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.
Gourd Lamp by Turkish artist Nurettin Taskata
The illumination from Nurettin's lamps light up a room
with a magical glow .
In This Issue: This month we are thrilled to present Turkish artist Nurettin Taskaya. Seven years ago, a gardener gave Nurettin a bag of gourds with which he created a few lamps for his terrace. That got the ball rolling, and now Nurettin's gourd lamps are showing up throughout Turkey and in other countries around the world!
“The Name Of The Game Is Profit” Part 2 is about the practical side of trade shows. Booth display, set-up and security tips will be discussed. We will use photos from the Ohio Gourd Festival to demonstrate how vendors set up their goods depending on the venue.
This stunning beaded gourd portraying dancing girls won a ribbon at the Ohio Gourd Festival.
Carolyn and Linda are still bubbling over when talking about the Ohio Gourd Festival. They felt very welcomed and were very impressed with the event itself. There was lots to do and in this November issue of Gourd Fever, Carolyn would like to share some of the photos she took, both of the outstanding gourd art and the friends she met.
(Dear Carolyn and our very popular Readers Corner will be left on the back burner this month but they will be back next month in their full glory!)
The Three Amigos!
Carolyn, Jenny & Linda share some laughs & gourding tips.
Ohio had some very cool music at the gourd festival. The young boy is from Afghanistan and is a musical progidy.
An artist known as the “Light Painter”
This is an impressive lamp set with coloured glass beads. The illumination is beautiful as you can see from the patterns on the wall.
My wife Nese and I have always been interested in handmade crafts. In our childhood we made witch figures from pumpkins to scare the other children so it only seems reasonable that we would, at some point, discover gourds! We have always been close to nature and have, in the past, collected plants and materials to make ornaments with. We would give them to our friends and relatives as gifts.
On the left is the lamp at night. On the right is the same lamp during the day.
In Turkey, many women paint gourds but they do not make the lamps. There are a few gourd lamp workers in the world and I can say that I am an artist who is known as the “light painter”.
I have always had the ability to draw since childhood, and I like to work with tools such as adzes, saws and drills. I use to paint with gouache and make postcards to send to my friends. I had several other artistic interests as well. In short, I have always been addicted to handcrafts.
One day, when Nese and I came back from our summerhouse, the gardener gave us some gourds. My wife wanted me to cut the gourds, which I did, and she drew some figures on them. She proceeded to drill in holes and place colourful glass beads in the holes. She lit a candle and it was a really beautiful light.
My mind flooded with ideas. I replaced the candles with lamp parts and hung the gourd lamps up on our terrace. The people who saw them really liked them and we began to look for more gourds to experiment with.
Nurettin rents a large greenhouse and greenery for growing his gourds. In this photo is one trellissed area. You can see the multitude of gourds hanging from the trellis.
I rented a greenhouse with trellising to grow gourds. To create the lamps the gourds must have well-shaped necks. I also grow gourds around my house for testing and am conducting some trials on how to get more gourds from each plant. Besides this I have given some peasants some seeds to grow in their fields. But to date they are not well shaped or effective so I cannot use them.
Turkey lives in all climates at the same time. It is a half island and is surrounded by the sea on three sides. Within a couple of hour’s distance you can swim in warm waters or reach the mountains that are covered with snow. Our city, Mersin, is on the Mediterranean Sea coast. Mersin is lukewarm in winters and hot in summers. It has the perfect climate for growing gourds.
After our initial experiments with lamp making we started to make our own designs and gave some to local shops to sell where they were well received. As the demand increased, we became very happy and had more passion but found we had to work in more of a production, professional manner to keep up. We love to deal with the gourds and have now been working with them for seven years. All of the gourds on my website are manufactured by me apart from a couple which were created by my wife. We can produce approximately 100-150 gourd lamps in a month.
Because our lamps are both ornamental and functional, sales rates have increased. The power of the Internet is also great. We sell most of our art to a wholesaler where they are sold in the touristy places. Tourists are interested in our products very much. We also sell into some foreign countries. We never have the products in stock and most of our clients place orders and have to wait for the producing.
We have no time to participate any shows. Time is so valuable for us because all time is passing for production. I have been asked to go to Europe to teach some courses but for now I cannot accept. Maybe in a couple of years I will open some courses for the foreigners.
To learn more about Nurettin's unique gourd lamps click here.
To learn more about Turkey click here.
