Saturday, July 7, 2018
The next thing that happened was I chose to submit the bridle for the North American Nationals Auction ... and give it a new bit. I must have gotten my engraving vise that February, because these bits were my very first sterling silver engraving efforts. On the inside of one bit is picked out "09" and on the other is "SBY."
The bridle was offered with a matching breastcollar and set of Romal Reins, to be made later but sold at the same donation percentage. It took me til August to finish these.
(She also purchased the Maximillian Bridle, a later NAN Auction piece.)
Ten years later, in the spring of 2018, at a local show, Susan Rudnicki Hurst told me Peet's health was going downhill. Her disease had reached the point of barring live showing. Hurst was dispersing some of her collection. I had never forgotten the Fan Button Bridle set, feeling it was some of my best work. I quickly came up with a proposal, and a commission was worked out.
As of this writing the plan is to take offers on this Bridle Set and post them on MH$P. I would like the closing to be Saturday the 14th, at 10pm EDT. Your patience is appreciated while I deal with all the rest of BreyerFest, and a possibly recalcitrant tablet -- ! my only online link whilst in Kentucky. If the winner is not present, shipping must be charged.
Thanks for reading, and Happy Collecting!
Friday, June 29, 2018
KH2B stands for King's Herd's the second, B -- not "B" for second-finished (although it was completed well after my NaMoTackMo piece, KH2J) -- but "B" for "Brasenose." In referring to these two new hackamores, I fell back on initials (Rio Rondo inspired no doubt) and my own practice of naming the piece after the horse it is most identified with. This happens whether I built it off that model or whether that model fell in love with it and insisted on wearing it the most. (You know they do this.) "J" stands for Jezail/Kaalee.
Braymere Saddlery. He gives his name to this hackamore, but that does not mean it fits him perfectly.
(By the way he just invented this lay-down wood-background shot, which I wish I'd thought of earlier.)
This hackamore has character! It was relatively simple to design buttons for the cheek - I took my cue from the red, and dk brown & rawhide will always be in style - and the silver beads are Hill Tribes. The curbstrap's tassel is dewaxed sinew, a trick I learned from Regine N. of Germany. The glory of that beautiful braided-sinew curbstrap -- the most adjustable I've ever made, an inspired design that came to me out of nowhere -- is somewhat offset by the fixed length of the nosepiece. In most of these pix the curb is on the 'middle' setting, and most muzzles are accommodated just fine. But take a look:
This is a good piece for, shall we say, Not-Giant model horses?!
While we're on the subject of that curb, here's a close-up of the adjustment process. (Another shot is in the previous post.)
The beautiful headstall, with its fixed silver crownstrap-tip and its easy-sliding buckle (a cast Rio Rondo which I had nickel-plated), contains a rather unusual One-Ear slit. Originally this was intended as a braided version of the lace headstall of the old King's Herd's hackamore. I did try to make all 3 hackamores the same size! But that slit wound up starting quite high on the head. It appears to fit only the ears of the longest, largest heads. Here's Victrix looking uncomfy:
The KH2B manages to fit her, but only if you feel like racing, --- crouching low over her withers and leaning way forward!! In other words the reins really are almost too short for so large a horse. Again, they were made to exactly match the original old hackamore which I swear fit every horse in my herd. I guess the average Trad was smaller back then.
Bottom line? The best model for this hackamore appears to me to be the ISH and its brothers-in-size, such as the Lonesome Glory.
This piece represents what I could put out between NaMoTackMo and our 2-month (May, June) summer sojourn to Colorado, during which not much could be made. YES, it is for sale (auction). I need to choose a method and am open to suggestions.
BENEFIT AUCTION AT BREYERFEST!!
We have been making model horse tack since 1979 with the goal of striking the perfect balance between detailed authenticity and durable working playability. There is a happy medium!
Left to right: King's Herd's Hackamore c. 1984, KH2J 2018, KH2B 2018.
I hope to have more pieces for sale later in the year. I still have hopes of working on my braid book, with attendant pieces; I also want to re-create the bosal hack & hobbles set I saw on the trail this summer. In addition there are a couple of saddles in the pipeline. Announcements will be here and via FaceBoook under Timaru Star II Model Tack. See also our own Tack Sales Info page on our website. Timaru Star II.
Happy Bidding and Thank You!
Friday, May 4, 2018
To go back to the very beginning, I honestly do not know when my original King's Herd's hackamore was built. It could have been as early as 1979 or as late as 1984. (Given the existence of a couple of more primitive examples, I lean towards the latter.) I wanted a piece of headgear I could really pull on, something that would hold up to the most strenuous play.
|My entry for NaMoTackMo 2018.|
I joined NaMoTackMo this year. April was my birthday month; I usually try to make a tack piece for myself. This time I felt like indulging in a very personal aspect. What were the roots of my craft? What but that feeling of actually being on the horse, directing him, guiding him? So often I'd played there, controlling his head with actual pressures through the tack. Control is everything; that is one of the appeals of miniatures (at least to me!)... Not only had my skill set been much improved -- silver engraving, access to Argentium, rawhide braided buttons, making my own strap tips -- but I had a deeper-than-usual need. I had been playing for a year, ever since closing the Lottery and stopping taking tack orders. With this piece I would still be playing, yet heading back in the direction of bridles and saddles (as opposed to chairs and snowshoes!), using all my skill to achieve what I originally wanted from model tack.
