Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Off to Tucson for gourding classes

Linda and I do not pack light. LOL
What would we need for four days in Tucson? EVERYTHING we could fit in the car.

The drive was wonderful. Arizona sunsets are always spectacular.

We had been really looking forward to taking gourding classes from Bonnie Gibson.
Check out her website! Arizona Gourds

Bonnie has a great book out. Her charming and talented husband took all of the photos. It is a beautiful book and would be worth having just as eye candy. Even if you can't get to one of her classes, the book is a good way to get started. It is available from her website. She carries a lot of fascinating products too.
I couldn't resist and bought 'stuff'. But it was stuff I had never come across before. :) I'll post pics when I get everything unpacked.

Bonnie is a delight. Not only is she a wonderful instructor- she is a truly charming lady.
Her gourds are amazing. Seeing photos of them on line doesn't really prepare you for the impact when you see them in real life.
If you ever get a chance to take a class from her- do not hesitate. I had a lot of fun and learned so much.
I'm finally getting over my fear of using a power tool. Bonnie is very supportive and takes the time to make sure everyone is safe and still expressing themselves freely . She encourages you to use your creativity. ( And she brings a bottle of water and sets it by you when you forget you need to keep yourself hydrated in the Arizona heat.)

This is my very first gourd attempt. I still need to do some finishing on it. But, Wow!, I was able to make something I can feel pretty good about right off the bat.
I can carve with my dremel tool! This is too cool!

I loved working with the waxed linen adding coiled basketry to this gourd.
Linda and I stayed up late in our motel room having a great time coloring our gourds with Luminarte's Radiant Rain sprays and Stewart superior Memory Mists. I added some clear gourd wax after I got the colors I wanted- highlighted with some gold colored wax too.
I'm hoping to add some woodburning details to this (and I'll finish up the weaving.)

I was getting a bit better using the dremel tool by this time. You can get some great texturing effects.

This is one of my favorite techniques! I need to keep working on this and get it all smooth and perfect. :) I really like the way it is coming along.

This filigree technique was the last class of the session for us. I was finally feeling like I was really getting the hang of carving with the dremel. With any luck I will locate my flex shaft and it will be easier on my hands. LOL
I felt like I had a lot more control at this point. I'm still sloooooow- so didn't get very far. but I think I'll like this when I get it finished.

The faux basketry was a lot of fun. It was so much easier than I had expected.
This still needs some painted detail for more depth and realism.
I need a REAL woodburning tool. Wow! The one Bonnie let me borrow was awesome.