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

                   Lynn Marvin's Giraffe


In This Issue: We are pleased to have with us Lynn Marvin, a woman who has followed both her heart (art) and her head (business) for many years. Lynn has always had an "obsession" with the arts and whether it was tole-painting, pottery or gourds, Lynn found the time to produce fine work and to sell it.

Now retired Lynn is still producing art and sells at a few select shows and in galleries. Full of energy she and her partner of 50 years Larry are often on the road with their two cats taking in new sights and adventures. A true inspiration, Lynn is an example of how to have fun and be involved while constantly expanding new horizons. 

                Spirit Bear by Lynn Marvin

This year, when planting your gourd seedlings, did you find you had a problem with space? Ken Carlson has advice on how everyone wins with a little neighbourly cooperation. He also has suggestions on how to build a stong trellis - type structure if you are growing long handled dippers. It is easy and not too expensive to build either.

In June the gourd seedlings will grow at a tremendous rate. White night blooming flowers will appear and pollination is of utmost importance. In "The Gourd Jungle - Tips for Home Gourd Gardener" we discuss this subject and give tips on how and when to do it. 

Once again we have a fascinating gourd sighting sent in by our eagle-eyed gourd sleuth Antonella. Plus the mail and a little trivia to close things off. 

To start things off please welcome Lynn Marvin...OK Lynn you're up!

Lynn Marvin: Connecting People Through Art
                       Lynn and Larry
Lynn Marvin has always had an interest in art.
Whether it comes from her grandfather's influence, who never left home without his sketchbook or from her mother who was very craft-orientated Lynn does not know. She does know that she had a creativity that had to be expressed and throughout the years it has been through many mediums.

Lynn's formal training began with a one-day tole painting class and for a few years she enjoyed it. While living on the Oregon coast, she took a course in pine-needle basketry and made many beautiful baskets. A class in constructing sea grass baskets followed and now today, she uses both pine needles and sea grass in her gourd art.

In the late 70's she and her husband Larry got into wheel thrown pottery. They also did hand building and Raku pottery. In addition she studied oil painting which helped refine her utilization of color.

Lynn discovered gourds quite by accident. Lynn and Larry, along with their well-travelled kitties, drive to AZ each winter with friends. One day, while reading a local paper, she saw that a local woman was growing gourds. When mentioning this to her fellow snowbird, Lynn was surprised to hear that her friend knew all about gourds and had a history of making gourd rattles.

Curiosity roused, the next logical step was to drive out to the middle of the desert and buy a couple of
bags of gourds. A couple of gourd instructional books were added to Lynn's library in order to learn the basics and she was off. As she states "In a nutshell; it was the beginning of the end of pottery."

When talking about her husband Larry, Lynn's eyes light up. They have been married for 50 years, have 2 daughters and are now great - grandparents. Larry spent many years as an architect. Lynn and Larry have owned successful businesses; one which their daughter and husband now run.

Lynn is quick to say that Larry is invaluable in her art. She claims that she doesn't have a 'speck of mechanical ability' so Larry does all the sawing, cutting, grinding and electrical connections for lighting. When thinking of a name for her business "Larilyn" was a natural as it is both her and Larry that contribute to the finished art.

Lynn has taught but it is not what she wants to do. When working on a idea she often becomes obsessed while at the same time, is always thinking about projects down the road. She uses many items from nature such as tiny pine cones from her home in Priest Lake, ID, acorns and maple leafs from the library yard in Spokane and exotic pods from trips to the Caribbean. Nature is her inspiration and her gourd art demonstrates this.

For many years Lynn sold her gourds in her gift shop in Priest Lake. When the shop sold 3 years ago Lynn had to find another place to sell. Lynn and Larry began to do art festivals but found it was too difficult so she began to approach galleries. Currently Lynn's work is at the Gallery Northwest in Coeur d' Alene. As well, Lynn will be a guest artist at the Pottery Place Plus in downtown Spokane for the month of July. In August she will be heading to Oregon to do a show and visit friends.

So if you are travelling in that part of the world in August, keep your eyes open for Lynn and Larry and Ollie and Tigger (cats who do not know they are cats). They will all be flying down the road in their motorhome off on their next adventure. Safe journey, have a great summer!

To see more of Lynn Marvin's art click here:

To learn more about Gallery Northwest click here:

Ken Carlson: To All The Gourd
Gardeners - Grow up!

Need more space in your garden? Grow up!

Gourds do take up a lot of space when they are allowed to grow in any direction they want. If you don't have a lot of space and would still like to grow a few gourds, then grow up.

Let's say your garden is only 20 feet long and 10 feet wide. Get 5 steel fence posts and put them in the ground at one end of your garden and then onward every 5 feet. On the 20 foot length you'll have posts at each end and then at 5, 10, 15 feet resulting in 5 posts.
Now get some woven wire fence, (most farmers have a few roles of the old stuff they never throw away or visit your local Home Depot) - you will need about 21 feet of it. Tie the woven wire to the posts or use fence staples. Make sure it is secure as gourds are heavy when green. 

