Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Back to tack

As always, one of my New Year's resolutions is to finish all the outstanding orders on my work list.  Chief among these is Kellye's Criollo set.  I made the bridle months ago, but progress on the saddle has been sporadic and slow.  Today, I gathered up all the parts and pieces,
checked my references,
and got back to work! 
Most of the day was spent on planning.  I played with paper patterns and experimented with tooling. 
Finally, I made the leap into actual construction.  I cut and tooled the main saddle piece, and then discovered why most Western tackmakers tool first and dye second...
Oh well.  Tack making is rarely a success only process.  I started again, this time tooling first...
and dyeing second.  Attempt number two is currently drying on my work desk.  Hopefully, this one will turn out better, but either way, there will be more progress pictures tomorrow!


  1. Oh that tooling looks amazing! O_O
    I made a criollo set for one of my Julips once but I'd love to do something a little more detailed now that I'm a bit more proficient at stuff so I'll be watching this one's progress closely! lol

  2. Love that stamp (?), Jennifer!

  3. Wait, maybe I'm blind, but what's wrong with the first attempt?

  4. The tooling is so pretty! This is why I was never a stellar tack maker like you are - I don't have the patience to re-do things... or even plan well for that matter :)

  5. Isn't that a cool stamp set? I bought it several years ago, but have never had the occasion to use it. I'm always pleased when an old tool finally justifies its purchase price!

    I really hate redoing things, too. However, sometimes it's necessary. In this case, I had some real color issues. It's hard to tell from the photo, but part of the tooled area dried really, really dark. Like almost black dark. Since I'm trying to match a light colored bridle, that just wouldn't do.

    However, it's not a total loss. I redyed the piece to a nice, even dark brown color, and I'll use it to make another criollo saddle eventually.


  6. It's looking so good already! I'm excited!

  7. You should see it now, Kellye! Progress pictures later this evening--I promise!

  8. I have that same Celtic tooling set which I plan to use when I get around to making a Peruvian set. I'm going to make a Criollo set for my Breyer Desatado model after I finish the western set I'm working on. Have all the supplies, and the design is in my head. Just have to figure out how to make button knots for the bridle attachments since specialty knots are not my forte.

    -Laurie W

  9. We go about things so totally differently. You are making a fancy tooled one and I'm making a working set. No tooling...but the stirrups will be a little fancy... The tree drove me nuts making....
    What you are doing is going to be wonderful!