Thank you very much Nurettin to both you and your wife for sharing your art with us. Your lamps are absolutely gorgeous with their soft light and wonderful wall patterns. If you do, in the future, have classes for foreigners please let us know and we will help pass the word. Merci.
The Name of the Game is Profit...
Part 2 - "Choosing A Booth Location and Set-Up"
At the Ohio Gourd Festival the outdoor vendors had a huge area in which to spread out. Here a smart vendor made it very easy for the customers to pick and choose.
You have done your research, applied for a show and have received the paperwork. Spend some time going over the floor plan. Try to figure out how the traffic is going to move.
Booth location can make or break a vendor. Don’t choose a booth beside the bathrooms or in out of the way aisles where nobody goes. Booths looking into the food courts are not great either. Be cautious if the organizers offer you booth space at a discount. They either can’t fill the show or the space is poor. Once decided send in a cheque and that will be one big thing off your list.
These ornamental gourds have been bagged in mesh bags.
The budget: Think of your booth as being worth x number of $ per square foot. How much product will you need to sell to recoup your initial lay out? Once you figure out your expenses (don't include your booth costs) add on 20% - 25% for a more realistic number. Things always come up that haven’t been thought of.
Booth layout and display does not have to be expensive but it has to be appealing and attractive to the public. Draw the booth out on paper and try different combinations. Work out a traffic flow that will allow you to show the buyers your product in an efficient manner. If possible set up your booth before the show as this is a good way to work out the kinks.
Create tiers on the tables in order to create more space. Most importantly don’t scrimp on lighting. It is essential in the overall presentation and will make your product jump.
A sampling of Robert L. Jenkins instruments.
True Life Story: We have had some very unique booths over the years and would try to never use the same booth twice. One year at the New York Toy Fair we had a glow in the dark display to show off our new glow in the dark baby toy. It was very inexpensive as we used Sono Tube and people loved it because it was so different. For our art mobiles, we created ceilings with bamboo rods to display them. Bamboo is light, looks good and was very effective. (Check with the organizers re: the ceiling space.)
Here Linda stops for an afternoon tea break. Set - up is hard work and can often be a bit nerve racking. An afternoon tea / snack break lifts the blood sugar levels which makes you more efficient in finishing up.
If you have a move-in time don't be late as during set-up every moment counts. To avoid additional stress go in with a plan and keep your eyes on the details. Take a dolly, as some shows do not supply them, and a lunch and water. Some people even take their tea kettle as nothing is nicer than a hot cup of tea about mid afternoon.
Draperies that are used on the tables must be fireproofed in order to comply with the fire codes of the Fire Marshall. An easy way to fire proof fabric is to soak your draperies in a half tub of hot water in which you have dissolved 1 box of 20 Mule Team Borax. ( 20 Mule Team Borax can be found in the laundry detergent aisle at your local supermarket.) Let the fabric soak and then let it drip dry. Iron to make them crisp and clean looking. NOTE: This works with cotton...I do not know how it works with other types of fabrics.
Set up your cash box in a spot where the public does not have easy access to it. Pocket the bills frequently as you get them. If you sell small, expensive items such as jewellery keep it in a spot that is somewhat secure. Put items like this away at night in a box under your table. Use sheets to cover your goods at night and ‘police tape’ across the front of the booth to signal people to keep out.
Do not forget to have fun. Here Share gets swept up in the moment when under her gourd hat.
Finally, the day is almost here…
If you have friends or booth staff helping you out make sure to give them a good training session about your products and what you expect from them re: customer service. That first contact leaves a lasting impression and an untrained, abrupt helper could lose a potentially long-term customer. Get together a handout about you and your art or company with contact information and any other relevant information. i.e. Sales and product info Many people will follow-up when they need gifts or services.
Wear comfortable clothes and good shoes as bad backs and aching legs are common due to the cement floors found in most trade show halls. Plan to arrive early, as there is always fine-tuning to be done with product placement. Don’t forget your float, water, food and cough drops or mints. You will be doing a lot of talking throughout the day and you want to make sure that your throat is well lubricated. When dealing with the customers don't sit, watch your body language and always maintain good eye contact. Go in there with the attitude that you are going to sell lots of product, create lasting relation- ships with your customers and most importantly, have fun!
PS If by chance you don’t have a good show don’t be discouraged. There are many different shows and it could be that this one just wasn’t a good venue for you. Take the opportunity to collect information from other vendors about the show circuit and move on.
