Saturday, November 30, 2013

Blank

I want to write.
Really, I do.
The problem is this:
I can't seem to think of a single thing to write about.
My mind... 
is as blank... 
as the eyes... 
of an unpainted resin!
So...  I'm open to suggestions. 
If you have any ideas, please post them the comment section.  No promises, but at this point, I need all the help I can get!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful

Despite everything, I am thankful.

I am thankful for all my family...
and my almost-family.  
I am thankful for my two good dogs, who keep me company...
 and entertain me with their antics.
I am thankful for Rev...
and all the good times we had together.
 I am thankful for my barn friends...
and my hobby friends, both near...
and far.
I am thankful for the model horse hobby in general...
and Braymere Custom Saddlery blog readers in particular.
I am thankful for the surgeon who put me back together...
and for every single person who made (and continues to make) my recovery so much better than it might have been.  I really can not overstate how much all the cards, gifts, emails and comments have meant to me.
The last six weeks have not been awesome, but really, I don't have much to complain about.  I am fortunate to have so many good people and animals in my life, and I am very, very thankful.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Custom and resin halter showing

Guest blogger, Lauren Mauldin is back with part three of her model horse showing series.  Today's topic is near and dear to my heart--custom and resin halter showing.  Thanks, Lauren!

Model Horse Showing III--Custom and Resin Halter

by Lauren Mauldin

Last week in model horse mania 2013, we went over original finish halter showing. Today we're still in halter land, but instead of factory finish plastic ponies I'm going to introduce to the beautiful world of customs and resins.

Get ready to be wowed by a lot of amazing photos by Jennifer Buxton who has a beautiful collection of these horses. Today's post will be photo heavy, because I think the beauty of these pieces can be explained best by just looking at them!

Khompounded Interest, Breyer Weather Girl customized and painted by Tiffany Purdy
What is a Custom?

A customized model is a horse that started out life as a plastic factory finish.  An artist then found said plastic pony, and altered it to create an original piece of artwork.  Artists can customize OF models in several different ways:

  • New paint (known as a simple CM)
  • New sculpted mane and tale
  • Additional sculpted on details (veins, boy/girl parts, chestnuts, horse shoes)
  • Heating the plastic to bend legs
  • Totally hacking the model apart and sculpting entirely new limbs (known as a drastic CM)
This is a simple custom:
Appartion, Breyer Totillas painted by Sheryl Liesure
This is a drastic custom. 
Lady Liberty, Breyer Clock Horse body with Salinero head
customized and painted by Tiffany Purdy
Custom horses (CM) are unique in that they are always a one of a kind.  Model horse hobbyists can sometimes commission an artist to create their dream model for them with varying price points.  If you were to go out and buy a custom horse that is live show quality, expect to pay $200 - $2000+ depending on the size of the model, complexity of the customizing, name of the artist who did it and overall "wow" factor of the model.
Princess Trillium, Breyer Stage Mom with Weather Girl head
customized and painted by Tiffany Purdy
What is an Artist Resin?

Artist resins (AR) are original sculptures - meaning they didn't come from any type of manufactured model horse.  An artist will sculpt the horse entirely on their own, and then have it cast in resin in small batches.  Typically an artist resin will have around 200 pieces available (sometimes more or less) and then that's it.  Each time a horse is cast, the quality of the mold deteriorates a little bit - so it's not possible to have an infinite supply.  Prices for an artist resin vary, but usually start at around $200 and go up from there depending on how many there are offered and the size of the model itself.  This does not include paint, and is just for the raw mold itself. 
BFF, Stacy Tumlinson Scarlett resin customized and painted by Tiffany Purdy
From there, hobbyists usually commission an artist to paint the resin for them or paint it themselves.  Resins comes in all shapes, sizes and breeds.  Some are highly stylized, and some are elegant and understated.  Just depends on the sculptor's style!
Tuscalero, Sarah Rose Caldero resin painted by Kate Schick
 How are CMs and ARs judged?

Like OF halter, a big component of CM and AR halter is breed.  However, unlike OF they aren't judged on collectibility.  Since most of these models are 100% unique due to artistic differences, there is no way to judge them on how collectible they are.  Instead, they have a special division known as Workmanship.

