artists, growtips, info & more

Note: If using Outlook click the above bar where it says “Click to download photos” The photos are the best part!


This pretty gourd was created by Sher III Feathers 

In This Issue: 
This month we are happy to feature Sher Fowee, an artist whose home base is Loveland, Ohio. Sher, also known as Sher III Feathers, (a name given to her by Chief Turtle), can be found throughout the U.S. exhibiting at sixteen shows per year. A master in embellishments, Sher is energetic, lively and truly loves what she does.
October is a significant month for Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond as it has been five years since they took Northern Dipper by the reins. Since that time there are more products, workshops, shows and awareness among the general public. They want to share the celebration and the best way they know is to have some fabulous sales! It is their way of saying thank you to all of you for supporting them 
throughout the years. 
Now to the last in the series of 'The Art of Growing Gourds.' We are quickly nearing harvest time.  Past is the pollinating, bugs and mildew and now beautiful gourds, turning moldy and drying into the canvases we love to paint, burn and embellish.
 The Art Of Growing Gourds
I love harvest time, particularily when the weather is warm and dry. I think back to the day when I planted the seeds and now six months later here I am cutting them from the vine! The harvest is easy but there are a few guidelines that should be followed to ensure that your crop dries properly over the winter.

In Canada and the northern U.S. the gourds can be left out all winter. The ice, snow and wind will not hurt them; as a matter of fact it may aid in the drying process.
If you trellessed your gourds you can leave them hanging all winter. They will get excellent air circulation and they do look pretty after a snowfall.

1.) DO NOT harvest your gourds until after the first hard frost. The leaves will die and turn brown overnight and it will then be time to get out the hand pruners.

2.) When cutting the gourds from the vine leave
1" - 2" of stem attached.

3.) Place the gourds on pallets if possible up off the ground. Gourds need air circulation.

4.) Gourds can also be stored in a cold shed, garage or barn. If possible use pallets.

5.) Clean your gourd garden well of all dead vines and rotten gourds. If possible burn the vines to destroy and insects, mildew or molds.

If there are any gourds getting soft during harvest or during the drying process get rid of them. They are rotting and will end up as a slimy mess. Good luck!

        Sher III Feathers

              Three Ladies Walk and Talk
The first time Sher saw a gourd she had no idea what it was. A gift from her sister, she describes the object as a "long, thin, dried-up moldy thing." Her sister thought that perhaps something could be done with it craft-wise and with a laugh Sher promptly found a home for it in the garage where it was eventually tossed out.
A few years later Sher attended Cherokee in North Carolina and that show opened her eyes. By the end Sher was laden down with gourds, books and ideas and was anxious to get home to experiment.
Needless to say Sher has come along way since then. Her experimentation turned into a business. Her annual agenda includes many art and craft shows as well as a few festivals thrown in for good measure. Some are shows that require old period style clothing and set-up - these shows are extra fun and always have a good turnout.  
At the shows Sher enters as a mixed media artist because gourds are just one product in her repertoire. The common thread is that everything has a southwest flavour. In her booth there may be dream catchers, mandelas, medicine wheels, spirit chasers, leather pillows and bags, walking sticks, beaded jewelry and antler items like lamps. Her favorite to work on however is gourds.

Why gourds I ask? Quickly Sher explains that the thing she loves about the hardshell gourd is there is no limit with what you can do with them. There are hundreds of embellishments just waiting to be used and it is her quest to find them all!

Her biggest problem is that she has so many ideas she wants to try out but lacks the time to do them. And even though there are some designs she will use over and over again they never quite look the same because as we know; every gourd is different. 


                          Herd of Ponies

When discussing techniques Sher says that she does not have a favorite but finds that she uses her wood burner and leather and pro dyes all the time. As stated earlier embellishments plays a big part in Sher's art such as feathers, beads, gemstones, horse hair, neat little trinkets she finds here and there, and many other items. Weaving is still on the list ready to master whenever she can find the time.
Sher's long term plans is to keep working with gourds as long as she is able. The show circut is gruelling so down the road Sher may consider just selling gourds at craft and gourd shows as they are light and easy to transport. 

When Sher is not working on gourds she can be found in her brand new kitchen cooking up a storm. She also loves getting her hands dirty out in the garden even though she admits she is not the best at it. (She has tried her hand at gourds but cannot get a nice thick shell.) She also likes to do a few laps in her newly redone pool and then of course there is the RV sitting out in the driveway. 