Pam Grossi, along with partner Peter Bell, have
exhibited at trade shows for over 20 years. They
did the One Of A Kind Craft Show in Toronto for many years and have exhibited at wholesale shows throughout
the U.S. ,Japan, Germany and the U.K.
A Good Place To Stay At The Ohio Gourd Festival!
We were so fortunate to discover Vicky Root’s B&B while attending the Ohio Gourd Fest. Named the Wayman’s Corner, it is a wonderful old house with cosy rooms,
private bathrooms and breakfast which includes
homemade peach French toast, waffles & fresh fruit. Vicky is lovely and really goes out of her way to make her guests feel welcome. Thank you Vicky, you were the icing on an already scrumptious cake!
The Gourd Master - Sam X
There were many interesting artists at the Ohio show and Sam White, known as The Gourd Master - Sam X, was one of them. An extremely talented artist, Sam X works in gourds and wood plus he teaches and lectures. We are delighted to be featuring Sam X in the New Year so stay posted. In the interim please check out his website at: http://www.thegourdmastersamx.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1
A Northern Dipper workshop in action
This happy group displays the gourds they created at the Northern Dipper workshop "Finishing Touches"
NEXT ISSUE: It has been our experience that most people are fascinated with masks whether made from wood, clay or gourd. Our guest next month is Hal Sager, a master mask maker, who travels around the globe collecting materials and meeting with Aboriginal groups to learn the meanings behind these cultural objects. Hal’s gourd masks are absolutely extraordinary and are found in international art collections, museums and in people’s homes. Join us in the December issue of Gourd Fever to get a glimpse into Hal’s remarkable art and very interesting life.
We will have a report on The Canadian Gourd Society’s Gourd Fest with lots of photos and comments. We are excited because in the competition is the art of Babur, a Turkish artist who does gourd sculpture which is reminiscent of Picasso’s work. There is also a raffle of a beautiful vase full of gourd flowers that Canadian and US artists have donated. For $2.00 (I believe), this work of art could be yours. To learn more about Babur and his art click here. Once in click on Issue 14.
Our mail bag for our Dear Carolyn and Readers Corner will be popping at the seams as we missed this month but please continue to send in your letters and comments – lets burst that bag! We did receive one letter last month about harvesting gourds in hot climates. We think we know the answer but if any of our readers down south would like to write and clarify it we would appreciate it.
Christmas will be right around the corner and we would like to invite you to send in pictures of homes decorated with gourds, gift ideas made of gourds, anything to do with Christmas and gourds. Our readers love to know what others are up to so don’t be shy! (We just love mail as I am sure you can tell.)
See you at Gourd Fest....
Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond
© Northern Dipper 2007
Volume 3, Number 34
In this Issue:
Nurettin Taskaya - Lighting The Way In Turkey
"The Name of the Game is Profit" - It's Showtime!
The Ohio Gourd Festival - Photos and Comments
Gourd Sightings & Trivia
Yippee!! Minis are on sale...
This cute little Christmas elf was submitted in the CGS Gourd Fest Competition in 2005. He is made from a mini bottle gourd.
20% off on all Mini Bottle Gourds, White Egg and Banana Gourds
To view dried gourds click here.
For directions and hours click here.
Irish Waxed Linen Thread
This 4-ply linen is perfect for projects involving coiling, lashing pine needles, sea grass, etc. The slightly waxed coating gives this thread excellent holding and gripping power.
Philodendron sheaths are the perfect material
to compliment your gourd creations. They look fabulous when used as a rim treatment or when
used to embellish masks.
We cannot ship the philodendron sheaths due to their size and shape. We have lots here at the farm so make sure to add them to your shopping list when visiting. (Scroll down to see the upcoming workshops using these and other new products.)
Other new products:
King Palm Pods,
Alcohol (Non-Fade) Inks,
and Gourd Books!
To learn more click here.
Irish Waxed Linen & Reed
Philodendron Sheaths and King Palm Pods
NOTE: All of the above mentioned products will be available at the Northern Dipper Booth # 117 at the CGS Gourd Festival which will be held at the Hobby Show. Scroll down to see the details.
"We love to work with the gourds and have been creating with them for seven years."
"We grow our own gourds and shape them for our lamps. Turkey has the perfect climate for growing."
Nurettin grows gourds around his house to use for trials such as how to get more gourds per vine.
"To manufacture a gourd lamp takes 8-10 hours. This does not include the cleaning, painting
and varnishing. My wife and I have many ideas outside of lamps but lamp making takes up
much of our time."