Workmanship means what its name implies - how well the model was crafted and executed.  The model is judged on the following:

  • Prep work - Are there any rough seams or areas that need to be sanded?
  • Sculpture - Is the sculpting work smooth and anatomically accurate?
  • Finishwork - Is the paint job free of brush strokes?  Does the color amaze?  What kind of details does this horse have?
  • And let me tell you - great artists will get really cracked out on minor details.  I don't want to tell you how many individual hairs they paint on these horses.  It would blow your mind... just look at some pictures!
Carol Williams Victrix resin painted by Liz Shaw
Sarah Rose Independence resin painted by Carol Williams
Carol Williams Matriarch resin painted by Carol Williams
Sarah Rose Reiner resin painted by Carol Willaims
Stacy Tumlinson Ravenhill Revisited resin painted by Carol Williams
Sarah Rose Reiner resin painted by Carol Williams
To me, custom models and artists resins are more than just elaborate toys to show with... they are truly works of art.  I wish I had the skills and patience to paint them this well myself, but if I ever got back into the hobby I would surely have to get a few nice resins just to enjoy on my shelf!
Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig Orinoco resin painted by Carol Williams 
Kathi Bogucki Dozen Roses resin painted by Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig
Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig Stormwatch resin painted by Adalee Hude
Customized Breyer by Tiffany Purdy
Don't forget about the giveaway of a little pack of Novice Live Show Quality or Photo Show Quality prizes.  Use the widget below to enter for your chance to win these fabulous prizes (and maybe some other surprises)!  
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Next week, we will get back to my favorite division and what I spent all my time showing in - performance!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Therapy

I started physical therapy last week.

Although some of the exercises are uncomfortable, it feels good to be actively working to improve my health.  After just two sessions, I can already feel improvements in both my strength and flexibility.
Despite these gains, I've been feeling a bit out of sorts.  It was obvious that some emotional therapy was in order, so today I went to the barn.

I arrived right after the horses had been fed, so neither Rev...
nor Mystyc was particularly excited to see me.  No matter, I was perfectly content to hang out with them while they ate.  
I also visited with Kristina and Kahlua...
 and checked in with a couple other friends.
By the time I was ready to go, Rev had eaten most of his food and was ready to cuddle.  Of course, I was happy to accommodate him!  
It wasn't an exciting day by any means, but I feel better for having spent an hour or two outside with the ponies.  They may not be the kind of therapy my doctor prescribed, but they're every bit as essential to my overall well being as the stretches and exercises!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Momentum

At the time of my accident, I had a lot of momentum.  

I was in one of those wonderful phases where the tack almost seemed to be making itself.  I'd established a really good, really productive work routine and  was simultaneously working on three separate tack sets--Danielle's long overdue draft harness, Margaret's huntseat set, and a Western bridle and breast collar for my own Lady Liberty.  All three were coming together beautifully, and I felt invincible.  I truly believed I'd have all my old orders cleared by the holidays.  

It's tempting to say that all that came to a crashing halt when Rev and I hit the ground on October 19.  That wouldn't be completely accurate, however.  Even though I was broken and battered, I felt the power of all that good momentum.  I got back into the studio as soon as possible, and I managed to update my blog every single day.  In a strange sort of way, I still felt invincible.
Unfortunately, momentum can only take a person so far. 

This past week has been pretty tough.  I'm still healing well physically, but emotionally, I am worn out.  I'm tired of being injured.  I'm tired of the pain and the restrictions.  I'm tired of not being able to drive or ride or walk my dogs or pick up things that weigh more than five pounds.  I'm tired of not being able to make tack for more than an hour at a stretch.  Mostly, I'm just so very, very tired.

I do not feel invincible and all that good momentum is gone.
And yet, I'm not ready to give into inertia.

Despite a complete and utter lack of motivation today, I did manage to make a halter for my Model Horse Blab Secret Santa.  I also set up the photo tent and took some photos.  Those were edited and uploaded to my blog.  It may not seem like much, but from where I'm sitting, this is a major accomplishment.  Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to build on that success.  Maybe I'll make a bridle instead of a halter, and maybe I'll write a post that's worth reading. 

 Maybe, just maybe, I'll find that momentum again.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hart happy

Nothing brightens a cold, gloomy day like a package from Danielle Hart of Designs by Hart!
Danielle makes some of the nicest Western bridles this hobby has ever seen, and I am absolutely giddy to add this... 
and this to my tack collection. 
The green color was chosen as a symbol of good luck.
And I do feel lucky!  Thank you so much, Danielle.  I just love them!