The Peach Rose bridle chapter is finished, which means we've reached the nominal halfway point of my next book! Of 8 pieces of headgear, Peach Rose is the 4th. Finally, after far more effort than I ever dreamed of, ---a whole lot of other parts, sideshows, preparations, materials chapters and formulae -- real progress has been made. This chapter is made out like a recipe. First there's a history, then a list of materials specifically for that piece, followed by steps for making that piece, its own Plate, and photos of important aspects of the making. You'd think this was what I was after in the first place; but there was SO much else to cover, just getting up to braiding speed! The Peach Rose chapter is my first and so-far-best manifestation of such a recipe,... and I think we're actually well past half way.
The previous three pieces of headgear did not have the benefit of this approach. The first and second pieces, Ricky's Bridle and Duke's Hackamore, were simple enough, and their Plates (drawings) extensive enough, not to need an ingredients list. Malaguena's got to have its list put in afterwards. I had not known, offhand, that Mala's would take 16.2 feet of 4-ply sinew to build --!! The below photo of the parts of the gorgeous pink Peach Rose bridle is featured in
the book. (There are actually a few more parts, like leather lace and a bit shank brace, listed in the text, but they're minor.)
The Peach Rose chapter has a lot of photographs... forty-two to be exact(!). The above number '102' is a photo number. The picture at the top, the finished replication bridle laid out, says '132', and that is currently how many photos are in the book. Compare this to the 83 or so in the entire Guide(!). I have come to feel there's a lack of photos in the Guide (though to be honest, when it was published, it was cutting edge), and here, finally, I am able to rectify the situation. I just hope I don't go too overboard,... The main emphasis of my book, after all, will always be the Plates.
I was trained as a draftsperson. It has been heavenly pleasure to be drawing and inking again. However, only a third of this book will be inked plates. The writing is fun too, and we're over 100 pages already! It's the photos that are really holding me up. When one extensively documents the making of a single piece of tack, by still photography, one has to choose which photos to use; to process them; to fit them into a page or pages; to number them, and come up with descriptions for the Photo Numbers List, a kind of index. And THEN rewrite the text to accommodate said photos! The process is neither fast nor easy. It once took me a week to do 13 photos. Here are some rejected pictures from just two parts of the Peach Rose chapter:
See what I mean by exhausting? I fear there's a chance that even some of what got in is duplication. A somewhat-frustrating pattern of my own behaviour is that illustration for some procedure carefully described will often be added to later, (and thus references have to be stuck in). I have tried to treat different materials (Mala's is made from sinew, the Peach from embroidery floss) differently. I've also tried to treat Peach Rose as though it were the first piece a reader turned to, partly because so many crafters and hobby artists are comfortable with embroidery floss --- more so than I am myself. And that means even more references, to earlier places. Which is tough because we haven't gotten to pagination yet,... and when I brought this up with my in-house guru, he said to not refer to page numbers at all, but to sections! So the whole thing is changing constantly.
Here's another rejected photo. The foal, whom I stuck in for scale, was later felt to be too distracting. The beads are examples of Hill Tribes Silver.
Nonetheless, progress has been made. Here's the future back cover shot of the Peach Rose Bridle:
And here's another sneak peek from the back cover. I tried this out in black-and-white and liked it so much. This is Ricky's Bridle, worn by Sheila/Gold Dust, the Bobby Jo mold sculpted by Morgen Kilbourn.
My next book is not going to make BreyerFest,... but it might be finished by the fall. November 6 will be the 26th anniversary of the publishing of the Guide. If you can't make one year, try for the next...