|TSII #377, built in 1995, retaped in 2000|
Here's my working approach: I'll use no silver tape (aluminum metal mending tape) unless it is physically held down, either by clinching, pinning, lacing, tying, sewing or braiding. Its adhesive is only to be used for initial positioning; after that it might as well not exist for me. Silver tape's beauty, workability and ease of access are great assets for me, and I do use it --- but its gum will die and turn to crumbs. Of that I am sure and certain.
|TSII #378, Kim's Carousel, built in 1995|
|TSII #230, built in 1988, retaped in 1993|
|TSII #415, built in 2000|
Over 40 years (officially), my material choices for model silver saddles have ranged far afield. I've gone through silver paint, silver tape, aluminum sheet, cast pieces, Mylar, sandwich approaches, semi-precious stones and iron-ons. My materials and techniques have changed so much I'd be a fool to think I've settled on a final method even now. We still have real metal and powdered metal... and...
Gentle reader, alas, the logical, cost-efficient answer is yes.
But when has logic and cost-efficiency been the only determining force at the Timaru Star II??!?
|TSII #12 on *Opium, remade by Amarna/Elizabeth Bouras|
In a curious mood, I dug up the numbers on TSII silver saddles I'd previously restored, fixed up and otherwise repaired. I was astonished. Starting in 1993, it turned out I'd restored 12 sets!!! (counting this one, #378). Of those twelve, two were not silver tape sets, but that's still 10 of the 45. Ten!!! almost a quarter of them!!! I had no idea I'd done so many. What a field: redoing portions of a fraction of a portion of one artist's work!!!
Here's the list:
In 1993, #230 - the very first silver tape one, owned by Carol Gerhard.
In 1994, #243, Karen Gerhardt's Wizard's Vale, and #252.
In 1997, #12 and #197, two painted sets originally owned by Elizabeth Bouras.
In 2000, #377, Sapp's (ultimately the inspiration for Breyer's first porcelain), #375 Northern Brilliance and #306 Easley's Airy Indian-- in the middle of this year I invented Mylar-tying.
In 2002, #357, a Classic scale set.
In 2009, #318, Khambour's Pyr spotted.
In 2012, #355, Rouillard's, now owned by Jeanette Eby.
In 2018, #378, Kim's Carousel. There is another in the pipeline, #362, Foote's/Evans'.
|TSII #355, built in 1993, restored in 2012|
|TSII #12 as received in 1997. Bit by Sue Rowe.|
But consider. Many other tackmakers and many other model saddles use silver tape technology. Many saddles are being made with a single layer of aluminum tape, pressed and stamped into leather. It's so easy to do that. The tape can be cut with scissors. It sticks like magic and it's so shiny. It looks marvelous. It'll stay that way for years.
|TSII #12, retaped in 1997.|
|TSII #12, retaped in 1997.|
In the Guide I try to share what I've learned about those conditions. I noticed tape first started breaking and falling away on areas of leather which BENT: the tops of fenders, the crowns of bridles, the shoulders of breast collars, the upper portions of hip drops. Non-disturbed areas tended to hold their tape much longer. The first restorations I did were simply re-applying the tape. It wasn't until 2000 and my discovery of Mylar Tinsel that I evolved a method to stop, I hoped much more permanently, silver tape from falling off. (Remember: I Hate Glue. Long story, having to do with a father's sensitivity and my own huge pride.) The new My-tying method was first tried on #418, the Rainbow Laced, and it was a major design change -- a ton of work and heavy use of the Needle Chisel. But it held. I believe it is holding still.
|TSII #418, photo by Cabot|
|TSII #447, Eleanor's Hexagon|
About TSII #378:
As of today, the base plate (bottom skirt), seat, breastcollar, both fenders and tapaderos and hip drops, and the bridle, are DONE. Still to go are the serapes. The off serape has only its center medallion pony and its edge-braiding yet to be done.
When all's finished, it'll be NaMoTackMo for me. There might even be time for an auction piece - we'll just have to see. : )