Leaves by Cindy Kendall
In This Issue: Welcome to the December issue of Gourd Fever. In this issue we are thrilled to feature Cindy Kendall, an artist who hails from Missouri. Using natural materials and a variety of specialized techniques, her art is reflective of the deep love and respect of the natural flora and fauna around her. We love Cindy's art and know you will too.
In December there are many holidays celebrated around the world. Examples include Christmas (Dec 24 & 25), Hanukkah (Dec 2 - 10), Kwanzaa (Dec 26 - Jan 1), Winter Solstice (Dec 21) and in Scotland, Hogmanay (Dec 31). Many of these include gift gifting so we spent some time going through Pinterest looking for ideas of gourd art.
Most have a Christmas theme but there are some examples of some beautiful ornaments that would be suitable regardless of the cultural backgrounds. Gourd art has proven, time and time again, to be treasured by the receiver so don't be shy...get your supplies out and start creating!
Fish by Cindy Kendall
Our trivia sections are always a fun part of this newsletter and in this issue we do not disappoint. We have Colin James as our music guest, a hydrogen-powered train running in Germany, tips on dealing with a visually-impaired dog and a trip to Fez, Morocco to look at gourds. So take a break from your daily chores, pull up a chair with a cup of tea in hand and get hot with the fever... Gourd Fever that is; 2018.
Christmas Bells by Lori
Winter Wonderland by Lori
Cindy Kendall: Deep Earthy Roots and Other Natural Forms
Cindy Kendall's first exposure to anything gourd related was as a child at her paternal grand-parents in the hills of South Missouri. Her Grandma would put an enamel pail in the front yard filled with water with a dipper gourd hanging next to it. If you wanted a drink, that's where you got it from.
Cindy was fascinated with the fact that a weird looking plant could be used as a ladle. Her Grandma was Native American and used those roots in everyday life.
Cindy's next exposure was much later at a Native American art show. There was a lady there that emulated black on black pottery using gourds. She had manipulated the growth to achieve different shapes and Cindy thought they were unique and spectacular.
Art has always been a part of Cindy's life. She use to draw all of the time as a kid and majored in art in College with an emphasis on graphics, drawing and pottery. All of these acquired skills are used to achieve her goals with her gourd art. It is she adds, always a process of experimentation.
Cindy's approach towards design is to encompass nature in some fashion. She is fascinated with fossils and enjoys combining them with other natural forms. As you can see in her art Cindy tries to use natural materials all of the time.
In addition to being inspired by nature, Native American art is a close second. Stitching on gourds sometimes emulates a basket split stitch, a stitch that required lots of practice on Cindy's part. The challenge is figuring out the math of a gourd for precise stitching, lids and specific cuts. Every gourd is different so the math is always changing.
Cindy Kendall's style has changed over time. In the beginning she tryed geometric designs but no matter what, they just didn't appeal to her. She changed her style using things that appealed to her heart.
One image that captivated her was a beautiful willow tree. The key was to achieve depth which is easier said than done. She decided to use a vinyl resist technique and after many sessions finally worked it out. It is empowering as an artist to achieve the goal you have in your mind's eye.
Cindy's hope is that once she retires from her day job she will be able to do more shows around the country and will continue to grow as a gourd artist. It is her dream to meet some of the artists she has admired and to keep pushing herself on that continuous path of learning.
In the meantime Cindy leads a rich life with her husband, adult daughter and her dog. She is one generation removed from being South Missouri hill folk and is proud of it. She loves nature and has the most utmost respect for it. One of her favorite things is to sit outside with her dog and listen to the birds while she works. In those special moments all the troubles of the world seem to disappear.
The holidays are almost here and in order to get some ideas on gifts I can craft for my family and friends I often look at Pinterest. This site offers a wealth of images on every subject under the sun. There are lots of gourds featured. Check out the links included with these photos to see more.
This beautiful winter landscape was painted by Kim Gladfelter.
Gingerbread men from their special cookie jar...This is what Christmas memories are made from.
Ornaments are a lovely gift for everyone.
Cardinals In Holly by Barbara Krans Jenkins
Out Of The Mailbag
Dear Northern Dipper, I have been working with gourds for a couple of years now and am thinking about selling them at local craft fairs. My friends are encouraging me but I need more information. I know you have done years of shows; would you have any words of advice? Sammy Muncaster
Hi Sammy, Shows can be a lot of fun and profitable too but the key is to find the shows where you are a good fit. Walk the shows you are interested in doing, talk to the vendors (they are your best resource as many do "the circuit"). Take note of the traffic and the layout of the show as well as what sorts of things sell there.
Next contact the show organizers to get the details on booth fees and other expenses (ie tables, electrical, insurance). Do a budget. Don't forget hotels and meals if you have to travel out of town. When chosing a booth location be particular. Remember it is the job of a show organizer to sell space. Sometimes it is not in your best interest.
Figure out what inventory you will need. Do a checklist of everything you will need as this will save you a lot of stress later on. Then get busy building product to sell. Good luck, let me know what you decide. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to email. Lori
Hi Lori, Love your newsletter. Hope it will be around in 2019. Luke Kirkland PS Check out Linkin Park for your Music Pick.
Thanks Luke. Yes the newsletter will be published in 2019. We already have some incrediable artists lined up plus other ideas floating in the wings. Going into our 15th year; it is all still very exciting. Any ideas you may have, send them in. I will check out Linkin Park. Lori
"Other Stuff" - Hats Off To Germany: The World's First Hydrogen-Powered Train!
The Coradia iLint Passenger Train
The world's first hydrogen-powered train has just been launched for commercial use in Germany. They produce no greenhouse gas emissions and are cheaper to run than their fossil fuel counterparts.
On a single tank of hydrogen these trains can travel 600 miles (1,000 km) generating energy through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen. There is even excess energy generated which is stored in lithium ion batteries.
Alstom, the rail transport company that designed this train states that there are low noise levels and the only exhaust is steam and condensed water. It is smart management of traction power and available energy.
Alstom expects to launch 14 more of the zero-emmision trains within the next few years. For more information click here: https://www.financialexpress.com/photos/business-gallery/1317523/this-is-the-worlds-first-hydrogen-powered-train-8-cool-facts-about-this-zero-emission-service/
Looking Ahead: March 2019
We have reached the end of another issue and another year of Gourd Fever. It has been an interesting year full of political discourse, world protests ranging from environmental issues to social reform and Women's Marches. Every day there is something new and it is at these times I like to take a step back to count my blessings.
One of these blessings is the wonderful artists I have met through this newsletter the past twelve months. Each one is inspirational not only through their art but through the essence of their being. They are creative and generous and I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank them.
I would also like to thank our readership. This newsletter goes out to thousands of people around the globe and I can't help but smile to myself when I think about how a hard-shell gourd can bring so many like-minded people together. It really is amazing. As a matter of fact it is awesome.
2019 is right around the corner. We wish you all a peaceful holiday season and all the best in the upcoming year. See you in March!
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