Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A foal halter

This is a Warmblood Foal Show Halter,  based on a real halter seen on Coopermill Harness.  The piece is a trade for a Toby POA (proving that Sue can be bought, at least on a good day!).  It is neither Western nor braidwork, but I completely enjoyed it.  Thanks go to M. Lineman, owner.

The "chain" of the browband was created with hot-fix iron-on spots.  I used the smallest size and cut them into rough squares.  They taught me something I already knew:  the gun has to be HOT before fixing works properly.

This might be a good time to point out how I make the holes on such a small scale piece of tack (or any model tack!).  A great deal of trouble and expertise is spent on trying to make circular holes; see Jennifer Buxton's blog.  I hope I mention often enough how indebted I am to CAROL WILLIAMS who gave me the idea to use slits instead of holes.  Once I switched to slits, cutting them with a custom-built needle chisel, I had no problems.  Slits are far less stressful on the leather and much more in scale.  Moisten the lace, run a needle through to widen the hole and let it dry -- presto.

The buckles and rings are all made from goldplated wire.  The brow conchos were made from Dolls-house Christmas Tree brass ornaments.  I've had these hanging around forever -- Clare Bell Brass Works??!? -- ever since I was in my Draft Harness heydays in the 1980s.  The solid one was perfect for the job since the Rio Rondo harness brasses I usually use were too big.  Yes, even the Classic ones!

The noseband stitching is a test of an idea I've had for a long time.  It is painted, yes, but also sunk in.  Lines were cut on the leather, then paint applied and wiped off -- it stayed only deep in the cuts.  The natural grain and roughness of the leather, interrupting the smoothness of the lines, makes it appear there are 'stitches.'  This is a good example of model tack as the art of optical illusion.


  1. Love the faux stitching tip! I may one day get around to using that....

  2. Love that you use untraditional items in your tackmaking - like miniature brass Christmas ornaments - and untraditional methods - like cutting and painting the leather to simulate stitching. Such a good reminder to explore the unconventional in the creative process.