                 Turtles and Feathers Gourd

Sher lives with her fabulous husband who is her personal right-hand man and bus driver. Without his help and support she would not be able to move at the pace she does with her heavy show schedules. She is very proud of her 22 year old daughter who just became an official vet technician and between them have three cats (Tiger Lilly, Cosmo and Tink), three dogs (Chaz, Red and Hemi), two sugar gliders, (small gliding marsupials, Gismo and Zoie) and two lab rats from school (Thelma and Louise). 
To learn more about Sher, her art and her company Feathers In The Spirit Wind click here:
Thank you Sher, It was lovely meeting you and seeing your art. We love your style and your energy and agree that you are blessed to have found what you love and to make a living from it. Good luck owith all future endevours, Carolyn and Linda 
                It's PartyTime! 
  Happy 5thAnniversary                          Northern Dipper

It has been five years since Carolyn and Linda opened the doors of Northern Dipper in Cookstown, Ontario. In that time thousands of gourds have been sold and hundreds of people have passed through the doors to attend workshops and to shop.

There have been trips to Guatamala and countless numbers of tradeshows. Challenges and opportunities, success and has all happened and throughout it all they have always had fun. Here is a little trip down memory lane. 

Linda (on the left) and Carolyn are setting up their shingle at their farm gate. You can see how excited they are!

The landscape on their property quickly changed once they started in the gourd business. One tent turned into two and then four and surrounding the tents, piles of quality gourds. There is also a workshop and a shop on the property.
A mid-summer crop of gourds grown at Northern Dipper. They could not keep up with the demand so went to Guatamala to work with the campesinos growing gourds.
Debby Russell at Northern Dipper Farm doing some night pollinating. The evening summer light is lovely.
Linda and Carolyn are in Guatamala going through the gourds that the campesinos grew. The Guatamalan people are very resourceful growing gourds on any tiny strip of land that will hold a plant.
Getting to the gourds meant travelling up narrow mountain roads. Every once in awhile they would have to stop to remove rocks and boulders that blocked their way. It was quite the adventure!  
Carolyn and Linda exhibit at many trade shows and festivals. Here is Carolyn teaching a mini workshop at the Signatures Craft Show in Ottawa, Canada.
Carolyn at Canada Blooms in Toronto where she is drilling holes for birdhouses. Her demos are popular and help spread that gourd glow.
Carolyn has been involved with arts and crafts her entire life. These days she is so busy with Northern Dipper a rare moment for personal gourd art is truly appreciated.
Congratulations Carolyn and have done it. Now we look forward to the next five!

             Harvest Photos

         Fall gourds after the first hard frost

                        Gourds In Winter
Looking Ahead: November 2010
Bill Decker is known to many people in the art world, and if not Bill, most certainly his art. Bill's creativity is apparent in all of his gourd art. He does not work with a plan in mind but will start with one design element and then let the creative energy flow. The result is beautiful and we are thrilled to have Bill as our featured artist in next month's issue of Gourd Fever

The CGS Gourd Festival will have come and gone and we will have some photos of the event. Gourd Fest is invigorating and you are guaranteed to be pumped up after seeing all the art on display. Stop by the Northern Dipper booth and say hello...we would love to meet you.  
November brings thoughts of Christmas and we will be featuring a tutorial on creating a 3-tiered snowman using canteen gourds. They are really cute and would make great gifts.

Check out the Balls Falls Thanksgiving Festival at Balls Falls Conservation on Oct 8 - Oct 11. Northern Dipper will be there along with many other top-notch vendors. Balls Falls is a real family outing with something for everyone no matter what their age.
For directions click here:
And lastly doen't forget to take advantage of our great anniversary sales. (So many products on sale at once doesn't happen very often!)

Have a wonderful October and a safe Halloween.
                              Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond


Volume 6, Number 68 


In this issue:

Sher III Feathers: Mixed Media Artist Celebrates With South-Western Designs

The Bulletin Board: News From The Home Front 

Anniversary Sale At Northern Dipper

The Jewels Are In The Crown: The Harvest Is Here!

Gourd Sightings & Trivia

  The Bulletin Board 
The Canadian Gourd Society Gourd Festival
When: October 23 & 24, 2010 Where: Black Creek Pioneer Village, Toronto
Northern Dipper will be there with gourds, supplies and lots of free demos.

Following is the shedule of a series of mini demos that you will not want to miss!

Saturday, Oct 23
11:30 - 12:00 
 Memory Superior Inks
Learn how to use these fade resistant, semi-translucent inks. Solid coverage and blending techniques will be discussed.

12:15 - 12:45
MicroLux Gourd Cross Saw
Introduction and demonstration of this easy to handle saw. 

1:00 - 1:30
Adirondack Inks
Batiking results using Adirondack Inks and Blending Solution.

