Note: If using Outlook click the above bar where it says “Click to download photos” This Issue has many photos so it may take a couple of extra minutes to download.
Carve Out Some Good Times
at Northern Dipper!
These charming gourd Jack-O-Lanterns with Coiled Rims
were designed by Tammy Brown of North Carolina
In This Issue: In this month's Issue of Gourd Fever we are travelling to the country of Brazil to meet Ana Luiza Lima Sousa. Ana, along with her friend Maia, and her 74 year old mother, are creating some impressive gourd art. There will be a short report on Northern Dipper’s Grand Opening... yes it was a hot 9 days, especially in the wood burning demo tent where customers just loved trying out our newest product, the Razertip! As this month is Halloween, we will also have some links to a couple of fun Halloween tutorials. So go make yourself a nice hot cup of tea and relax with this months Issue of Gourd Fever.
Northern Dipper's Grand Opening
Lois Dean, Sandy Thompson and Bonnie MacLeod
The Grand Opening at Northern Dipper exceeded all of our expectations. We were busy every day meeting new customers and friends from as close to home as Cookstown and as far away as California. We had various mini workshops and demos covering the basics to more advanced projects including reed and pine needle rims and wood burning. The weather was fabulous which gave everyone lots of time to go through the gourds and to explore our retail shop which is right on our property. A special visit from the HOG’s* on the last day helped round out the experience as a fun filled, crazy 9 days that we soon will not forget.
* The HOG’s are the "Happy Ontario Gourders" – this group is very lively and they love gourding!
Darlyne & Bob Pennycook and Sioux George
First off I want to say thank you for hosting the 'gathering'. I had such a good time I don't know how to thank you enough. Carolyn, I have SO many weaving ideas swirling through my head!!! Thank you!!! I think when I pick out a bowl and seal it I'm going to weave it with aluminium wire (won't rust) and maybe do some kind of metal accent. I'll let you know how it turns out. I thought the juxtaposition of metal and gourd would be good….
The Winners of the Grand Opening Draw:
Congratulations Sandy Thompson & Darlyne Pennycook
Both have won $50.00 worth of gourds. Now you are all set for some Halloween and Christmas projects.
20% off South American Calabash!
This is the first time calabash have been available to Canadian and US artists!
Calabash is a type of South American gourd that grows on a tree. The shell is very dense and it is a gourd artist's dream to burn.
Wood burning design was done with a Razortip pyrographic pen.
With Octobers sale at 20% off, now is an ideal time to stock up and start your own holiday tradition of giving a heirloom ornament that will be passed on for generations
Sizes available are 1-4 inches and are priced the
same way as gourds.
To view calabash click here.
Sales are applicable for both farm visits and
New at Northern Dipper...
We are now carrying the popular Razertip used by gourd artists throughout North America. Razertip pyrographic tools have been setting the standard for hot-wire pyrographic tools for over 18 years. While they were designed to add feather detail to bird carvings, these burners are now used on gourds with great success.
For this gourd I used theF#1S-L Small Long Skew. Be careful that no pieces of gourd are left smoldering with this type of heavy burning.
The sides of this pen are rounded instead of sharp. This allows you to easily cut smooth rounded curves.
Please check back on our Website to view the Razertip.
We will be putting it up ASAP.
Sign up for the upcoming classes in the Basics and painting at Northern Dipper. For details click here.
From Cookstown To Northern Dipper
5376 County Rd 56, RR # 2
Cookstown, Ont, L0L 1L0
Go west on Hwy 89 for 6km. Go north on County Rd 56 for 1.5 km. Our house is on the west side just after "Eileen's Flowers Galore Greenhouse".
To view a map of the location of
Ana Luiza Lima Sousa
Gourd Artist, Entrepreneur and A Promoter of
Local Brazilian Art
Ana's Shop - Look in the window and you will see lots of beautiful gourd art, unique lamps and handwoven fabrics. Look...there is a wooden armadillo under the table!
I began enjoying and painting small bottle gourds about 4 years ago. I would make puppets and give them as presents to friends. I didn't know which paint to use, which brush and not even how to clean the gourd. My mother and my friend Maia became curious and wanted to see what else could be done. They didn't want to paint and they looked for other techniques. Then ideas of lamps appeared and candles, bowls and decorations...our imagination took off.
Family of Chicks
We like producing with our hands! My mother and I are nurses and my friend is a mechanical engineer. I am also a teacher at the university. After our work became known here in the area, I thought about doing an art course, but I couldn't decide. All of us read a lot, we researched and we tried; and we changed our experiences.
Maia likes to try new tools. He adapts some and then chooses what to use. He has an easiness in the use of tools and is very skilled. He likes challenges and is always inventing something with a larger degree of
complication. My mother is 74 years old and, even with some difficulty in movement, she also creates and produces a lot. Her intelligence is impressive! Each one of us have developed various techniques, in agreement with our abilities: painting, wood burning, wood inlay. Now we make the projects together and each one of us contributes a part of the whole.
