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Dozing Ducklings by Julie-Anne Wallewein
In This Issue: This month we are travelling to the prairie province of Saskatchewan to visit with Julie-Anne Wallewein. Julie-Anne is a self-taught artist who is making a splash at both trade shows and gallery exhibits. Recently she was selected as a juried member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council, an achievement of which she is proud. Please welcome Julie-Anne Wallewein to the August pages of Gourd Fever.
We had a visit from Pauline Limmer and are thrilled to be able to share her gourd art with you. Don't be surprised if you see Pauline in a future issue as a featured artist. This woman is very talented.
July was a hot, busy month in the gourd garden and there are some fine specimens to show off. In August the work load slows down (no more pollinating) and the gourds grow and mature. Anthracnose and stinkbugs can be a problem and we'll let you know how to recognize the signs in "In The Gourd Garden."
On that note let's get started. This is a full issue so pull up a comfortable chair with a nice cool lemonade at your elbow and enjoy.
Gourd Art by Pauline Limmer
Here are some photos of my gourd art. Thank you for letting me share them with you.
Thank you for sending these in. We are sorry we did not have the space to show all the photos but I am sure that we will get another opportunity. We love your work - it is delightful.
In Her Own Words....
My name is Julie-Annie Wallewein. I was born and raised on a farm in south-eastern Saskatchewan and now live in Estevan, Saskatchewan with my husband Ken and my two teen-age boys, Riley and Reagan. My introduction to gourds started with growing ornamental gourds to use as decorations in fall displays.
After a few years I heard that they could be dryed, so I tried it and it worked. This is how my artwork on gourds started. I loved how each one has its own personality and still do.
My mom always had some craft project going on around the kitchen table when I was a kid and I was the type who was always looking for something to do. She taught my sisters and I how to knit, crochet and embroider. My dad, being a true farmer that he is, has the imagination to create and fix just about anything. I have been truly blessed with the talents that I received from both of my parents.
In February, 2012, I attended the Arizona Gourd Society Festival and was surprised to see the many different techniques and types of art entered. I came home with a bunch of new ideas and as many gourds as I could carry in my rather large suitcase.
I have tried various techniques and have found that pyrography is by far my favorite. I am constantly amazed how a 3-D effect magically appears when a piece is reaching completion. Cutting and grinding are fun but messy.
Shows are apart of my art life and one of the challenges I come up against is that people do not know what a gourd is. Art isn't just drawing or painting on a canvas to be hung on a wall. I am using a different canvas.
I spend a lot of time talking about growing as well as art and technique. I am a Gourd Ambassador in Saskatchewan I think! Another challenge, one common among artists, is to find the time to promote and sell my art especially because all I want to do is create.
Due to the Saskatchewan summers I am able to grow gourds. Long hot days with a good amount of rain produces bumper crops but my worse fear is a late or early frost. In Estevan the blankets come out quite often in the fall.
In the fall I put them on pallets and leave them for the winter. My gourds have much more mottling compared to those grown in warm climates but that's the way I like them. Mottling can be worked into fantastic designs.
I also use gourds from other parts of Canada and the US and feel I have a good balance between locally grown and imports. I know that if I could wander through a field of gourds I would be like a kid in a candystore.
Outside of my love for gourds, I really like to garden. There is no better meal than fresh produce from the garden along with steak cooked over hot embers. Volunteering at our church and school is a big part of my life too.
Our family farms with my husband's family so the spring and fall are always busy times. Everyone from grandparents to grandchildren do their part to ensure that the harvest runs smoothly. Our family, like most Saskatchewan residents, are great fans
of the Saskatchewan Roughriders football team..."Green is the colour!"
Our boys are involved in a number of sports including curling and basketball, and 'mom' always enjoys being there to watch and cheer them on.
I have a busy life and would not change a second of it. I am happy that gourds are apart of it as they make my life feel complete.
To see more of Julie-Anne's art click here:
Thank you very much Julie-Anne. We've been to Estevan...a very pretty city...and it is booming now. So get ready, your gourd art will be even more so in demand. Maybe teaching will be in your future too. Take care, keep in touch.
Carolyn and Linda
Forgetfulness Makes Beautiful: Preserving Philodendron Sheaths by Carolyn Cooper
As a gourd artist who enjoys accenting my gourd art with the natural sheaths of the philodendron, I was happy for once with my forgetfulness. First, for those of you who do not know what a philodendron sheath is, it is the brownish covering which protects the newly emerging leaves of the philodendron plant. Once soaked these sheaths become pliable and are beautiful to use when rimming gourds. Once the rim is completed, the sheaths are taped into place to dry.
The one drawback I found when using the sheaths is that once dry again, they are brittle and break easily, especially when being transported to shows. I decided I needed to find a way to keep them supple.
