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The King’s Horse

Dear readers, brace yourselves for a lengthy post!  I’m sharing my latest sculpture, though I have several other new ones to post in the next couple of weeks as well, so stay tuned.

Late one night, I was unable to sleep.  When it’s late and I cannot sleep, my mind tends to wander…often to the topics of art or writing.  It was a night like this that got me thinking.  With all of my broken jewelry, found items, and metal junk, what if I made a horse decked out in elaborate medieval armor?

I was so excited by the idea that I nearly got up right then to start sifting through my collection of found items.  But it was 3:00 AM and I hadn’t slept at all, so I stayed put and eventually got to sleep…probably with a smile on my face.

The very next day, I got to work looking through my embellishments, picking out pieces and items that struck a chord with me.  Within a couple of days, I was building the horse itself.  The horse is among my larger pieces, and with all the embellishments, it took me quite a while to complete this piece.

The King’s Horse

– Measures 10 & 1/2 inches long by 9 inches tall by 3 & 3/4 inches wide.

– Made with some 16 gauge dark annealed wire, but primarily with 18 gauge dark annealed wire.  The 18 gauge is just the right balance of sturdiness and softness.  I can bend and shape it pretty easily, yet it’s strong enough to hold up.  I also used very fine black wire for attaching embellishments.  The process of attaching my found items is somewhat like sewing.  Take the thin wire, weave it into the bands of heavier wire numerous times until everything holds tightly.  This is my favorite part of building sculptures.

– Embellishments.  Oh, where to begin?  I guess it all started with the stirrups.  I found a pair of sort of square-shaped earrings at a flea market last year, and I knew from the moment I saw them that I wanted them to be stirrups for a horse sculpture.  And here we are.  The “straps” of the stirrups are a matched pair of earrings, too, I believe.  Put together, these two pairs of earrings made ideal stirrups.  The band of looped chains/coins around the entire body of the horse is, in fact, part of a belt.  You know how it is…you’re out shopping with some friends, you’re a teenager, you see a weird, jangling, unusual belt and buy it, convinced that you will wear it all the time.  You will.

…That was me back in my teens.  I never wore the belt once in my life, but I have never regretted buying it, because it made for some priceless embellishments for my wire sculptures.  You might also remember pieces of this very belt from my Aluminum Horse a few years ago, https://thecozyred.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/the-aluminum-horse/ .  The King’s Horse took up all but a few scraps of this belt, and what I had left happened to be just the right amount to wrap around the horse’s body.  It was meant to be.  Of course, I had to repair some parts of the belt and rebuilt it a little to get it to look like a complete loop and not just a scrap length of chain.  The saddle is an ornate necklace part that has five hinged sections.  I loved that because it drapes so nicely across the horse’s back.  It was bright gold when I bought it, but I painted it with metallic acrylic paints until the piece had the same patina and feel of the rest of the embellishments.  The rump of the horse is draped with a necklace piece, also hinged, that I found at a thrift store.  That, too, had to be painted to suit the rest of the sculpture.  The horse’s tail is a thick cluster of various chains.  The horse’s mane is part of a necklace.  The ears were fun to construct.  I had found small metal embellishments at an art store that reminded me of a tiny phonograph or gramophone horns in their shape.  I couldn’t resist the strange shape.  But for this sculpture, I ended up turning these pieces upside down so the wide, ruffled ends were against the horse’s head.  The pointed ends of these embellishments were a great suggestion of armored pieces the shape of a horse’s ears.  So I wired two of these embellishments together and reshaped the open ends to set nicely on the horse’s head, and then wired them down.  The face shield is a pendant I had on hand, which also needed to be painted.  And finally, the reins are a simple chain, held by the mouth of the horse with jump rings, which are wired in place.

If you’re still reading this, thank you.  I appreciate your interest.  Let’s look at the photos at last. 🙂

There will be a lot of photos, too, so bear with me.

Thank you very much for looking!  Please feel free to leave comments if you wish – I love hearing from you! 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2016 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media

 

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Checotah

With an art show coming up in less than a month, things have been busy around here!  This will be my first indoor art show, and I am really looking forward to it!  It’s called the Banbury Art Crawl, and you can read up on it at banburyartcrawl.org if you’re curious.  It sounds like a fun show.  I attended it once just as a visitor and I was so inspired by the fresh, unique artwork that was on display by many talented artists.  I am so looking forward to being a part of the show!

So aside from working on my drawing of Norman, I’ve also been trying to get more sculptures going.  Here is one of my recent pieces.  Last fall, there was a clearance sale with all sorts of fall-colored items, including wire.  I snatched up some spools of orange wire (it is not copper…just orange colored).  When I bought them, I was thinking of bird legs and beaks, but the more I looked at it, the more I saw a bay colored horse.  So this is my result.