Here in Brazil gourds are native. Up until now I only know one place (south of the country) that cultivates, but with the only purpose of doing mate (a hot drink done with herbs) for “chimarão” The gourds that we use come from several places. We buy some at the market in the city, we receive some as gifts, and we also look for "wild" gourds. They are not however of very good quality. We work in agreement with the pieces that we have found. Now we are resolved to cultivate and we have already begun the process of the selection of seeds. We are also studying about the cultivation.
In my art I like very defined, strong, alive colour. There are some artists that use pastel colours, clean and with little definition. I believe that is a subject of style! I have the strong line and that combines with strong colours.
Beautifully Lamps are Designed by Maia
The lamps are made by Maia. Besides the drawing and design he is very careful with the finish and with the electric installation. He develops projects for table lamps, pendants, wall, floor... and every day there is an innovation. He also makes other projects. He really does likes a lot of challenge! He has already made animals such as penguins and pigs... Ah! And he is also responsible to set up the dolls that I paint.
Pillows Designed by Ana’s Mother Using a
My mother, besides working with the bottle gourd, crochets, embroideries and “fuxico” This - fuxico - it is a technique here in the area and it uses scraps of fabrics.
Our store opened on April 22, 2005. We want her to be a singular store. Our objective is to promote local artists, besides our own work. The craft in our area is well diversified, however the commercialization is difficult due to the distances between the great centers and the place where the artists live.
The loom pieces are produced in the area. Some close associations exist - Anápolis, Córrego do Ouro (Stream of the Gold), that have great pieces. We also have other artists' works: some works in ceramic, wood. And we are always receiving visitors and analyzing new works.
Gourds have opened many doors for us. We have enjoyed sharing our story with you.
Adios para ahora, (Goodbye for now)
To view more of Ana's, Maia's and Mom's colourful art click here.
To learn more about Goiania, Brazil click here.
To see more samples of fuxico click here.
Thank you Ana. We love to hear about gourds from different cultures. Your art is very unique and the opportunities you are providing to local artists in your area is inspiring. We wish you all the best in the future.
Once it is time to harvest, your gourds will be turning very moldy.
Do not be alarmed. This is Nature's way of drying a gourd.
In October there is literally nothing to do in the gourd field other than wait for the first hard killing frost. In the South wait until the stems die off and turn brown. In the Northern climes, after the first hard frost, the gourds can be cut from the vine. Always try to leave a couple of inches of stem attached. This will prevent any bacteria getting into the gourd plus a bit of a stem to hold on to for when you are crafting.
You may still be finding young gourds in your gourd patch.
Just ignore them – they will not mature.
Once harvested put your gourds in a place where they receive good air circulation. Keep them outside – the snow, rain and frost will not hurt them. You can turn them during the winter to ensure even drying but even this is not necessary. If they are mature they will dry quite nicely on their own.
I would like to thank you for having the Open House. My husband and I had a fantastic time and enjoyed meeting other gourd artists and enthusiasts. We loved watching the demonstrations, particularly the one on gourd burning. We're happy that you are now carrying the Razertip as we've wanted to get into burning gourds for a while now and it was really helpful getting some hands on training. What tip would you recommend for cutting a gourd?
Irene B. – London, Ontario
Thank you for joining us for the Grand Opening. It was a great time and we enjoyed meeting so many of our customers. We are proud to be the suppliers of such a quality gourd tool as the Razertip. You can do so much more with it than just burning designs into gourds. It can be used for cutting intricate designs and straight line work among other applications. For rounded cuts I would recommend # 9S.17 Gourd Cutter. It can be used at a fairly high heat with a sawing action. Because it has smooth edges, it easily moves around curves. For straight cuts I would recommend the #1S-L Small Long Skew. It is used for cutting and detailing gourds.
Don’t forget to use your Razertip "tip cleaner"
regularly. Gourds have a tendency to cause your pens to acquire a build up quickly and need to be cleaned. This will prolong the tip life.
Cheers for now,
To send in questions to Dear Carolyn! click here.
Each year, on the eve of October 31, millions of children dress up in costumes and go door-to- door Trick and Treating. Here are a few links to get you in the mood for this occasion!
To make a scary gourd ghost click here.
To learn how to apply a "spiderweb" pattern to a gourd click here.
There is a good Halloween tutorial from Patti Palmer in Issue 8 of Gourd Fever. Go to the main page on our website http://www.northerndipper.com/ and click on Gourd Fever Back Issues under All About Gourds.
Young Gourd Artists From Nova Scotia, Canada!
Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were.
But without it we go nowhere.
Dear Northern Dipper,
We are finally finished our workshops at the school Prospect Road Elementary School just outside Halifax Nova Scotia. The program the children participated in was what we call "Create". One of our grade four teachers has been organizing this type of workshop for many years in various schools.
We had 14 different workshops where the whole school took part, once a week, for a hour and a half every Thursday, for the month of May. The idea was to experience something new with a cultural diversity component to it. The age group that worked on the gourds was primary, grade 1 and 2. With the kettle gourds they made bowls from half and a mask to hang on the wall with the other half. We also made a ladybug for our outdoor classroom/garden that each student took part in completing.
EVERYONE enjoyed the work shop, even the onlookers were so amazed as most have never even heard of the hard shelled gourds. I have been giving out your web site, so you should be getting lots of hits.
