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! 🙂