I am pleased to say that even though I was working on my inventory for the art show, this little guy has already sold.  At our family Christmas party, my aunt saw him and couldn’t resist, so she bought him as a Christmas gift to herself.  She promptly named him Checotah.  She and her husband once drove through Checotah, Oklahoma and she decided that if she ever had a horse, she’d call him Checotah.  Thanks, Jurine! 🙂

Checotah

-Made with some 19 gauge dark annealed wire and some 22 gauge paddle wire just for the “bones” of the horse.  Once the piece was secure with heavier wire, I added layers of finer black wire for the legs and muzzle, and the orange wire for the body.  Though the wire looked bright orange on the spool, it looks quite convincing as a bay color on the horse, don’t you think?  The tail is a tiny bit of very fine chain.  The mane is a piece of an old earring.  Those black and silver spear-like pieces on the earring looked like an interesting horse’s mane to me, so I went with it.

-I did not have a chance to measure this piece before it sold, so I’m guessing on the size.  It is approximately 3 inches long x 2 3/4 inches tall x 1 inch wide.  Yes, this guy is pretty tiny.  I wanted him to have the heavy build of a draft horse, so he’s pretty stocky.

I photographed him in a hurry on the day of our Christmas party, so the photos are not the greatest quality.  But here they are, anyway.

Thank you for looking. 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2016 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media

 

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Charley Horse

Here’s a sort of humble little sculpture.  He’s small, unassuming, and just hopes someone might spot him and think he’s handsome. 🙂

Charley Horse

– Measures a modest 3 1/8 inches long by 2 inches tall by 3/4 inch wide.

– Made with a little bit of 19 gauge dark annealed wire, but mostly with 26 gauge jewelry wire, which was great for the finicky little details, and that’s what makes this sculpture look shiny, compared to my other black sculptures, which are less so.  The mane embellishment is made of a necklace part, and the tail is a small little chain.

Thanks for looking!

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media

 

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Blue Roan Gypsy Vanner

Here is another of my sculptures which is overdue to be posted…but, it’s better late than never!  I’ve become ever-more enthusiastic about decking out my sculptures with embellishments…I love the character and beauty found objects can add to a piece.  I’ve been wanting to make a horse whose mane and tail would be chock full of found item goodies, and this is the result.

Blue Roan Gypsy Vanner

– Sculpture measures 10 inches long by 5 1/2 inches tall by 2 1/2 inches wide.

– Made with 17 gauge steel fencing wire, as well as fine wire for detail and attaching embellishments.  The ears are brass pieces that I bought in a lot, and according to the seller, they are over 40 years old.  Cool!  The mane and tail are made of black chain.  I added many, many things to the chain to add detail, though.  As you may notice, this horse has a bit of a rose theme.  There are at least seven, perhaps more, roses in the mane and tail, as well as metal feathers, leaves, beads, and other things throughout the masses of chains.

It was fun to make this one a bit gaudy. 🙂

Thank you for looking!

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2015 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media

 

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Draft Horse Finished

At long last, after working on this for the last six months, I am finally calling this piece complete.  It was worth the time…I had a lot of fun with this drawing, and I’ve learned a lot, too.  The variety of textures in the reference made this very challenging, but as I’ve said before on this blog, I do love a challenge. 🙂

Draft Horse

– 8×8 inch Ampersand scratchboard.

– Tools used: Mostly an X-Acto Knife with a #11 blade, and also two sizes of fiberglass brush, and Faber-Castell Pitt pens.  I used the black pen for correcting mistakes, and various gray shades to add depth and dimension.  The leather and fabric textures were done by “whitening” out the shape with a fiberglass brush and X-Acto Knife, and then going over them with pale gray pens to obscure the individual marks and give the surface a soft, even texture.  In the leather parts, I went in stages.  White out, soften with pen, white out, soften with pen, and finally ended with bright, worn spots where they were needed.

Draft Horse Finished CR

Some close ups for those interested in seeing the details. 🙂

Draft Horse 12 - Finished - Crop 3 CR

Draft Horse 12 - Finished - Crop CR 2

Draft Horse 12 - Finished - crop CR

Thank you to everyone who followed along and commented along the way.  The company makes me happy.  I hope you’ll join me for the next work in progress!

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2015 in All Artwork, Scratchboard

 

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Draft Horse WIP 10

Here’s another update.  It’s been interesting trying to get the textures of the leather right.  This certainly has been a learning journey!  The leather needs to be toned down a bit in value, and things are a little messy at the moment.  The fiberglass brush makes big, streaky marks, so additional corrections and details need to come yet.  But it’s coming along.  I’ve got to finish this before my show in August.  I thought I’d have plenty of time.  Funny how a deadline can sneak up! 😉

Draft Horse WIP 10 - CR

Thanks for looking!

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2015 in All Artwork, Scratchboard

 

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Draft Horse WIP 9

Well, I can honestly say I’ve been keeping right at this drawing, but the update doesn’t look much different than my last one. 🙂  I estimate that between the last post and this one, I’ve done around 12 hours of work, all spent on that complex and intricate harness.  I am amazed by the detail in horse harnesses and tack.  The loops, straps, buckles, and rings are so beautiful, and so numerous!  It’s amazing to think of the people that invented such a thing!

Anyway, here’s my update.  The metal parts of the harness will really gleam in the end.  I’m purposely leaving them a little unfinished so that the ink “dust” won’t stain them due to my hand rubbing those areas.  Scratchboard is actually rather dusty.  If you cut deeply into the clay, you’ll see dust and bits of clay and ink sift down as you work.

Thank you for looking. 🙂

Draft Horse WIP 9 CR

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2015 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media

 

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