art, Gloria makes and sells homemade soaps and floral arrangements. Considering herself a gourmet cook she is constantly seeking out new recipes and experimenting. Gloria has five grandchildren, all who live in Washington state plus four 4-legged family members which are all strays or rescues.
To view more of Gloria Christian's work click here:

To view some fun venues that Gloria will be exhibiting at click here:
Gloria is also on Facebook under "Gloria's Gourd Art"

Ken Carlson: The Art Of Knotting The Long-Handled Dipper
As you read this article I have to assume that you in the northern climates know that the first frost is near. That means that even though it hasn't frozen your gourd stems yet, it is too cool at night for any real growth to occur. In the afternoon there are only a few hours which are warm enough to promote growth.

Hence, if your long handled dippers are not to full size, they most likely will not have enough time to produce the thick shell that is needed to survive the drying process. Any dipper that is still small or just starting out hasn't a chance.

Now before you start to feel sorry for these little gourds please know that their short life spans can serve a very useful purpose. They may never adorn your walls or be gifted to a friend, but they can aid you in learning to enjoy your gourds even more next year.

For those of you who have wanted to learn how to tie a knot in the handle of a long handled dipper but were afraid you would break it, these little gourds are perfect for practice. Take one of these little gourds in your fingers and tie a knot. If it breaks it doesn't matter - the reality is they are just going to die off anyway.

Grab another and try again...use a couple of inches of vine stem and gourd neck and tie. Keep in mind that it is best to knot gourds in the heat of the afternoon. If it is cool out fill a tall glass with
really warm water. Place the entire little gourd along with 2 inches of stem in the water for about 30 seconds. The flexibility will amaze you.

Speaking of which...A few days ago my 10 year old son Christopher joined me out in the gourd field. He was fooling around and broke 3 of the little gourds before he realized that he wasn't going to hear from me. I explained that little ones would eventually freeze and by breaking them off left more food for the maturing ones.
He smiled, "Dad," he said, "let's wait for Mom and I'll show her how I can tie knots. But don't tell her it's OK if I break about 10 of them."  Mom knows how I protect my son knows what her reaction will be!

I just chuckled and wondered where he came up with stuff like that.

About 30 minutes later Paula stopped by after work and Christopher took her out to show her how he could tie a knot in a gourd.

"Darn," I heard him say. "well, darn again."

"Christopher stop!" Alarmed she stepped in between his reaching hands and the next gourd, "you're breaking them!"

"Are you breaking more of my gourds trying to tie those knots again?" I yelled out of the shop.

"I'm not," he said, "they're tying really easy today," He grabbed one and it broke, another and it broke...

Paula was standing open mouthed as I walked around the corner of the shop laughing. I explained that they wouldn't reach maturity so Christopher knew he could now break them. Christopher of course was beaming as only a ten year old can. Mom looked at Christopher and said, "Maybe you and your Dad would like to eat at McDonald's tonight."

Let it be said that Paula has a good sense of humor and she took our little gourd joke very well but as she got in the car to head home, I heard her say something about my eating all my meals at McDonald's this week. That was strange because she knows that I wouldn't want to eat ALL my meals at McDonald' I get it.

"Funny" I yelled at her car now 10 blocks away. At least I got in the last word.

"Christopher, let's go," I said walking to my pick-up, "Quit laughing at Mom already and let's go."

"I'm not laughing at Mom," Christopher said, "I'm only 10 years old and even I knew how that was going to turn out and I LIKE eating all my meals at McDonalds."

Once again I wondered where he came up with that stuff, only now the answer was different.

Anyway the first frost is coming, maybe it's already hit in a few places.

Out Of The Mailbag
Hi Linda and Carolyn,
I grew gourds this year (grew them last year as well) and I know it is coming up to harvesting them. I am going to Europe for 3 weeks at the beginning of October and would like to harvest in September. My gourds did well this year with lots of big ones. What do you two gourd experts think?
                  Sal Hodgkins - St Catharines, Ontario
Hi Sal,
That's going to be a great trip - 3 weeks in Europe! Regarding your gourd harvest your letter could not be more timely. Our advice is to just leave them. Ontario does not get a hard frost usually until mid to late October and you do not want to touch them until then. Just think, you'll have something to look forward to when you get back. Have a fun trip!
                                          Carolyn and Linda

"Other Stuff" 
Northern Dipper will be doing a series of mini tutorials at the CGS Gourd Festival on Saturday, September 21. A repeat of these demos will occur on Sunday, September 22. Following are the times and topics:

11:00 - 11:20 am - Introduction to Power Carving: Understanding the how and when uses of different burrs and bits. Also the basic handling techniques of power carvers will be introduced.

12:00 - 12:20 pm - Stained Glass Effects: Using Adirdondack Inks.

1:00 - 1:20 pm - Memory Inks: Application and blending techniques.