In my basement workshop I took a large pot, one I use for dying pine needles, and filled it with glycerin. I dropped in 7 - 8 sheaths, immersed them, put the lid on and planned to check on them in a couple of days. (Glycerin can be found on the internet under soap -making supplies)
In reality, I promptly forgot about my experiment as soon as I left the scene. It was about a month later I remembered them and with dread went down. Was I going to find a smelly, moldy goo? I put on my rubber gloves and gingerly opened the lid. Reaching in I pulled out some of the most gorgeous supple sheaths I have ever seen! The glycerin had darkened parts of the leaves to a rich reddish black. They were lovely.
And now the true test...after giving them a good rinse I put them aside to dry. I am happy to say, not only are they beautiful but more excitingly, they are pliable. Now if only all my forgetfulness could be so rewarding!
To view philodenron sheaths and other types of embellishments click here:
In The Gourd Garden
Photo © Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, www.insectimages.orgAnthracnose
One morning, many years ago, we walked out to the gourd field and immediately noticed how some of the leaves had what appeared to be a "shotgun" appearance; brown circles with the middles fallen out. With a little research we realized that our plants had been attacked by anthracnose. This fungus consists of spores which travel with the wind. It is prevalent during wet rainy weather and if not dealt with, will eventually kill the leaves of the plant and then the stem and eventually the fruit too.
As soon as symptoms appear spray the plants with Neem Oil. Copper, a natural mineral, can be used as well as either a spray or as a dust. Remove the affected leaves and destroy. (Keep in mind it can be spread by your hands going from plant to plant.)
To help prevent anthracnose keep a clean garden, do not water from above and rotate your gourd garden every 2 years.
We did not ever have a big problem with stinkbugs but would see them around every once in a while. Their colour is brown or a striking green and they feed on a wide range of fruits and vegetables.
This bug has holes in its abdomen from which a foul-smelling liquid is emitted, hence the name stinkbug. The purpose is to ward off predators. The small, round eggs of the stinkbug are laid in clusters under the leaves so if you see them don't hesitate to destroy them.
Turning The Gourds
August is the time to go through your gourds one by one. Any that are lying on their sides, turn upright. You don't want flat sides if you can help it.
Out Of The Mailbag
Hi Carolyn and Linda,
I was out at your place a couple of months ago and in light of the conversation we had about design, I am sending you these photos of some unusual building designs that are floating about on the internet. I know that they are not gourd related but I thought your readers might like them.
See you again soon,
Lesley Brown, Hamilton, Ontario
Thanks for sending these in. We hadn't seen these - they are really cool. We can't help but think that it is one thing to design these buildings and quite another to build them. Lots of steamed wood in those curves.
Carolyn and Linda
Conch Shell House - Isla Mujeres, Mexico
(Even the taps are conch shells)
The Crooked House - Soput, Poland
The Kansas City Library - Missouri, USA
Just a short email to let you know how much I enjoy your newsletter. My friend, who has been reading it for years, sent it to me last month and it is very good - there is something for everyone.
I went through your past issues and the featured artists are amazing. Great job, I have now subscribed and look forward to these newsletters showing up in my inbox every month. Thank you,
Pat LeDuc, Montreal, Quebec
Thank you Pat. Do you do gourd art? If so send us some photos of your work...we love to see what our readers are up to. Thanks for writing,
Sometimes we are asked what we do on our days off (what days off!) so I thought I would show you. Here is Linda, high up on a ladder, doing repairs to our garden shed. Our "Things To Do" list is always full; it will be nice when this job is done.
The Canadian Gourd Society Gourd Festival Awaits You
When: September 22 - 23, 2012
Where: Buckhorn Community Center, Buckhorn Community Center, Buckhorn, Ontario
Join us for two fun-filled days at the C.G.S. Gourd Festival. This festival is paired with the Creative Art Show which makes it a very special event. For more
information click here:
To get you in the mood here are some photos of past C.G.F. Festival winners -
A happy gourd pup
There will be a lot to do and see
Believe it or not these cactus are hardy enough to live through an Ontario winter. These blooms greeted Carolyn the other morning much to her surprise & now a cactus garden is a must.
Looking Ahead: September, 2012
We are very excited here at Northern Dipper as next month Californian artist Cyndee Newick will be paying us a visit. Cyndee's work is magical and takes the viewer off into the world of medieval castles, gliding swans and cats ready to pounce. It is the type of art that one can get lost in so to speak and we cannot wait to feature this extraordinary artist.
September is a wonderful month with warm days and cool nights. In the gourd garden the work comes to a stand-still until October. Time will be spent instead in the vegetable garden and in the kitchen preserving the bounty. Beans and peas to freeze, tomatoes to can; how delicious it will all be when the snow is blowing in December!
Thank you for your mail and keep it coming. It is always a highlight when we hear from you. Make the most of August and maybe we'll see you at Kempenfest! Until then....
Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond
PS If you have any stories or ideas that you would like to share please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 8 Number 89
In this issue:
Gourd Art by Pauline Limmer
Julie-Anne Wallewein: In Her Own Words
An Experiment In Preserving Philodendron Sheaths by Carolyn Cooper
In The Gourd Patch: Antracnose and Stinkbugs!
Out Of The Mailbag, Gourd Sightings & Trivia
When: August 4 - 6
We can be found in Booth 288.
Drop by - we would love to see you!
For more information click here:
Belfast Irish Waxed Linen
Wonderful to work with, this thread is ideal for coiling or
lashing pine needles to a rim. Two new colours are available;
Maroon & Brown Walnut.
To view waxed linen thread
In two new colours.
Pictured above: Black and
yellow with flecks of purple and pictured below: a blue-ish white.
To see these and other embellishments click here:
Discontinued Leather Dyes
$2.00 per bottle while quantities
last - stock up now!
To view the large selection of colours click here:
"I am a self-taught artist who
is still learning. Most of my work
it seems, has been created by
trial and error. I have a
number of good books and
the internet is a good reference guide, but most designs come
from my own imagination."
"Being raised on a farm, nature
is always around you and throughout my life it is this gift that has always inspired me.
The colours, shapes, textures
and alignment in my environment are reflected
in my art."
"Pottery has been a part of
my past and I really like slab building with clay. I found
that I didn't have enough
time to do both pottery and
gourds so I chose gourds."
Advice For New Artists
"My advice for new artists is
to keep trying different techniques
in gourd art. You will know when
you have found what is
right for you."
"From everything I have
worked on in the past,
gourds is all I want to
think about now. This may
be the case for you too."
"Most of the time, when
people see my work, they think
it is wood. There is a lot of explaining involved beginning
with what exactly a gourd is, how
is it grown, the maturing process, cleaning and then onto the art."
"These days I am very excited
as I have just been selected
as a juried member of the Saskatchwan Craft Council.
The main benefit, to me as
an artist, is that it is
a confirmation of quality workmanship."
" When people see
the SCC sign in your booth or
on business cards they can be
assured your work is high
quality. I have also had the
privledge to have my work
included in gallery exhibits run through the SCC. It has been
very good exposure."
Forgetfulness Makes Beautiful
Philodendron sheaths fresh from the glycerin pot.
Sheaths can add a touch of
glamour to a rim
This rim makes a statement.
As I look at the calendar I sadly realize that there are only about eight or nine weekends left in 2012 where Northern Dipper is available to teach our fabulous workshops. Due to the limited time, I decided to post all that will be offered for the rest of the year.
Please remember each
workshop requires at least three students to run so please avoid cancellation and book early.
If there is a particular workshop
you would like offered through a weekday, just contact us for an available date.
Pine Needle Rimming
Saturday. August 11
Sunday, August 12
Saturday, August 18
Sunday, August 19
Pine Needle Rim
Saturday, September 8
Saturday, September 29
Instructor: Dena Lee
It is our privledge and honor of welcoming Dena Lee, our
new musical instrument mentor.
Dena Lee has been making mountain music since she
Now she will be sharing her knowledge of building gourd instruments of Appalachian & African influence with us. She
will be sharing her skills in
a ukulele workshop here at
This is the first workshop being offered by Dena and we hope to
see her often in the new year.
Sunday, September 29
Saturday, October 13
Saturday, October 20
Sunday, October 21
Saturday, October 27
Sunday, October 28
To register click here:
This sighting was sent in by Antonella, our sharp-eyed gourd sleuth. Last month she was travelling on Vancouver Island and spotted this gourd teapot at the South Hallow Art Studio and
Gallery in Courtney, B.C.
The artist is Brenda Chalifoux-Luscombe. To see more of
her work click here:
To learn more about this fine Courtney gallery click here:
To view Antonella's excellent blog "Love Your Home" click here:
Mickey spends quite a bit of
time sitting up on a window seat that looks out on the front street.
He knows all the regulars who
pass and is now quiet when men with big beards go by but dogs
are another story.
He will hear a dog a full
minute before it appears.
Don't know how he does it but
he never misses a beat. If it is
a "daily" dog he is quiet but a
new dog - all the neighbours
know Mickey is on patrol!
Who couldn't love a face like this.
Music Pick Of The Month
Fat Freddy's Drop
To learn more about this New Zealand 7 - piece band click here:
Amelia Hempleman-Adams carrying
the Olympic Torch in London.
By the time you read this, the Summer Olympics will have
already started in London, UK.
The Olympic Games are
believed to have started in
776 BC by Hercules as a way of honoring his father Zeus.
Held every 4 years, the Romans abolished them in 392 AD. Much later, in 1896, the modern
Olympics began again in
For some good trivia about the
Olympic Games click here:
Victoria, BC, V8R 2Z0
PO Box 1145
5376 County Rd 56
L0L 1L0, Canada