Wednesday, July 19, 2017
You will note amazingly few of the BreyerFest tent pieces (Speical Runs): I only wanted two. Am I really that insane, since it's obvious I can afford them if I want them?? Hah! One of a tackmaker's tough choices is what to do when Breyer releases a new mold in a different color, after you've already bonded with an earlier one. I've already bonded with my bay Harley D Zip. (Great color, hand chosen, hard to get.) Having drawn the matte buckskin for my Surprise model, I felt I did not want him. In addition, mane, tail and gender changes do not necessarily make a new model, not from a tackmaking point of view... and my shelf space is not limitless. Of course I thought the other colors were lovely, and I may change my mind in the future, but for now...
The red halter, worn here by Kaalee/Jezail, is clearly meant for the Marwari. Kudos to Jody Power of Jaapi halters, by the way, for consistently coming up with a halter design for Breyer's theme each year -- she nailed it this time!!!
Speaking of Breyerhistorydiva, she is responsible for me desiring my only Zodiacal series horse, the infamous Lobster Butt.
The Perlino came looking for me, not the other way around. But I had always wanted one. When the seller unwrapped him and I saw the peculiar finish of his coat - neither glossy nor matte, but somewhere in between, a fantastic semi-gloss - I went and counted my money. Yea, it happens like that sometimes! Pricey he was, and remains (except for the saddle) my most expensive piece this year. But I love him dearly and do not regret it. Perhaps I needed the saw-him, fell-in-love, &-bought-in-minutes experience, and to prove I am not always staid or restrained...
Hartlands clearly dominated this year's take. I came home with 6 Hartlands and 5 Breyers (and one of those Breyers was an elephant). Yes, this little guy is a Hartland: He was released in 1989 by Hartland Collectibles, the very first resincast sold by a plastics molding company. According to Gail Fitch, approximately 150 exist. Prior to 1989 (and for much afterwards), resincasts were exclusively the domain of private sculpting and casting artists, who usually painted them as well.
Here's more of my BHR take. Talk about a bargain: they were $1 a head. Just because the paint had bubbled a bit...! I took the opportunity to handpick all three. I've always admired this color.
Speaking of bargains, take a look at these two remarkable finds. These are Regal Series 11" Hartlands, and both of them were released only in 1967.
Yes, alas, something terrible must've happened to that Arab stallion on the right. He is the Superb issue #9916 in Red Bay. 'Superb' meant the model was glossed. All those little spots are paint flecks, which I am hoping I can remove; but the legs are another matter. Still, conferring with model vets gives me hope. I am thankful his sheer beauty was enough to save him. Sometimes people don't know what they have; I paid $5 for him.
Why am I so quick to grab such a doleful case? Take a look at what I already own. The red on the right I've named Prince King Kamehameha, and his necklace is his symbol of authority; he's the ruler of all my Hartlands. I got him in 1979 from a neighbor family, who had obtained him on a US Army base in Germany(!). That means I've had him for 39 years.... and in all that time, I've never seen another like him...
Put together, it becomes apparent the new one is a bit darker than Prince King, especially in the face.
But I have found my next breed to fall in love with, and it's the Akhal Teke. Nearly 2 years ago, at Region X Regionals in 2015, I photographed a Sarah Rose Khan. I was so impressed by his conformation and all the details of the spine. Then when Sarah released the Mini Khan, I had to get one. (Collecting the mini Roses has been a great pleasure!) In other adventures, I hired Jenn Danza to repair some ears in 2016; I thus had drawn to my notice what a good painter she was. She's right in my own state of Pennsylvania! I decided to plump for this horse, and the deal was struck. I was to pick him up at BFest this year; and he was worth the wait. Jenn had fulfilled my wishes to perfection.
Thank you Jenn.
Blankets. There had to be some, eh? I got lucky and was able to talk a seller into splitting the Eve and Claus set. I also got lucky with my Karen Grimm/BHR purchases; this Stone Morgan was hers and I got him for the blanket. There were 2 Stone blankets of Karen's available but I already had the red-edged one; this one is rarer. Thanks again to Heather Wells for all the work she is doing with the Grimm estate...!
And finally, my big ticket purchase for the year was a Western saddle. This deal has been in the works for at least a year as well. Heather has done blogs and videos on the making of this piece.
It did indeed take her 4 years to finish. Her final blog post of this saddle is at http://desertnightcreations.blogspot.com/2016/08/only-took-four-years.html
She had this saddle, plus other pieces, displayed at the Morlan Gallery (Transylvania University, KY) exhibit "Enough to Swear By," in the fall/winter of 2016, which was all about miniatures by famous artists. At that time I made an offer. No one else apparently made an offer. To make a long story short, that's how I got lucky this BreyerFest!
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Also, I used a much simpler cushion. Miniature upholstery, despite being that blog's main offering, is not my forte.
This chair was finished so quickly that no pictures exist of doing the entire lower half, nor of finishing out the top rim. This is where I caught up:
Clipping the stem ends would've been even more fun if my nippers had been SHARP. As it was I used scissors along with them.
Instead of merely gluing my sinew standing ends, I tried to bury them, as is proper in rawhide braiding. This is a shot of where the needle had to go to thread a standing end. It looks simple but the needle tip just about jammed into the seat binding.
Leaving the legs for a moment, the seat binding, two rows of 3-strand braid of double sinew, was something I had to invent on the fly. The original tutorial called for one row of braid. I tried 4-strand and then 5-strand braid, but these were too narrow. In the end I decided to go with the plainest, most obvious solution. Although I'm not pleased with how the butt ends met up (I had to forcefully glue them)(center of back, visible below) the rest of it is fine. There is a heavy, elegant simplicity to that binding; it is not out of scale with the rest of the chair.
Back to the legs: this was my first try of a braided button for a leg. Emphasis on "try" as it turned out a failure! A 3P5B (Spanish Ring Knot) was the wrong size for such a long, narrow diameter. I went for Pineapples (4P5B) and was happier.
And before I knew it, all weaving was done, ends glued and hidden. I made a cushion out of fleece padding and white denim. I knew from saddle blanket-making that white denim is perfectly in scale for canvas, and I wanted a very simple white cushion. In the event it is probably a little too simple. It's also probably a little short. But I like it.
I signed the chair underneath. Now for the last step: dyeing.
I wish I had a suitable model setting...
Come and visit room 610 at the Clarion!!