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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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Draft Horse WIP 2

Maybe I’ve said this before, but horses have always been my first love as a subject for art.  The beauty, strength, and loyalty of them is just incredible.  To draw them and try to capture these traits is a wonderful challenge and a joy every time I draw a horse.

I’m making slow progress on this showy draft horse.  The bit, bridle, and halter are slowly beginning to show, and there is more form to the mouth and muzzle, as well.  My stipple technique seems to have followed me into the scratchboard realm, as that seems to be my overall approach to this drawing.  I just enjoy the motion, as well as the appearance of it.

I’m making steady progress on a pen and ink drawing, as well.  I’m debating whether to post that as a WIP, or just reveal the finished piece later.  Can’t decide. 🙂

Draft Horse WIP 2 - CR

Thank you for looking!  Happy March! 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2015 in All Artwork, Scratchboard

 

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Draft Horse WIP 1

Hello readers,

It is about time to do some drawing again.  I’ve actually started two new drawings, one of a rooster (stay tuned for more on that), and this one.  This is going to be a draft horse, a strong, elegant draft horse in a dazzling, gleaming harness.  It will be complex and detailed, which is a good thing.

This is a scratchboard, measuring 8×8 inches.  The only tool I’ve used so far is a #11 X-Acto knife.  The fun has just begun.  I hope you’ll enjoy following along as I work on this.

Draft Horse WIP - CR

Thanks for looking.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2015 in All Artwork, Scratchboard

 

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Gypsy Vanner

I have always admired the beauty of the Gypsy Vanner horse.  The strong, stocky bodies, the beautiful piebald markings, and the amazing, thick manes and tails.  What a stunning breed.  I intentionally gave this sculpture a strong, arched neck and a large head, partly to really show off that mane, and partly for the simply elegant pose.

Gypsy Vanner

– Measures 10 inches long by 7 1/2 inches tall by 3 inches wide, making this my largest horse sculpture to date.

– Made with 17 gauge steel fencing wire and 16 gauge dark annealed wire, as well as some 19 gauge dark annealed wire for the detailed areas of the horse.  I really loaded this horse down with embellishments, because the Gypsy Vanner horse often has a very thick, full, beautiful mane – some even touch the ground!

Thank you for looking.  I hope you like this. 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2014 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media

 

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Rocky Mountain Horse

I am gearing up for an art show this Saturday, so I have been really busy trying to gear up for that.  But I wanted to make a new post here too, so here is my newest sculpture (one of several to be posted here soon).  Late one night, I was trying to think of some fresh idea for my horse sculptures.  I was struggling to think of any new poses, but then I remembered that a few breeds of horses are chocolate brown with gorgeous silver or flaxen manes.  I looked into it and found some breathtaking images of the Rocky Mountain Horse.  Granted, the Rocky Mountain Horse doesn’t usually have such high white socks, but despite that, I decided that’s what I’ll call this sculpture.  The clear, bright silver chain of the mane and tail were a fun, sort of whimsical twist against the dark annealed wire I used for the body.  It was a fun one. 🙂

Rocky Mountain Horse

– Measures approximately 8 inches long by just over 7 inches tall by 2 1/2 inches wide.

– I used 17 gauge silver wire for the base of the horse, as well as the legs.  I did this because the silver wire is stronger and less flexible than the dark wire, and holds its shape better.  I then used 16 gauge dark annealed (blackish-brown) wire to go over the silver frame.  Once the horse was bulked up enough with the dark wire, I used some 19 gauge dark annealed wire for the muzzle and legs for finer details.  Finally, I used very, very fine (26 gauge I think) black wire to attach the ears, mane and tail.

– The ears are little leaf pendants that seemed to fit this horse.

– Mane and tail are made from lengths of various chain.  Just picture me with lengths of scrap necklaces and chains, prying them into pieces with a pair of pliers, and then reassembling them with jump rings.

– If you look closely, you’ll notice I’ve put a few small feather embellishments into the mane and tail for some Western flair.

I hope you like it.  Thank you for looking. 🙂

 

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2014 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media

 

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Sketches of a Horse, a Hen, an Eagle, and a Longhorn

I’ve been trying to sort of kick-start my creativity lately, so I’m doing quick sketches to try and spark some ideas and inspiration.  I’m also sketching so that I can say to myself, yes, I did draw today! 😉

These took about 10 minutes to a couple of hours each, with the horse sketch taking the longest.  The hen and the longhorn are both done with Faber-Castell Pitt markers, and the eagle and the horse are graphite.  After playing with graphite again, I wouldn’t mind doing a fully fledged drawing with it again.  Once upon a time, graphite was my go-to medium of choice.  Once I tried out pen and ink several years ago, I fell in love, and the graphite took the back seat.

I’ll admit that I am currently working on a new drawing, and this time with a new medium: clayboard.  More on that later. 🙂

These were all done in a Strathmore Field sketchbook, and measure roughly 7×9 inches in size.

Thank you for looking.  Happy first day of spring!

Eagle Sketch CR Hen SketchCR Horse SketchCR Longhorn SketchCR

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2014 in All Artwork, Sketches

 

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Black Horse Wire Sculpture

Here is one of my newer sculptures.  I have struggled to get good photos of this one as its dark color likes to silhouette against the stark white snow.

So this sculpture has been in the works, with some long, long breaks between, since last August.  I had tried to get it done in time for my art show, but it didn’t make it.  Once the show was done, my wire sculptures took a long break.  Finally I got back to this one and finished it.  It is made mostly with dark annealed wire, which looks brownish-black.  The foundation of the horse is done with the steel silver wire.  The reason for this is because the dark annealed wire is slightly oily, which makes it slick.  It’s also more flexible, causing it to twist more easily, which makes for a less stable sculpture.  I decided to leave the silver wire showing through in the legs to suggest white socks on the horse, as well as a spot on the forehead of the horse to suggest a white star.  That star mostly disappears behind the mane, so it isn’t very noticeable.

I purposely made this horse’s snout a little heavy and droopy to suggest a laid-back, stocky sort of appearance.  The dark annealed wire is one gauge larger than the steel wire, so it’s bulky and less forgiving.  It gave this horse a stockier build than some of my previous sculptures.

I used chain from Jo-Ann Fabrics for the mane and tale.  When I see chain in this brownish-black color, I snap it up because it’s kind of hard to find.

The sculpture measures 6 and 1/2 inches tall by 9 inches long by 2 inches wide.  These sculptures seem to always end up that size. 🙂

Thank you for looking!

 

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media

 

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