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. 


Spring Kittens by Joy Jackson
Seven different cat silhouettes, cut with a mini-jigsaw.  

In This Issue: This month we are pleased to feature Ohio artist Joy Jackson. Joy was born with a crayon in each hand, and since then, has never been far from some type of creative medium. Joy also co-chairs the organization and planning of the Gourd Artists Gathering in Cherokee, N.C., an event which has been gaining momentum the past few years. 
For fun we are introducing a summer contest.The prize is a $50.00 Northern Dipper gift certificate plus a colourful bouquet of hand-picked dyed broom corn. Broom corn is beautiful when used in rim treatments and floral arrangements. 
 Freshly planted gourd field. The Ontario weather has been hot - perfect for the seedlings to get a strong start.
This month's grow report is abuzz with the sound of the cucumber beetle and along with your letters (one of our favorite parts!) we are on our way.


Yippee it is almost summertime! Pour yourself a tall cool lemonade and please take a few minutes to relax and enjoy this June issue of Gourd Fever.

 Joy Jackson
"There are just too many things you can do to a gourd, and so many that I have yet to try!"
Most recently, I have been working on Knotless Netting Rims.  It's something relaxing to work on that I can take with me when I'm away from home.  

Joy Jackson is an extraordinary woman. She has been working with gourds for 10 years, but has always been involved in art, including fine art, many craft techniques, and sewing, both utilitarian and decorative by machine and hand. 


"My husband, Dennis, and I had a ceramics business for about 20 years, selling finished pieces on the craft show circuit and through several other outlets. After all those years of pouring molds, cleaning greenware, firing up the kiln, and painting ~ we got burned out.  Pun intended!" 
"It wasn't long after that I discovered gourds, which by the way, are MUCH lighter in weight than ceramic molds and finished ceramics, but take up as much (or more) space."

 This vessel with pyrography was done from a Cheryl Dow pattern.  I love barns and country scenes.

"Dennis (mostly) and I do grow gourds, though I have to admit, we're not very good at it. It seems that each year, we'll have one variety that does really well, and the rest are just so-so. But we do have a lot of fun. 
We especially enjoy "having sex in the gourd patch" each evening when we go out with our little paint brushes and pollinate the female blooms! Gourds are absolutely delightful to grow."
Joy also co-chairs the organization and planning of the Gourd Artists Gathering in Cherokee along with Jerry Lewis (a.k.a. The Chicken Man), of California.
It is a big job, and she spends about six months each year working on it. But it has gotten easier each year. "Once we get to Cherokee, we have the most wonderful group of volunteers, along with Activity Coordinators, who take over and make the event a success. It is a lot of fun."

This is my first attempt at carving. It won
First Place and Best of Category in Indiana 2005

Joy is a member of several State gourd societies and is a member of the board of directors of the American Gourd Society. She has taught at several shows, and always tries to be involved in the Ohio Show in some way (since it is her home state.)

"Not being a person who can 'sit still' so to speak, if I'm not teaching or volunteering in some other way, you'll find me at a show working with a vendor or two.  Along with it being a pleasure, it has been a valuable learning experience and enabled me to become more knowledgeable about the large variety of tools and supplies available to gourd enthusiasts!"

In another life Joy was a Secretary and an Administrative Assistant. Her last job was with her local school system. She worked at the high school where she graduated from many years ago.  "That was my favourite job as I was involved with the kids in many extra-curricular activities, which enabled me to be creative and use my artistic skills."
              Joy does some very beautiful rims.

Joy, along with her husband Dennis, live in the country with their Springer Spaniel, Daniel Bark Jackson, and three cats. Dennis has spent most of his career working in the grocery industry, and now works for Wal Mart. Their only son, Jason (26 years old), a graduate of Morehead State University, lives in Kentucky & is pursuing a career in law enforcement. 
"With our child-rearing days behind us, we have now entered the phase of taking care of both of our aging mothers. After all, turnabout is fair play, as they say.
See you at Cherokee!" Joy
To view Joy Jackson's website click here.
For more information on Cherokee - The Gourd Artist Gathering click here.
To view Jerry Lewis's (AKA The Chicken Man) website click here.
Thank you very much Joy. It was so much fun meeting you. We are inspired by your energy, your positive attitude in life and your lovely sense of humour.

