Monday, September 27, 2010

Experimenting

It's a sad fact of life--nothing lasts forever.  

Although there's nothing wrong with the workmanship on this Shannon Granger parade bridle, time has taken its toll.  The adhesive on the silver tape has started to let go.  More significantly, the tape itself has cracked in several places.  I was able to make it look nice for a photo, but it was obvious to me that the bridle needed some major work to be competitive at a large show like NAN.
Since the tape hadn't held up well the first time, I decided to try something completely different.  I found this roll of thin, embossing metal in my supply stash and decided to give it a shot.  Although it's sturdier than the tape, it's still thin enough to cut easily with either scissors or an X-acto knife
Using the knife and a straight edge, I cut a long strip of metal that was just a bit narrower than my lace.  I then cut it down into shorter lengths, leaving a narrow "prong" on either end.  I "engraved" the plates with an embossing tool and set them aside...
while I prepared a section of 3/16" kangaroo lace.  Once that was done I laid a plate on top of the lace and  marked and cut slots for the prongs.  Next, I carefully bent the prongs and fed them through the slots.  I then folded the prongs over to securely fasten the plate in place.
Here's a look at the back side.  After this picture was taken, I trimmed the prongs, secured them with a drop of super glue and covered the whole thing with a piece of paper thin lace. 
The finished product.  Although I'm generally pleased with the way this turned out, I'm not going to kid you--this was a lot of work.  With the exception of the throatlatch, I made every single piece at least twice.  Sometimes there's a lot of error in the trial and error process.
A different view.  I was pleased to be able to recycle Shannon's face decoration in its entirety. My hope is that the new bridle matches the rest of the parade set well enough that no one would guess that it's not original.
Was the experiment a success?  I think so.  Only time will tell, but the bridle feels very sturdy.  It may not last forever, but a decade or two would be fine by me!

11 comments:

  1. I think it turned out very nice - especially if it was one of your first attempts at a parade bridle. Great job salvaging a set that was showing some wear... I have the exact same problem with my parade set. That darn silver tape is peeling off.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely work!

    I tried sending you an email and awaiting a reply from you impatiently :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks everyone. If this experiment taught me one thing, it's that I do not particularly like working with metal. I'm pleased with the way it turned out, but mostly that's just because it is (finally) done!

    It's worth noting that the tape on the saddle and serape is holding on just fine. I think it's the long narrow sections which are most vulnerable to the effects of use and age.

    S.--I'll go check my inbox. Sorry for the delay. I'm better at blogging than I am at answering email.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jennifer, agreed on the long narrow sections being particularly fragile - I have done them on breastcollars a few times, but I put several coats of mod podge over the whole thing. So far so good, I think the oldest one I have here is approaching 3 years?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice Job! Glad you could salvage it ;). Brilliant idea!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have to tell you, I LOOOOVE the horse in these photos!! He has the most wonderful eye! Is he any kind of model I would recognize, or is he a resin? Just gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You like all the grey horses!

    That's actually an OF Breyer sculpted by Brigit Eberl. The grey color was a SR for Breyerfest in 2010, but she's available as a regular run in bay. Here's a link to her Identify Your Breyer page.

    ReplyDelete