When planting, place your seedlings every meter or so right beside the fence. With a little rain or water the plants will quickly get established and will take off.
Any vines that can't be easily trained to grow up the fence, cut or prune off. When cutting make sure you never cut the main vine as it will result in no gourds. (The female gourds grow on the side / lateral vines that shoot off from the main vine. Cut the main vine and there will be no laterals.)

To begin training your gourds up, follow the main vine from the ground with your will be the first vine to grow. Watch the main vine for the first couple of weeks and then move it towards the fence every couple of days. Tie it up or weave about two feet of the vine onto the fence.

Neighborly Cooperation
I grow all of my extra long handled dipper gourds along a fence. I wired another fence post about half way up the fence post that is pounded into the ground and added another row of woven wire above the first row. Now my fence is 150 feet long and about 6 feet high. Before I fell in love with the long handled dipper gourd, I planted the decorative mini gourds along my fence. It looked like a 150 foot Christmas tree on it's side...(well at least I liked it!)

Maybe I should come clean with you all and admit that, well...that 150 feet of fence line is a property line. That means we need to get permission from the land owner on the other side of the fence before we can grow anything on it or take it down or make it is a shared fence. But since it was the closest fence to our well, I asked our neighbor if she would mind if I planted gourds along the line. She said OK. 

The next year I took her some dried and varnished gourds and asked if I could make the fence higher. The year after she got a dozen apple gourds painted red with just a touch of airbrushed highlights.

The next year, because our pine trees were getting wider and closer to the fence on our guessed it...I asked her if I could plant my gourds on her side of the fence. For the last few years I've been growing 150 feet of dipper gourds on our neighbor's land. I think she enjoys seeing them grow as much as I do. 

Please don't avoid growing gourds because you don't have an ideal location. I say where there's a well, there's a way, and we had a well.

This spring my neighbor is getting a maranka (caveman's club) with the stem cut off near the bulb, This will be a base of a house painted to look like a three story forest cottage in miniature...iIf I ever decide how I want the doors to look!

Gourd Sighting

Hi Carolyn and Linda
Here are a couple of photos of some gourd sightings my husband and I saw while travelling in Georgia.
The first was seen at the Georgia Aquarium. It is a blowgun used by the Waorani people and as you can see from the photo there is a gourd attached to the long weapon. The poison used for the darts is from poisonous frogs. (This sighting was in the frog section.) If you ever get a chance to go to the Georgia Aquarium do. It is the best I've seen.

Hi Antonella,
Thanks for the sightings. You are amazing when it comes to gourd spotting.

We haven't seen this type of blowgun before. I wonder what the purpose of the gourd is? Would it have something to do with air flow? If anyone has a theory please let us know.

We are going to use your second sighting next month is definitely as interesting as this one. Take care.                                           

To learn more about the Waorani people click here:

Out Of The Mailbag
Hello Northern Dipper,
I don't usually email companies but I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed last month's Music Pick Coleman Hawkins. It is my wife that gets your newsletter and thought that I would like these tunes so called me over. I love the bebop and jazz beat and have a couple of hundred jazz CD's in my collection, including Coleman Hawkins! 
                                 John Cowen - Philadelphia

"Other Stuff"

OK, I admit it...I am one of the millions of people who followed Chris Hadfield on Twitter. It was a learning experience. Hadfield has made space and science exciting and has opened up the minds and the imaginations of children and adults from all walks of life. His photographs of Earth allowed us to see the world as we have never seen it before - as you can see, I was impressed.

Now he is back on Earth going through the rigors of adjusting to gravity after 5 months of weightlessness. One problem he wrote is the re-adaptation of his balance... another, regulating his blood pressure. Along with the study of what this experience has done to his body', Hadfield spends hours every day being de-briefed by a team of experts. 

Always the musician here is Commander Chris Hadfield singing his last song while on board the International Space Station.

To learn more about Chris Hadfield click here:

                          Bird of Prey
Looking Ahead: July 2013
Next month we will have with us artist Sharon Patrick. Sharon was, and still is, an exceptional jewellery designer. She then discovered gourds and in one word her gourd art is exquisite. Sculptural pieces with carved faces, beautiful textured bowls; Sharon's work is unforgettable. It is an honour to feature Sharon Patrick in the July issue of Gourd Fever.  