          WORKSHOP NEWS 

You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.  Clay P. Bedford

These are the goals of Northern Dipper…to fan the flames of curiosity and to teach new techniques and skills in a relaxed, fun, country environment. Come and meet others who have caught the gourd “bug” at these upcoming summer workshops.
Beginners Class: Gourd Rattles  
Wednesday, June 13: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
This is a great workshop for beginners.  Students will learn how to clean and cut a gourd and by the end of the day, will own a wild and functional gourd rattle.
Beginners Class: Dream Catchers
Sunday, July 15th: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
We just love dream catchers and apparently our students do too. Back due to popular demand here is a workshop where you will learn how to create this Aboriginal art form using a penguin gourd as the base. This class usually fills up quickly so register today.
 P.S. Penguins are fascinating. Did you know that penguin calls are individually identifiable, allowing partners to recognize each other and their chick. Penguin gourds can't do that but they do look
pretty just like the real thing. 
Beginners Class: Making Rainsticks  
Saturday July 28th: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Legend has it that the Chilean Indians invented the
rain stick to create rain during drought conditions.
 The magical sounds of the rain stick are not used to bring rain today but rather to entertain both children and adults alike.
In this 1-day rainstick class you will learn the
basics of gourd cleaning, cutting, sanding and drilling plus various techniques on how to decorate this unique instrument.  
For details about these workshops click here

 Dragon by artist Marlene Leeson This is very nice! 

Dear Carolyn!

Dear Carolyn,

I have been creating gourd art for a couple of years now and am feeling confident enough to register for a space at our local summer festival. I would like to do tags to attach to my work but am unclear as to what they should say. Would you have any suggestions for me?

Thank you,

Ruth Hebert – NFLD.


Dear Ruth,

Tags are an important form of communication between you and your customer. A tag should be small and your copy brief. If you can fit your information onto a business card using both sides, that would make it very simple plus economical. ** When doing your pricing don’t forget to include the price of the tag and the cost of the ink into your selling price.


Here are some suggestions of the information you may want on your tag -


Side One – 1.) Name of the piece i.e. “Frolicking Seabirds” 2.) Material List i.e. Hard-shell gourd, pine needles, waxed linen 3.) Contact information – name, address, phone number or email & website address. 


Side Two – Include a short history about the hard shell gourd as many people are unfamiliar with them. Keep in mind you will need to have a spot for the price. Small stickers that can be removed and replaced are great for this purpose.


Just experiment and you will come up with a design that will reflect both your personality and style. 
Good luck at your festival. I am certain it will be the first of many successful venues for you.


PS To make it really easy just google 'Avery Cards'. They have free ' Templates and Software' for business cards that you can download. It is user-friendly. 



 This floating swan was created by artist Marilyn McLeary
Dear Carolyn,

This is my first year growing gourds, and your website and newsletter are my primary source for information. Thankyou for all your help. I was wondering when the gourds I am growing this summer; cannonballs and dippers, would be ready to use. Is it next summer, next fall, next winter? 

Mary Teale - Ontario

Dear Mary,

All first time growers ask this question. The gourds you just planted will grow and mature over the summer. Once the vines die off in late October you will harvest the gourds. Over the winter they will dry and by the time the spring arrives you should be able to hear the seeds rattling around inside. This is when they are ready to wash and craft. Cannonballs always take much longer to dry compared to Dippers.


  Since meeting Carolyn and Linda, Shirley Moyer has become a major 'gourdaholic'. Here she had a fancy luncheon date with her husband but just had to drop in beforehand for
 her fix. She came all dressed up and brought along an apron and a pair of garden clogs to wear while she was picking out gourds!!
Dear Carolyn,
My seedlings wilted when I put them in the ground. 
Did I do something wrong?
Ian Browne - Michigan
Hi Ian,
Seedings do get wilty when first put in the ground. Water well & they will revive quite nicely. Initially all of the growth will be at root level as they have to settle in.
Once the vines do start growing, they will take off quickly. Keep the plants well watered especially during hot weather. If possible use a drip system or soaker hose as gourd leaves do not like to get wet.  Carolyn

To send in questions to Dear Carolyn! click here.

