Sunday, April 20, 2014
TSII 452: The Bridle
The hard part was the buckles.
As ever my buckle tongues, and the brow concho wire in this case, are made of stainless steel.
I could not resist putting this newly-finished beauty on my newly-acquired Snowman:
This is how you find out, as a tackmaker, how big each new mold is. (This's my first Idocus.) Snowman/Idocus is considerably bigger than Lady Phase [LP]. Still it fit him. He looks great! Normally I don't care for greys and cold colors, but this boy sneaked in under the radar... I guess sometimes I need something different, for at long-separated but regular intervals I have fallen for grey horses, and those few remain some of my absolute favorites. Perhaps their lack of color accents their personality.
As a designer of complete saddle sets, I'm always looking for ways to unite the piece. We know what the customer asked for with the bridle:
But here's the saddle she asked for hers to be based upon: TSII #419, built in 2001, called the Celtic Cutter.
You would think the obvious link would be the braiding of the cantle, pommel, horn and stirrups. Aren't I famous for braidwork on saddles? But think: triple-color (let alone 4-color, which this bridle is) braiding is extremely difficult (I've only done tri-color once on a cantle). Something in me resists the idea of a fairly plainly carved natural saddle overdone in screaming turquoise. She didn't ask for that. She gave me free rein, bless her heart.
It's a challenge. Should I use sinew, so clearly (and beautifully) shown on TSII #419? But where is the sinew on the bridle? It didn't use any. Putting some on afterwards is kind of out of the question... I've painted myself into this corner: What to use for the edge braiding, since there must be some?
I thought about black and offwhite. That would be loud, but possible. I rather like the pure-rawhide approach. Would just the offwhite / pale-banana-color thread work? Here are the threads and their leftovers:
What I have determined so far is that the buttons for the saddle tassels will be the same as on the bridle, black and offwhite.
I also thought about something heretofore not really considered: the blanket. You can see faint penciling of the blanket in the above drawing. The blanket really is the most powerful tool in connecting bridle with saddle, other than the rider! which we are not considering in this order.
I found a perfectly-matching sample of UltraSuede for a seat:
Chris Armstrong Volume I
Here's where total indulgence comes in. I have yet to allow myself to count hours spent on cross stitching blankets as tackmaking. The reason is that you can buy blankets for ten to fifteen, or commission them for about 25, but it takes me ten to fifteen hours to make one!! Plus it is just too fun, much more mindless and relaxing than even tack, which heaven knows is a great luxury and indulgence in itself. I must be a Calvinist or something. Perhaps I should invoke my birthday and just have fun making a blanket. Spring is in the air, and we all deserve a bit of ease.
Thank you for your patience, Anya.