The delightful Ken Carlson will be here as well as an update on what will be happening in the gourd garden in July. (Expect a visit from our old foe the cucumber beetle!) 
With a bit of luck a couple of surprises may surface by next month so stayed tuned. Until that time remember to live life to the fullest!
                            Carolyn Cooper and Linda Bond 

PS Fill our mail bag with your photos, stories or ideas. Send to


 Volume 9, Number 99 


In this issue:
Lynn Marvin: Connecting People Through Art 

The Bulletin Board: News From Northern Dipper 

Ken Carlson: To All The Gourd Gardeners - Grow Up!

The Gourd Jungle: Tips For The Home Gourd Gardener

Out Of The Mailbag, Gourd Sightings & Trivia

 The Bulletin Board

Summer is here; the season for workshops.

Learn how to stitch an intricate dreamer using a variety of colorful wax linen threads. Saturday, June 8

Introduction To Power Carving
Learn the basics of power carving using a choice of bits and burrs. Saturday, June 15


Thunder Drum
Back by popular demand! Using a gourd, a skin and a spring create a drum that recreates the rolling sound of thunder. Saturday, June 29
To view workshops click here:

Lynn Marvin


"My painted gourds are
always a surprise to me. I usually start out with some wood burning, then ink dyes, maybe a little alcohol dye
or a dab of acrylics. Add a
 few highlights with my dental drill and lastly, colored chalks that give a nice subtle effect." 
"One thing I must mention is what a redeeming quality gourds have. It is nearly impossible to ruin one."

"If you don't like the painting simply remove with acetone. If there is something subtle left, lightly sand it off. If the color is too intense, simply use a light sand would be surprised at what beautiful effects you can get. The first time I did this my gourd took on a wonderful marble look."
"I sometimes reflect on what a rippling affect art has on us. It can be an inspiration to others and connect people."

"I sometimes meet people that have bought one of my pieces years ago. For example a few weeks ago a gentleman from L.A. contacted me via email regarding a lot he had bought from us. He closed by
saying how much he
 enjoyed the pottery fish plate I had made that was hanging in his dining room. I didn't even know he had it."

"Or the couple who bought one of my gourds for a Christmas present and sent it to Ohio. Years later the couple from Ohio sought me out while visiting Priest Lake to tell me how much they loved it."

"Some of my art has been sent to places like Africa or Germany to people I've never met. It makes me feel good that those pieces are thousands of miles away
being enjoyed by a family
and their guests."

Advice For New Artists
"You don't have to spend a lot of money on books in order to learn the basics. The web is a good source for information."

"If you get the chance attend some gourd festivals as
 these are great places to learn about new techniques and products. You will meet others who will become life-long friends and it is guaranteed that you will always have a good time."
 The Gourd Jungle: Tips For The Home Gourd Grower

Page wire works well when growing gourds up.

Providing that the weather is hot the gourd's night-blooming flowers will begin to appear during the month of June.

First off will be the males, standing high, waiting for the girls to appear. After a reasonable length of time
 the shy females appear in
all of their glory waiting for pollination.

 How do you tell which is the male flower and which is the female? The male flowers have a  pale yellow, recessed center. There are generally many more male flowers than female flowers.

The female centers are a deep yellow with a bumpy texture.  Underneath the flower are what look like baby gourds. The females tend to hide under the leaves and if you are hand- pollinating, will need to lift the leaves to find the flowers.

If you are going to hand-pollinate the easiest way is
to use cheap, dollar store
 kid's paint brushes. Attach one to a stick or piece of dowel (to avoid bending) 
and dab - first the male to
pick up pollen, and then dab, to the female to leave the pollen - pollination is complete.

The blossoms last only
one night. If pollinated the
 little gourd or "pepo" will
grow into a large gourd. If
not pollinated the pepo will
turn brown and drop off. 

Out Of The Mailbag
Hello Northern Dipper,
A few weeks ago I bought a Microlux mini gourd saw from you and now need to buy some more gourds of a particular shape.

I make Russian dolls from them - attached are two photos of my dolls.
 Monique Guevremont
From the Province of Quebec

Hi Monique,
 I have loved Russian dolls since I was a child and these are beautiful. We'll get some nice gourds ready for you. 

 It's A Dog's Life

Reports from the Daily Telegraph reports that scientists at Britain's Open University are designing computers that can be used
by dogs so they can play,
 use household appliances
and even communicate
with their owners.

The project is aimed at developing devices that can
 be controlled using touch screens and objects that can be shaken like an iPhone.  With these devices dogs will be able to control computers.

Working with several dog charities the scientists are  training the animals and building 'smart kennels'
 that will have computers
 installed inside.

Taken from The Globe and Mail
May 10, 2013

Music Pick of the Month 
The Artist: David Francey
The Songs: Green Fields
Torn Screen Door
To learn more about David Francey click here:

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

Northern Dipper
PO Box 1145
5376 County Road 56
 Cookstown, Ontario
L0L 1L0 Canada
(705) 435-3307

© Northern Dipper 2013. All rights reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be used in any form without prior written permission from the authors. 
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