Reader's Corner  
         A Charming Spring Hen by Linda Witherspoon
Dear Northern Dipper,
I want to remind everyone to make sure to wear a good mask when cleaning, cutting or drilling gourds. I opened a gourd the other day that was full of mold and it could have been nasty. Thank goodness I make it a habit to wear a mask.
Gourd dust can be very irritating to the lungs. If you can work outside, do so. If you are doing a lot of cutting, sanding or drilling inside, a simple exhaust system can be set up to draw the dust away from you. Love your newsletter - keep up the good work!
Danielle Reiser - Alberta
**Thank you Danielle for this reminder. Linda and I know the importance of looking after the lungs as we were wood workers before becoming gourders. In light of this, one of the first products we started to sell years ago was a tight fitting, comfortable reusable particulate respirator mask. They are suitable for the fine dust of both gourd work and wood working. To view samples of these masks click here.   

Please send pictures or comments to Reader's Corner. Click here to

   Annie Kat and Royal planning their day.

Throughout the summer there are many music festivals throughout the country. Next month Gourd Fever is going to have our own music festival of sorts with 2 musicians who both excel at their craft.
Alycin Hayes is a percussionist who has studied yoga in India, watched the sunrise over Mt. Everest, canoed throughout South America, danced with firewalkers in Fiji, ridden her American Indian horse in a 50 mile endurance race and studied Thai temple drumming while designing musical instruments for elephants in the Thailand Elephant Orchestra. Needless to say, Alycin will be a very interesting guest. 

We are thrilled to feature Scott Knickelbine, a Wisconsinite musician who has been playing the banjo since he was a kid. At 15 he built his first banjo with his father and Scott still prizes that banjo - the drumhead was autographed by Earl Scruggs! Scott has contributed an easy to follow tutorial on how to build an akonting style of banjo as well as a description on what makes the akonging a little bit different from other banjos.

Until then keep that foot a-tapping... 
                                Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond

Back issues of our newsletter Gourd Fever are available at
If you have any stories, ideas or comments that you would like to contribute to this newsletter please send to


Volume 3, Number 29 


In this Issue: 
Joy Jackson - Passionate About Gourds & All Things Gourdly!
The June Grow Report: Get Ready - The Cucumber Beetles Are Arriving
It's CONTEST Time at Northern Dipper!
Dear Carolyn! PLUS Reader's Corner
Gourd Sightings & Trivia  

 20% off
 Guatemalan Gourds
40% off 
Apple Gourds 
50% off
Wartie Gourds 
Applicable June 1 - 30, 2007 for both Internet
orders and farm visits.
To view dried gourds click here.
For directions and hours click here.

 Joy Jackson
At the age of six, Joy had her first piece
of art work entered in a citywide art show.
Back then her father was her biggest fan and
supporter.  Since then her fan base has
expanded and many more entries and
winning pieces have followed over the years. 
 This is Joy with one of her students
from a make-it-take-it project. (Ohio 2006) 
   This has been decoupaged with handmade
mulberry paper which gives it a beautiful
textured look. 
"I can't say I have a favourite technique,
although painting is what I do the most of, as
it seems to be what people/customers prefer. 
I believe that is due to a general lack of
understanding of the various forms of gourd
art in my area. Educating the public is what all
gourd artists and societies strive to do."

 Time Flies 
 "This is one of my favourite pieces.  It is a combination of decoupage and collage using
handmade papers and other ephemera papers,
along with pieces of five old alarm clocks
(purchased at a yard sale) I took apart and
attached to the gourd.  It won a blue ribbon in the
"I Did It My Way" category in Indiana in 2006."
"I call these "gourd body Santa's". The heads
are purchased ornaments, which are then
attached to a gourd body.  I use Creative Paper
Clay to form arms and other 3-D effects, and
even add miniature objects (wreaths, Santa
bags, bird nests, etc.) to some of them.  I
have to decide before working with the
clay what he will hold in order to form the
 hands the right distance apart and in the right position to hold the item."
 "Living out in the country there are lots
of birds to nest in my gourd birdhouses.
This is an Aurelia Conway design."
"This is another of my favourites. Done in
2003, Creative Paper Clay features were added
for her face and feet, along with the handle
of a dipper gourd for a tail.  She is painted
like our 19-year-old cat, K.C. (Kitty Cat).  She won ribbons at both Ohio and Indiana in 2005.  I
have finally decided that I can part with her ~ for something special ~ the auction for the
5th Annual Cherokee Gourd Artists Gathering!"