The new hackamore, then, would have shanks of the same length as the ancestral King's Herd's one. A peculiarity of the piece was it could fit any horse in my herd. I wanted to keep that. This requirement dictated the single crown strap, with no throatlatch; it also dictated similar reins, of exactly the same length. That was the easy part.
Rocker-engraved around the edge of the shank:
In one titanic 6+ hour day, I made the nosepiece. I practically had to teach myself to braid again. That night I started this post with a storm of writing, of which these are a few excerpts:
"Up at midnight again. I haven't had this many adventures with the TSII since the Great Clydesdales Caper. Nobody would believe it: More than 6 hours in one day (I usually make 1 or 2) and only 1 nosepiece to show for it!! 'Course there's also most of a Plate, a drawn page of instructions and in this case formulae for braiding the nosepiece. Formulae that work. This is what all the fuss was about, this is the real harvest...
"So many struggles I can't catch them all. My old nosepiece formula didn't work and I don't know why. Its second half, for the interweaves, worked fine! Go figure.
"I thought the blue would be great for the SALES hackamore! but not the one I'm keeping. I took pictures to that effect. I was going to ask the FB world whether this was a good idea. It could've been so cool. It still is an option.
"When the inevitable drew close, it spoke to me. A tiny voice gradually becomes clearer, the Muse at its best. I am unique in all your works, it said. Stop now and be content. No one else will ever get anything like this. It will work, because all that blue ticking will draw attention away from the braiding flaws (and there are plenty!). This button is tied too tightly, had too much effort put into it, for me to give up. I find I do have limits, and this is one of them. A consequence of accepting deadlines, in this case NaMoTackMo, causes me to accept a piece I normally wouldn't have. And who knows, it might even grow on you.
"So this is what working to deadline does: you create weirdos, and then say they look fine."
Next day I made a braided-rawhide (nylon sinew) curbstrap like nothing I'd ever done before. It had no buckles. Apparently time pressure has its benefits in new designs.
The headstall was braided-rawhide too, with a tasteful minimum (?) of braided buttons and Hill Tribes silver beads. The hard part was making the buckle; any silver (Argentium) part with holes in it was going to cost a lot of filing, and this one had to be big enough for the strap tip. However, it turned out quite large enough, almost too large. I hadn't used the tip to measure with during filing, another goof I can put down to racing the clock. : ( The buckle got some rocker-engraving too.
|King's Herd's Hackamore 2, Jezail's version|
Except my hackamore didn't feel quite right. It was saggy, twisty. It had little 'response.' I mulled over it for a couple of days and decided what it needed was a leather curbstrap, not a sinew one. After all the original had had a leather one.
This time I designed a very simple leather equivalent to the braided-rawhide design, with slits for loops and a leather end-knot or button. I slit the end of a piece of medium (1/8") lace into thirds and tied a Crown-n-Wall with them, and left the ends. I had to braid new keepers, but once on this curbstrap worked perfectly. I also tightened the shank brace ends (slobber bar) to help prevent twist. Such minor adjustments are critical to a proper 'feel' if you're going to pull the reins.
And it worked.
|King's Herd's Hackamore, leather curb, Jezail's|
And now for the second hackamore! This headstall also has the split ear.
It is my hope to offer this hackamore sometime in late June or July.
Thursday, April 19, 2018
|Timaru Star II #378|
How glad I am to be able to indulge, then.
|#378 was originally built for the PAS.|
|TSII #378, Birds Eye view|
|Off serape, After (2018)|
|Near serape, Before (1995)|
|Bottom side of pony medallion, before setting|
|Top side of same pony. Prongs are hard to see, due to angle of shot.|
The corona blanket was very challenging, because it came at the end, when the artist's vision is just about drained (and they are looking ahead to something else!). The original was made of pompoms, and while there is value in retaining original equipment, in this case the temptation to use advanced technology was too great. (I.e. Melody's type of corona was SO much better!) I found an LRB (Lorrie Batchelor?) blanket in my spares box. Thank the god of forgotten purchases!! -- I couldn't have made a corona on my own in the time frame I had set. With a lot of fiddling, because the corona was too big but fortunately had a fender gap, I made it smaller. This view is of the process of the darting, having peeled back the chamois lining part way:
Unless and until they, too, need restoring.
On to NaMoTackMo! and beyond: future sales pieces.