The tools of the trade
A simple pattern is sketched onto the gourd.
Drilling the holes
Different sized holes accommodate different
Laying in the glass beads. This lamp is gorgeous even at this stage.
Here is the completed lamp lit up. It really is unique
(All photos were provided by Nurettin Taskaya)
The OHIO Gourd Festival
We had the time of our lives at the Ohio Gourd Festival which was held on Oct 29-30 at the Darke County Fairgrounds in Greenville, Ohio. It was the first time we have been to this festival and everyone we met was terrific. Gourders are so friendly and open about sharing information and gourding tips on what worked for them...it was inspirational!
The set up was both inside and out which worked very well for the vendors. Hats off to the organizers...you have left us with lasting memories.
The selection of art was amazing. Each piece had its own personality and you could tell that each artist put a lot of time, energy and passion into their presentation.
The abundance of workshops was perfect too. Even Linda, who doesn't normally have the time to do any gourding, signed up for the drum-making course and believe me, she was thrilled with the instruction and even more so, the finished product!
Following are some of the photos we took. I am afraid I do not know who did what but I want you all to know that we thoroughly enjoyed each and every piece.
Thank you to everyone involved...Carolyn
This was a very interesting piece. It is a
gourd within a gourd. How did the artist
This gourd spider was very original. Can you just
imagine how large his web would be!
A pretty dragon emerging from her egg.
This is nice! The simplicity of this vase
makes it very appealing.
This charming tea pot is made with several gourds.
Here is Carolyn with Robert L. Jenkins, an instrument maker. Carolyn was very impressed with Robert's instruments and bought a dulcimer. For more info call Robert at 740/256-1335.
There are some exciting November workshops at Northern Dipper Farm utilizing our new products.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Creating Rain Sticks
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Gold Leafing and Gilders Paste
Saturday, November 25, 2007
9 - 12 AM - Coffee will be on!
(Scroll up to see photo under New Products)
Saturday, November 25, 2007
Coiling with natural materials and fibre rush
Check out our website because there are more workshops which aren't mentioned here!
For details on the workshops click here.
Tip of the Month
When doing trade shows throw some hand sanitizer in your bag. Trade halls can be a hot bed of germs and viruses, not to mention all that dirty money. During the winter months take along some Vitamin C to boost your immune system and a couple of protein bars and fruit just in case you are so busy you can't get away from your booth to eat. Good luck!
Gourds pop up in the least expected places. These little minis were spotted at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas in the window of a coffee place.
D.L Kowalski sent in this gourd sighting from YouTube. In this clip a shaman is searching for medicinal plants in the rain forest of Paraguay and he is using a gourd rattle during a ceremony.
The Canadian Gourd Society
WHEN: Nov 2 - 4, 2007
WHERE: At "The Hobby Show"
International Centre, Mississauga, ON
(Directions are on their Website)
WHAT WILL BE THERE:
Gourd Art Competition
2007 Fundraiser On Display
Carolyn and Linda will be in Booth 117. They will
have a demo table, hundreds of dried gourds,
show specials & a large selection of books and
(NOTE: Northern Dipper will be closed Nov 1 - 4)
To view the CGS Website for details click here.
To view the Hobby Show Website click here.
"Artisans Museum Christmas”
Have fun with the Simcoe County Museum and Christmas Cheer – come out and decorate a gingerbread house and it will be entered into a competition. There are categories for children, youth, adults and professionals. Decorating day is Nov. 3rd at our Sponsor’s Zehrs Community Room on Bayfield Street in Barrie and the judging takes place at the Artisans Museum Christmas on November 10 and 11th
The art show is on
November 10th and 11th from 9am –5pm
It is a one of a kind Christmas Sale
with distinctive creations by regional artists.
This show is hosted by the Simcoe County Museum 1151 Hwy 26, 5 minutes north of Barrie.
(Northern Dipper Farm will be open on Nov 10 & 11)
Happy Birthday Barb...
At the workshop "Finishing Touches" word got out that it was Barb's birthday so Carolyn made her a
cake. The candle on top had a gourd candle holder!
It was a fun afternoon full of surprises which is pretty normal in a workshop at Northern Dipper.
Little Puppy Is A Happy Girl!
Royal's favorite city beaches are closed to dogs from May - Sept but on Oct 1 they opened and
there was a big reunion with all the regulars.
Here the last thing on Royal's mind is posing
when there are dogs, logs and water all around.
Mom can I go now!!!
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