  Let's Celebate Summer and Have A  CONTEST 
  Linda thinks it is time to have some fun at Northern Dipper so lets have a summer contest!
This contest will revolve around the Wartie gourd.  People are never at a loss as to what to do with all the different varieties of gourds - all varieties that is except for the lonely Wartie who sits in his pile all winter long. "Why is this?" he cries to his other Wartie friends. "Is it because of my bumps and my hills? Am I not beautiful like the my cousins?" 
Linda wants to help out so we are having a contest
to see what kinds of creative ideas people can
come up with on what to do with this type of gourd.
To help you get started Linda is putting the
Warties on sale at 50% off for the month of June.
The Prize
 A Northern Dipper gift certificate in the amount
of $50.00 plus a sampling of the new dyed broom corn that Northern Dipper is now selling.
Dyed broom corn is beautiful in rim treatments and
in flower arranging.
The Rules
There are none. Just create a Wartie masterpiece and send in a photo of what you have done. Make sure to include your name, address, phone number and email address. Your photos will be published in a future newsletter. All photos should be received by July 21st.  Good luck everyone.
Wartie Art  
This impressive WARTIE  was coiled by
Ontario artist Catherine Devine. 
This piece placed
First in Advanced Weaving in Indiana 2007.
The contrast of texture give it visual impact, 
which makes it very appealing.  
To view more of Catherines's unique gourd art
 click here. 
 Birds love the Wartie birdhouse.
To view Wartie gourds at 50% off click here.  
To view the dyed broom click here. 

 Cucumber beetles can be a problem for gourd growers. Approx. 1/4" long they can be
either striped or spotted. They spend winters hibernating in the soil.
 Once the weather warms the females lay their
eggs. Once the larvae hatch they crawl
up the gourd plant into the stem or roots. The
larvae pupate and the beetles will eat both the  
plant & flowers.


Leaf Damage from the Cucumber Beetle
 This beetle will chew into the shells of growing
gourd and spread disease such as bacterial
wilt. June is a problem with this beetle, July is a bigger problem and then in August the population decreases but it never completely goes away.
 Cucumber beetles are active in the cool of the
night and they love the night blooming gourd flowers.
Some growers let the population build up to help
with pollination. Some spray part of their gourd
patch but not all of it. This method will decrease and somewhat control the population but does not 
alleviate it entirely. 

For a natural approach in controlling the cucumber beetle,  Ginger Summit author of " Gourds In Your Garden " plants radishes, catnip or broccoli around and throughout the gourd patch. Let them go to seed.

 Many people use Sevin which can be bought
at garden centers.  NOTE: Follow the directions
from the Manufacturer and always wear
proper safety equipment.


For a good website on the cucumber beetle click here. 

To view the Northern Dipper Grow Guide 

 Tip of the Month

When attaching a handle to a rattle
use wet rawhide lacing to hide the
entry hole. When rawhide dries it
shrinks allowing a nice tight fit and
a clean looking finish to the rattle.  

  Gourd Sightings
Carnivale is an excellent series set in the 1930’s
Dust Bowl. Eighteen-year-old Ben Hawkins finds
himself all alone in the world but a travelling
Carnivale takes him in.  It is a story about good
and evil with a colourful line-up of characters –
well worth checking out if it is on in your area.
A gourd was seen being used as a water bottle.
To learn more click here.

Reader's Corner
 The following 3 photos are the art of Marilyn McLeary.  We love Marilyn's choice of colours
and the carving in Pic 2 is outstanding.

 Painted Cats
Thanks Lois Dean. We enjoyed these!

  Designed & Published by
Pam Grossi
1535 Myrtle Ave
Victoria, BC, V8R 2Z7

 Northern Dipper Farm
5376 County Rd 56, RR # 2
Cookstown, Ont, L0L 1L0
705/435-3307 Forward this newsletter to a friend Unsubscribe from this newsletter
This network may only be used for sending permission based email.
If you did not request to receive this message, please notify us.

This email was sent to by | Read our Privacy Policy.
Northern Dipper Farm - 5376 County Road 56, RR2, Cookstown, Ontario, L0L 1L0, Canada