Bill Colligen: The Poetry of Art
The Bulletin Board: News From Northern Dipper
The Gourd Gardener: The Gourd Harvest & Storage
Out Of The Mailbag, Gourd Sightings & Trivia
The Bulletin Board
Gratifying, entertaining and educational are words that describe the Northern Dipper workshops. If this is what you are looking for then Northern Dipper is the place to come.
These fall classes are filling up quickly so be sure to sign up today.
Cool Funky Birds!
Old Time Santa
To learn more about these workshops click here:
"Life is so beautiful and I am blessed for this existence."
"The Relic Collection is the most elaborate series I have ever done. With that being said there are lots of layers and materials used in the process. For each piece there is a minimum of 10 layers that have to be completed sequentially."
"A lot of the materials I use are what I call "found treasures." Many of the handles for the Relics were procured from abandoned mining equipment while hiking in Colorado."
"The patina inspiration comes from the Chinese Ritual Bronzes of the Shang and Zhou dynasties."
A History of the Chinese Ritual Bronzes
Sets of ritual bronzes are the most impressive surviving objects from the Chinese Bronze Age. From around 1650 BC they were deposited in the tombs of royality and the nobility.
The spiritual practices of the Shang dynasty people arose from the belief that the spirits of ancestors, who in the supernatural world, were forever in control of man's earthy well-being, It was believed necessary that offerings of prayer and food constantly be made to them.
"I do a fair amount of commission work in addition to my other art. If someone has an idea I am happy to do the best I can to realize their vision. Recently, I have completed a few pieces for individuals who lost their horses. They saved some of the hair and I wove it unto the gourd along with other adornments."
"It is my goal to continue to create art that is imbued with spirituality. I would love to get Intention Vessels into yoga studios, so more people have the opportunity to benefit from these works of art. I want to continue to do what inspires me to create art and right now that is Intention Vessels and Relics."
Green-peeling is a technique that is used by carvers who want a clear, blemish free gourd shell to work on. Using a green gourd and a dull utility knife or even a smooth-bladed kitchen knife scrape off the outer skin. Be careful not to cut into the gourd. Once done wash off with a mild Javex/water mix.
If you want to achieve a pattern scape off the background.
To illustrate this, look at the photo above. The horse was not scraped and the background was. Once dried the horse jumped out and the background was clear of markings caused by the mold.
Photos of Mature Gourds
There is such a huge variation in the green of a gourd.
These gals will be left up on the trellis to dry over the winter.
This is a huge heavy gourd which will be watched during the drying process. It will be turned on a regular basis and wiped down with Javex and water. Let's just hope it has a thick shell once it has dried.
A dried gourd left on the trellis over winter will lose it's skin.
Out Of The Mailbag
Hi Northern Dipper,
I attended your workshop Funky Birds on August 9 with my friend and I just wanted to drop you a note to tell you how much we enjoyed ourselves.
You were so warm and welcoming and even though I am a bit of a novice when it comes to gourds, you made me feel like an expert.
The best part of all is now I have a real Funky Bird out in my garden which my family and friends really like.
I will be signing up for one of your other workshops this coming week - a good selection makes the choice very difficult!!! Thanks for everything. See you soon.
Zoe Duncan-Brantford, Ont.
It's A Dog's Life