Once again thank you for your help and kindness.
Thank you Connie for sending this photo and letter in. As you know Northern Dipper likes to encourage the creative side of childhood. Keep up the fine work kids! We really enjoyed your masks & bowls.
Yellow Flowers Started From Seed From Heather’s
NEXT ISSUE: Next month we are honoured to present
artist Cedar Wallace, who hails from a tiny Island off the West Coast of Canada. Cedar has a wealth of experience in fibre arts and papermaking. More recently she has discovered gourds, which was a natural medium for her, and as you will see, Cedar's work is fabulous!
We will be moving closer to Christmas and it can never be too early for an exciting Christmas tutorial. Plus our roving reporter will have a story about the Ohio Gourd Festival which took place the last weekend of September. To finish there will be a Dear Carolyn! letter (Keep that mail flowing folks), trivia and other gourdly tidbits. Have a fun and safe Halloween everyone! Until next time...
Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond
Korean Folk Tale click here.
(Oh no! This link kept breaking up. Consequently, you, the reader, will have to put it in manually. It is worth it however - it is a good story.)
For more information and links on how calabash are used around the world click here.
Back issues of our newsletter Gourd Fever are on our Website. If you have missed any issues there are some interesting tutorials and grow information you may want to check out.
PS If you have any stories or ideas that you would like to contribute to this newsletter please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 2, Number 21
In this Issue:
Review of Northern Dipper's Grand Opening
Featured Artist: Ana Luiza Lima Sousa - A Woman of Many Talents
October Gourd Growing Report
Dear Carolyn plus Halloween Tutorial Links!
Gourd Sightings & Trivia
Northern Dipper's Grand Opening
There were many colorful displays
at the Grand Opening
Everyone brought samples of their art
for all to admire. The Grand Opening
was a forum for the sharing of ideas and techniques.
Northern Dipper welcoming the HOG's
(Happy Ontario Gourders)
Gourd ghoulies spotted the landscape
giving it a festive air.
The colourful pumpkins complimented the
gourds and the season.
Teacher and student in the reed
A Celebration of Gourds, Art and the Garden — at the Food For Thought Festival in
Sonoma County, CA!
The following photos are samples from previous years entries at this Festival.
Judy Bowser, “Sitting Woman”, 2002
Rhonda Stubbs, “Maple Leaves”, 2005
Micah Schwaberow, “Honor The Fire Within”, 2002
Don Ajello “Petaluma Pecker Series / Container”
Mary Pryor, “Middlefield”
Linda Gamble, “Lily”
Pat Boyd, “A Different Drummer,” 2002
If you are in or near Sonoma County
add this fun event to your calender.
It includes a silent auction of fine gourd art, an exhibit of gourd instruments from around the world, live demos, tours of beautiful organic gardens, and seasonal organic food and wine from Sonoma County’s bountiful harvest.
To learn more click here.
The Faces Behind Manufatura
Mother and Baby
Lady In Red
Container with yellow flowers.
Gourd Table Lamp
Our store is located in the
city of Goiânia. It is in the center
of the country, very
close to the capital – Brasília.
Gourd Growing In October
After the first hard frost place your gourds in a spot where they will get good air circulation.
The Minis will dry quite quickly compared to the hard-shell gourds. You can harvest the Minis once the vines are dead.
Bev Williams, who was visiting FLORA MONTREAL in early September,
sent in this sighting.
"There was a very large outdoor garden show; some gardens were stunning and others a little weird. Much to my surprise there was an area where there were 2 large arches with dipper gourds growing over them. It was nice to see that gourds are even appreciated by the international architectural and landscape designers who had created the various gardens there."
Bev is an accomplished gourd artist who also works in leather and other mediums. Check out her website at
For more info on the Flora Montreal -
Did You Know...
Calabash has a long history in tropical climates. Here are a few examples of their uses from around the world.
Sierra Leone – West Africa
The calabash is used to clean rice, carry water and to store food.
The calabash is believed to absorb negative earth-based qi (energy) that would otherwise affect health and is a very traditional Feng Shui cure.
In rural Mexico, calabash are hollowed out to create a gourd container used for carrying water.
Calabash are also prominent in paintings and posters as demonstrated in "Man With A Calabash" by Charlotte Derain. To see more of Charlotte’s work click here.
Gourds In Literature
Here is a Korean folk tale for your enjoyment. As there was a lack of space here for the full link you will find it at the end of the newsletter under LINKS.
by Lois Dean
Please don't consider this serious art. It was me just goofing off. I love Halloween and a friend is having a party so am giving these to her as a gift.
Tips and tricks to make them -
I recommend painting the inside of them red. It gives them a scarier look. Plus the blood dripping out of their teeth really appeals to the kids. You can put lights in them. The little one has a little electric tea light. Please do not
use a candle in them!
Happy Halloween…Lois Dean
Designed & Published by
1535 Myrtle St.
Victoria,, BC., V8R 2Z7
If you know of any small business or theatre group that would benefit from an on-line newsletter like this please
Northern Dipper Farm
5376 County Rd 56, RR # 2
Cookstown, Ont, L0L 1L0