Monday, April 24, 2023

WIP: Zoltan's Jaquima


I appear to specialize in unfinished projects these days.  But there is method in my madness.  This is my IMTM piece, happily progressing under the radar.  I am allowing myself to work on it only after a certain number of hours per week have been spent on my new book.  Amazingly, each week of April (International Model Tackmaker's Month) has seen those hours completed, and a sliver of time allowed for this halter.  The last Saturday of this month is my birthday and I'll probably allow myself to work on this piece regardless then.  :)

This beautiful Peruvian jaquima (Hah-kee-mah) (halter) started because this horse failed to sell at BreyerFest last year, failed to move on MH$P even after 2 months and went nowhere after having been listed on FB in at least 2 places.  I haven't tried eBay. YET.  Either there's a recession on (quite possible); he's unsellable (a solidcast with hip scuffs!) -- or else he just hasn't found the right person.  I prefer to believe the latter.

April's IMTM is usually an opportunity to make a piece for myself.  In the old days I'd allow myself a piece a year, and when IMTM was born (2018) shortly after NaMoPaiMo (2017), it gave me the wonderful synergy of combining existing private goals with a like-minded hobby public.  Few activities are more fun than coordinated tackmaking, especially now! for someone still feeling mewed up in their own home by forces beyond their control.  I am exceedingly grateful to the hostesses of IMTM (and of NMPM!) and nothing can detract from their honorable service to our hobby.

In a brain-wave flash, I decided to make a Peruvian jaquima, the halter to the full Peruvian Paso set of horse gear, for my wayward stallion for IMTM.  Surely a beautiful braided TSII piece would attract a new owner.  I had last made such tack in the mid-2000s, ultimately creating about 6 of these elaborate sets.  (Some will be shown further down this post.)  The above noseband was created in a single day, April 8th, after I'd marathoned on hours for my new book April 2 through 7th.

 The noseband of the Peruvian jaquima is called the hociquera (ho-see-Care-uh).  Of necessity, knowing I had very limited time [by my standards], I designed the tack to be simple and uncomplicated [by my standards].  I used a Hill Tribes Silver bead I had lots of, chose only 2 kinds of braided buttons and eliminated groups of decoration on the cheeks, throat and lead.  I covered the nose not with a braided button, but with edge-lacing in thread,... an effect nearly as beautiful and certainly easier.  The spareness of the halter tries to set off the richness of the horse.

The second week (amazingly achieving my hours again) I attempted the throat and jaw parts (ahogador) but could not complete them.

I was following notes I had drawn back in 2006 for my own use.  I had briefly played with the idea of including these notes in the next book, but decided they would be too much work to bring up to snuff.  Truly, they deserve their own book.  Also truly, when this next book is finished it will contain enough that aspiring tackmakers could certainly do a good Peruvian with it!

 The third week of April I was on a roll.  I reached my hours goal earlier than ever and swung into finishing the pinhooks on the ahogador and starting the crown.  At the end of that Saturday (April 22) I had this:

Now it makes sense;  now the finished jaquima design can be seen.  The group of buttons and beads used on the noseband, cheek and throat will be used on the crown.  Only the wear-leather flaps, seen in Peruvian gear, need to be stuck in.  There's one on the leadrope too.  Tricky and challenging, but not beyond my skill.

Here's the whole horse.  He just happens to be wearing the Malaguena 2 bridle in this shot:

See what I mean?  If you can do this bridle -- and my new book documents making it exhaustively -- you could do a Peruvian jaquima;  and much else besides.


Randy Buckler's Raven, painted by Laurie Jo Jensen, dated 1996.  Hoping for four hundred,  or best offer, once the jaquima is finished, AND once I've tried my hand at pasteling his scuffs! plus postage.  Sale delayed until June, by family travel.  Before you ask:  I have no intention of making a full Peruvian saddle set to go with this jaquima.  Find and support a rising young tackmaker instead;  I'll help you with that hunt.


Now let's look at past Timaru Star II Peruvian Paso sets.  Here's my very first one, made off this same horse:

Note the date:  Year 2000.

Here's the second one, PeruPaso 2 in 2003.  I'm trying to focus on just the jaquimas.  Bet y'forgot there was a phase where one just laid the horse on the scanner bed, didn't-cha?!  Lends another meaning to the phrase "laid a towel over his head"... !

The next digital one in the files is PeruPaso 4, made in 2005. 

For reasons barely clear at this distance, the jaquima was made first, separately.  Or maybe it's not unclear:  Peruvian sets are so hard to make (to finish!) that I would have spread it out over time.  PeruPaso 4 was finished in 2006, a year later.  Here is an unsimplified version of the jaquima, complete with color:

Now you can get an idea of why I'm calling my IMTM piece 'simple.'  PeruPaso 4 went to A. Giddings.

Time to pause.  The month is almost out.  In May I'm off on vacation for 4 weeks, returning June 4th.  By then I'll know more about selling this horse, my IMTM piece with him, auctioning the Malaguena 2 bridle AND progress on my new book, "Advanced Braidwork for the Model Horse."  As ever always,

Thanks for your patience.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Malaguena 2 First Pass


I know I promised to sell this bridle, but in truth I'm not quite ready to do so yet.  So much psychic energy and intensity has gone into it that if it were any other piece of tack I'd certainly keep it.  But it's a copy of something I already have...!  I don't need two!  I just need a bit more time to let some of that massive investment-attention vibration ease down and die off,... the incredible effort that has gone into recording every tiny little detail of this piece. 

