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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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Andalusian

Dear readers, I finally have something new to post here on my blog.  It has been quite a while since I made a post; the Christmas card has taken up a lot of my time.  I will be posting that on Christmas Eve, so stay tuned. 🙂

I love horses, and I always tend to go back to them in my work. This one was slow in coming together, because I was in need of black chain for the mane and tail. It must not be fashionable to wear black jewelry/chain right now, because I had a very hard time finding any. I spent literally an entire day in town going everywhere I could think of from Michael’s Art store to Maurice’s Clothing. I finally did end up finding some very black chain that worked nicely for this horse. I was surprised it was so hard to find chain in black…last time I checked, it was everywhere. It shows how out of the loop I am as far as the fashion world!

I wanted to try and capture some movement and spirit in the horse, so I have her head turned and her ears angled in an inquisitive gesture. I wanted to make her look kind of playful, and hope that comes through in the sculpture.

Andalusian

– This measures 8 1/4 inches tall by 8 inches long by 4 inches wide.

– Made with 17 gauge steel fencing wire, 19 gauge steel wire, and various smaller gauge wires for attaching embellishments, adding details, and etc. The mane and tail are made of black metal chain, and the embellishments within are leaves from an art store and the small, spear-like pieces attached here and there are from an antique pair of earrings I bought at a garage sale. The ears are “wings” that came in a pack of various pieces I bought.

I hope you like this.  Thank you for looking!

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2015 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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Draft Horse WIP 6

Here is a little update on my horse.  I’ve had a busy month, being away from home much of the time, as well as working on a couple of other art projects.  I’ve got a new wire sculpture to share soon, and a pen and ink drawing that I’ve not shared here yet.  Stay tuned. 🙂

Just moving along the top of the head, finally getting both ears in place.  I’m now making my way down the neck.  I’m having fun with this one.

Draft Horse WIP 6 - CR

Thanks for looking!

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2015 in All Artwork, Scratchboard

 

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Draft Horse WIP 5

At last, I have an update to share.  This horse is slow going…the progress you see here is the result of two or three sittings, and most of my sittings last a couple of hours.  There is so much to pay attention to in this piece…I need to constantly be checking over the whole drawing to make sure all the straps are lining up correctly, and of course, the horse needs some attention, as well. 🙂

Here is where the horse is at this point.  Most of the head is in place at last.  I’ve added the ear and the jawline, and have also filled in the cheek area a little more.

Draft Horse WIP 5 CR

Thanks for looking!  I’m always happy to get a little feedback, so feel free to leave a comment. 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2015 in All Artwork, Scratchboard

 

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Draft Horse WIP 3

I had a rather relaxing afternoon to myself today, and spent a good deal of time working on my draft horse scratchboard.  This is very slow going.  When I started out on this drawing, I knew it would require a lot of detail, but all those straps, buckles, and bits have taken a lot of time.  But it’s coming along.  I’m still using just an X-Acto knife and am more or less stippling with it to get the fine, soft textures of the horse’s hide.  I’ve also used a little hatching for the halter.  The horse looks a little eerie with that black hollow where his eye should be…I expect the next update will include the eye.

Draft Horse WIP 3 - CR

Thanks for looking, and have a Happy Easter!

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2015 in All Artwork, Scratchboard

 

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