2:00 - 2:20 pm - Introduction to Power Carving: Understanding the how and when uses of different burrs and bits. Also the basic handling techniques of power carvers.

3:00 - 3:20 pm - Memory Inks: Application and blending techniques.

4:00 - 4:20 pm - Stained Glass Effects: Using Adirdondack Inks.

Carolyn and Linda will have cleaned, dried gourds for sale this year along with a full line of gourd art supplies. 

Looking Ahead: October 2013

It is an honor to have with us award winning gourd artist and basket maker Ivy Howard. Ivy's background includes working with many mediums including tole - painting but once being introduced to gourds a few years ago, there was no looking back.
When a friend invited Ivy to attend a rim workshop she found she loved it. As her experience working with pine-needles increased she soon found herself reaching out to basket design. Her portfolio is lengthy and is filled with original art that makes a memorable impact on the viewer. 

Ken Carlson will be here once again as will The Gourd Jungle: Tips For The Home Gourd Gardener. We are nearing the end of the growing season and the topic on every grower's mind is the harvest. There will also be lots of mail and our usual trivia.

On September 6-8 we will be at the Cabbagetown Arts and Crafts Show in Toronto. Stop by and say hello. And don't forget to mark September 21 and 22 on your calendars. We hope to see you at CGS Gourd Festival - it is guaranteed to be a good time! Until next time...
                       Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond 

PS If you have any stories, ideas or comments send to




































Volume 9, Number 102 


In this issue:

Gloria Christian: Simple Yet Elegant Designs Make Award Winning Art

Ken Carlson: The Art Of Knotting The Long Handled Dipper

The Gourd Jungle: Tips For The Home Gourd Gardener

Out Of The Mailbag, Gourd Sightings and Trivia

The Bulletin Board
 Gourd Fest Details!
The Canadian Gourd Society (CGS) Gourd Festival
 & Creative Art Show
Dates: September 21 & 22
Where: The Buckhorn Community Centre
Buckhorn, Ontario
This annual event is
 ideal for anyone who
loves art. At the Gourd
Festival there will be
fabulous art, a competition, vendors and lots of classes.
At the Creative Art Show there will paintings and other mediums to be enjoyed.
Northern Dipper will be there and will have lots of cleaned, dried gourds along with supplies and finished product. There will be hourly mini tutorials using different gourd products. (Tutorials & times  are listed under "Other Stuff") 
 For details click here:

Gloria Christian
"I think that photography
has helped me to envision
 and create by learning to draw attention to the
subject using balance,
color, shapes and design."
"Gourd art is not only growing as a perfect canvas for the artist because of the
versatility but appeals to 'one of a kind' collectors. I read somewhere that the artist does not get paid for their time but for their vision."
"Art is everywhere we look and in everything we do. It is  
a way of communicating
 with each other in many forms including music, painting, photography and more."
"I have always been involved with art and creating and have done many things from sewing to pottery. I challenge myself with every gourd and strive to create that 'one of a kind' piece."
Advice For New Artists
"For anyone entering the world of gourds Gloria's advice is "Have fun and try everything. If and when you make a mistake, it is just an experience to learn from."
"With all the information out there through books, the Internet and gourd societies, you can go as far as your imagination will take you."

Ken Carlson's
Knotted Gourds
Ken has been knotting long handled dippers for many years now. Here are some examples of his work.

The Gourd Jungle:
Tips For The Home Gourd Gardener
In September there is only one rule to follow; a rule that requires great patience:
Do Not Cut Any Gourds
 From The Vine Until  After The First Hard Frost Hits!
Your large gourds will look mature to your eye but leave them be. The extra month or 2 of maturing will determine whether they dry nicely or not.
Also do not drill any holes into the shell. I've never quite figured out why people want to do this - if anyone has an answer let me know.

Gourd Sighting
Gourd marakas were spotted on I Love Lucy. They were being played by Ricky Ricardo, Lucy's TV and real life husband, in his act at the Tropicana nightclub.

It's A Dog's Life
This month we are going to talk about rawhide chewies. We have bought them for our dogs but are now changing our tune. These hides - usually bull, cow or horse - have been scraped
of all nutrients including 
meat and fat.
The hide is soaked in an ash-lye solution for a few days to remove the hair and then is soaked in bleach to remove all traces of the ash-lye solution. Doesn't sound too good does it - all those chemicals going into your dog's system.
For an alternative you may want to switch from the rawhide to beef chews, antler, raw bones or smoked bones.
For more information on these alternatives click here:

Music Pick of The Month
The Artists:
Blackmore's Night
The Songs:
Shadow of the Moon
Child In Time
To  learn more about Blackmore's Night click here:

Published by:
Pam Grossi
Victoria, BC, V8R 2Z7

Northern Dipper
PO Box 1145
5376 County Road 56  Cookstown, Ontario
L0L 1L0, Canada
(705) 435-3307

© Northern Dipper 2013.All rights reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be used in any form without prior written permission from the authors. 



















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