When I'm ready, it will most likely go up on Model Horse Place as an auction, and notification will be posted here and on both FB pages of mine.  I have a hard deadline of May 7;  if not in the next 2 weeks, it'll have to wait til early June.  At that point, delivery at BFest is a distinct possibility.  šŸ˜ƒ

When I started, last fall, I had only a few small ideas how I could do this:  depict, describe and decently instruct on every aspect of MalagueƱa's 1995 braided rawhide bridle.   But now I know.  How it expanded!  Ten Plates (full page drawings), twenty pages of text, and about 7 pages of photographs later, the thing stands, nearly finished, as a central chapter in my next book.  My sore arm/elbow temporarily returned  šŸ˜–  but I am so excited and pleased.  The long-held dream is finally coming true.

Meanwhile we have a bridle to show off.  This post will show pictures already taken, although the Peruvian is new (as of yesterday).  I'm hoping to get in another photo session today,... you should see what it looks like on Uffington --!!  But there are also some cool surprises further on down here...

It should come as no surprise that this horse, Buckler's Raven x Laurie Jo Jensen, wanted to get in on the action.  He is the right size, although I think that throatlatch is a little short.  Doll by Ann Field (Field of Dolls).

MalagueƱa's bridle fits best on Dundee.  However, it is adjustable.

Incidentally the Peruvian is for sale, well-discounted at this stage.  Here he is in full side portraiture:

Here's a nice close-up on a Harley D's slightly-smaller-than-Trad Western head:  Exactly the sort of horse this bridle fits best.

The new bridle is brighter and cleaner than the now-28-years-old one.  The bit and buckles are from The World of Model Horse Collecting (look on eBay), thank you Alison.

Whoever wins the auction for this bridle hopefully won't mind that every inch, indeed every pass of braid (in one way or another), has been examined, photo'd, drawn up and documented with the aim of sharing in an instruction book...  an amazing exposĆ©... 

And now for something you never expected -- I didn't either.  As a lark, as a spontaneous gesture, looking (I suppose) for a variation on the ever-lovin' but boring laid-out shots, I tried this;  and was so fascinated I had to include it here.

What makes it so astonishing is the potential.  Suddenly you can see it in colors other than the perennial turquoise-black-and-white.  Even the sinew-yellow gives way to otherness.  This, after the first shock, is what I had in mind:  Variations, other points of view,... other lives, other manifestations. 

Future pieces.

While we're on the subject of the book, here's a genuine sneak peek:  The rough draft drawing for the riendas, the hand parts of the reins.  

Of all the parts, I especially liked how the riendas came out:  The interplay of the leaders (arrows) was so graceful and braidlike in and of itself.   I hadn't planned that.  It just spontaneously happened, like a lot of the best art.  Here at last I can indulge my drafting skill from so long ago; thank you Grandpa B. and the Boulder Valley school system.

If the weather holds, I'll try to shoot MalagueƱa 2 on a whole bunch of horses, and post later.  Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Sound of Silence


This morning I dreamed vividly of Judy Renee Pope.  I can only dimly guess what might have inspired such a visitation.  This event was one more reason for blogging about this horse, which I've been meaning to do for some time.  I've named him Sound of Silence.

I had been going through my herd's file box for some totally other reason and ran across his card.  Some of my horse's cards have little stories on them, but his took the cake.  The back is entirely full.  I sat down and read it.

[front side] "Pearl finish 11" Hartland Regal Arabian stallion.  In poor shape, with curled hind legs.  Purchased at BreyerFest '99  from  a redhead in the 400 hall  for $75.00.  EJH said this was too much -- 'they're not that rare' -- but the owner didn't want to sell -- had the horse a long time & a favorite."  [ed. note: EJH = Eleanor Jones Harvey]

[back side]  "Early in 2000 (or earlier) I took this horse in the shower and soft-fingernail'd off most of his black marks.  When what to my wond'ring eyes should appear:  I had also removed much of the top layer of paint  :(

"on what was already a very battlescarred horse.  In February 2000 he was delivered unto Eliz Bouras (at the WCDT MHS in Chambersburg) for selective repainting.  I wanted to restore the main body, but retain the wear & tear towards the outer edges, 'to honor his history.'

"0101.02 [January 2, 2001] Returned.  She had indeed exactly matched Hartland's pearl.  :)  But dust, dirt & lint had gotten into the fixative.  Judy P. repaired this (god knows how) and he arrived w/ smears of grease & small hairs clinging.  There is now dark lint embedded on his back and sides.  I have been handling & cleaning slightly & hope he will become smoother & glossier with time.  His color is fantastic."

I am sorry to say I have completely forgotten what WCDT stood for.  //  All these years later, I can hardly find any 'dark lint' at all.  He still seems an incredible example of what a master pair of artists, Liz and Judy, could do in response to a most unusual customer request, one that cannot have been easy.  Sound of Silence is a rare piece (sorry, Eleanor, I have not seen another in over 20 years) and I am privileged to have him.

As for dreaming about Judy, I think going over Ardith's VCMEC results last night had something to do with it...  I was reading all those old familiar names, hers amongst them, and thinking about my small collection of remakes/rehairs.  I have a couple of Bouras/Pope collaborations besides the Regal pearl.  Maybe someday I can blog about them.