1:45 - 2:15
Apoxie Sculpt
This product is not just used
for sculpting. Find out just some of the ways this
amazing medium can be
used on gourds!

2:30 - 3:00
Gourd Luster Pigments 
These highly concentrated powders will add pizzazz and luster to any gourd project.
Sunday, Oct 24
11:15 - 11:45
 Philodendron Sheaths
Learn how tp prepare one of nature's beautiful products for rim work on gourds.
12:00 - 12:30
 Memory Superior Inks
Learn how to use these fade resistant, semi-translucent inks. Solid coverage and blending techniques will be discussed.

12:45 - 1:15
MicroLux Gourd Cross Saw
Introduction and demonstration of this easy to handle saw.

 2:00 - 2:30
 Apoxie Sculpt
This product is not just used for sculpting. Find out just some of the ways this amazing medium can be used on gourds!
For more info on the CGS Festival click here: 

Sher III Feathers
"I could not believe that one could take such an ugly thing and make it into something so beautiful. I was just determined to find out more about them."
"Before long I realized that I had found a new and most
rewarding media to go with
my other southwest
designed items."

Kachina Gourd
Woodburned and dyed with peacock body feathers and golden buckskin.
"Everything that I do seems to all blend in together vey well.
 I feel blessed I have found
what I really like to do and make a living at it."
 Carved out gourd basket
"As a kid I just loved westerns - John Wayne, the Lone Ranger along with many others. Now as an adult I am not sure whether I have any Native American blood in me but my love for producing work with a Native American flare just seems to come very natural to me. I do enjoy it."
Advice to New Gourd Artists
"If you are just starting out just go with what you feel you can do. Get a book and find a project that screams out 'I can do that!'

"For example I have seen gourds that I drool over but I knew that I was not ready to tackle them yet. There will be let downs but that is all part of the learning experience."

"On the other side you will come across something very cool and will try it with success. You will develop your own style and that style will define you." 
 This gourd holds a necklace and earrings.
 Buffalo Skull Gourd
Sher used dyes and watered down acrylics to get this translucent look.


An inlay material that adds colour, flair & individuality to gourds, carvings and woodworking projects.
Reg price: $29.99
Sale price: $21.00
 Used as a pre-polish for the polishing compound.
Reg price: $4.99
Sale price: $2.50

This is a superfine finishing compound which brings the final finish of the inlace to a high gloss, mirror finish.
Reg price: $4.99
Sale price: $2.50
To learn more about these three products click here:


Add shimmer to your projects with this non-run, non-sag, clear, thick workable glaze. Reg price: $9.99
Sale price: $6.49

A spar/marine non-toxic varnish that can withstand all temperatures and types of weather. Ideal for outdoor art!
Reg price: $19.99
Sale price: $12.99

A water-based, non-toxic, non-yellowing varnish. Flexible enough to use on gourds, canvas and fabrics, wood and furniture.
Reg price: $9.99
Sale price: $6.99

An easy to use wax that seals and smooths the surface and then toughens the finish once
 it has cured.
Reg price: $9.99
Sale price: $6.49

Create unique effects over almost any surface. Also great for rebuilding broken and chipped gourds, furniture and more!
Reg price: $9.99
Sale price: $6.99

To learn more click here:

Applied to the inside of a gourd this epoxie creates a water-proof seal. Can also be used on wood, fibreglass and metal.
Reg price: $39.50
Sale price: $25.00

A unique paste suitable for gourds, metals and wood.
Reg price: $10.00 each  
Sale Price: $6.50 each

GOURD LUSTER PIGMENTS  A deep luster that is non-tarnishing, water resistant and colourfast.
Reg price: $4.50 Sale price: $2.25

To view these products click here:

Northern Dipper has an extensive collection of books
 to choose from...everything in fact that a gourder's heart
 could desire.
 The sale: 30% off all books.

To see more click here:

  Gourd Sightings
'Murder She Wrote'
An American TV series starring Angela Landsbury as mystery writer/amateur sleuth JB Fletcher. Jessica consistantly finds herself in the centre of a murder. The show ran from 1984 - 1996 and had success around the world.
In the espisode 'Who Threw Barbitals In Mrs Fletcher's Chowder" actor Donnelly Rhodes used that old expression "out of your gourd."
To learn more about this series click here to YouTube...

Published by:
Pam Grossi
Victoria, BC, V8R 2Z7

     Northern Dipper     
PO Box 1145
5376 County Road 56
RR 2, Cookstown, Ontario, L0L 1L0
 Ph: 705-435-3307
powered by     forward      unsubscribe    
This mailing system may only be used for sending permission based email.

If you did not give permission to receive emails from this sender, please notify us.

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