Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Goehring's Fenders Etc


This will be a brief and -- yippee skip!! already outdated!! --  update on the progress of this marvelous Mexican saddle order.  Pictures are always behind actual construction, for which I can only blame my photographer (me).  I needed some fresh outlook, so I tried the bridle and breastcollar on a different horse.  The result you may view above.  Oh, he looks good...

When last we saw this saddle, the stirrups were here:
Since then, I've finished them.  The bolt ends of the necks are covered in the tiny Aluminum star conchos, all of which were made by hand.  It's amazing that an X-Acto knife can cut metal, but it does.  The necks were painted in my Fiebing's Saddle Tan Oil Dye, the only bottle of such stuff on hand.  Boy it stinks but nothing else gives that color.  I tried it on the tree too:
I am pleasantly surprised at the results. 
I still have a few questions about the tree, and the seat in particular (right now).  All my references but one did not show the seat front, er, the exact place where the rider's buttocks would rest.  It was hidden in shadow.  I supposed it would be covered in the same basketweave as the rest:
But a closer look reveals that it is plain.  There was one shot that showed clearly it was not stamped.
Surprise, surprise.  I think I can handle this. 
While we're on the subject of Mexican style Charro saddles, I'd like to include a link to an amazing collection of reference pictures, posted by Luis Aguilar of Mexico City.
Nohuanda Equineart   If you aren't drooling by the end of that, you're dead!  On the other hand, I wasn't all that thrilled by Charro saddles when I started this order, yet now...  Oh now... 
It has the challenge of something a miniature saddler can really sink their teeth into.

 Next was tooling the fenders.
The patterns seem to be a combination of traditional floral motifs and swirlies and mildly geometric intercrossings, almost Celtic (the strap).  This is the second time I've run across the phenomenon that interlacing geometric patterns, as in Celtic knotwork, look exceedingly good on Spanish and Peruvian tack.  The first is in the TSII Peruvian sets.  See our website.. Timaru Star II Peruvian page 2

The scallops on the edge of the fenders was all cut by hand.  I did it in our local Toyota dealership...

What I've really enjoyed is the checkering on the fenders.
I'd known from the beginning that, while these are made with leather (or rawhide) lacing in full scale, they could not be made by interlacing at one-ninth scale.  Not by me!  I made the slits with my largest needle chisel.  The thread is the same as that used on the reins: waxed linen.  It has that old-ivory color, that ancient-linen off-white creamy color that goes so well with these old dark saddles.  One arm's-length of thread was the perfect length to go three times along one fender.
Close up it's clear it's made from passes of thread; but even at a short distance away, the effect is (I think) acceptable.

I had to make up some of the tooling on the flap of the fender... my references didn't show more than the bottom third.

Here is the finished product.  I'll have to lace-tie the strap ends together... there is not room for a buckle, neither vertically (in the thickness of the straps and the tree) nor in the length of the leather straps themselves.  My reference absolutely shows no buckle, so all I've got to go on is experience of how Old West parts of saddles were tied together.


And now for something completely different.  A friend was admiring my neckerchief slide, and I let her talk me out of a short order.
The first one, on the left, wasn't quite right.  But I was having so much fun I kept going.  There is a braided-leather core inside these slides.
Having filled an order in less than two days, it has now taken nearly two weeks to contact the customer, and we still haven't gotten together!  Frustrating and foolish as this is, it's a pleasant change of pace for me.  It is very important, sometimes, to succeed at something...!  when the rest of your life is stuck...
But fear not.  Progress is being made.  Things are, in fact, going well.  Next post should have more details on this extraordinary saddle, TSII #451.


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