Monday, December 25, 2006

Setbacks that help one to move ahead..



This is the current pattern for my new antique saddle that has a mochilla.  In tooling this mochilla, I've found,
as usual, my original pattern is entirely too complicated. The lines are too close together for my current skill level. I am now re-doing my mochilla pattern.  IT will have one Flower and some leaves. It will also taper out in the front. I think that I mis-interpreted the mochilla pattern on my previous pattern.

I believe that I learned so much making this particular mochilla that I'm not too upset about having to start over. I did lose a week, but that loss of a week will help me streamline my pattern, and my process for making this saddle. Mistakes are not bad, they are wonderful opportunities for learning and growth!


More pictures to come when I get my new
pattern completed!


 


Merry Christmas to those that celebrate
it!


 

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gosh how time flies!

I can't believe how Fast December has flown by! Things have been so incredibly busy!

I have started my "mochilla" on my new saddle.. you can see a sneak peek here: http://www.desertnightcreations.com/whatsnew/whatsnew.html.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dang.. this is harder than I thought!


I am cruisin down the homestretch of my roping set. I have one set of skid boots to go and then I'll be Fini!! I am very pleased with the way everything has turned out on the set. As usual my latest saddle is always my favorite and this one is no exception.  I'm very pleased with it and I sincerely hope it's new owner likes it as much as I do <G>


 


I'm still having a really hard time getting reference material, like a painting, of a bridle from the 1820-1860's in California.(I've googled, rancho, ranchero, vaquero, caballero, californio, old california, old rancho) So if you're in California and you know where I could lay my hands on such materials, please let me know! (please please please!)  I've done a lot of internet researching and I've found a person who is really knowledgable about that time period but I feel like I need tangible proof or at least something I can point to and say "This is what I used for reference".


 


Finding saddle reference for that time period is much easier but not simple.  I'm really looking forward to digging into that new project!!

I need to do two western show halters first as "Thank yous" to two people that went out of their way to be kind to me. You know who you are..

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Looking for some information..

Firstly! I want to say THANK YOU to those of you that actually read this drivel! It has really made my month that folks actually read my blog! I had no idea! I thought this was merely for me..hehehe

I am looking for information on "Californos" or "Vaquero" tack from the 1820's through 1860's. Specifically the bridles that they used. I believe that they used Spade Bits with the Bosilla with their mother hubbard/mexican style saddles. I'm having a really hard time finding some visual reference that relates to this period in California. I am in Kentucky and we rarely get anything "western" or "southwestern" around here. I've googled my brains out but I still really can't find more than one or two paintings. I just don't want to do the wrong kind of bridle for the saddle that I have in mind.

Thank you ANN BILON For loaning me your cowboy book. I looked at it with much Joy and awe the other night.. I didn't get all of the way through it either!

Happy Thanksgiving week for those of you that celebrate it. We (my family) do celebrate it although it does leave me a bit conflicted. (as do most standard holidays).

I have finished up two ropes for my roping set. One with Wire braided in, and one without. I am working on tooling the third breast collar. (Yes, third. The first two weren't right) I think this one will be the right one though.

"Regular" 40 hour a week Work has been very busy and weighing heavily on my mind. Does anyone really like their job? I can't make miniature saddles for a living unfortunately - I am too slow and exacting - so I guess I'll just trudge on. At least I get to work from home, and I am paid well..

Monday, November 20, 2006

Moving right along..


I finally finished up one of the ropes to go with the roping set. I also had to start over on the breastcollar, again... The first two just aren't quite right but I have high hopes for the next one!


My group hasn't been as chatty as I would have liked but I'm sure that is due to the fact that I haven't really said much here lately I've been just so busy!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

And out of the Doldrums!


This week has actually been a good one!

I heard from the Museum that I'm working with so I'm encouraged that the project will go forward!

I've also made some grand progress on my roping saddle set and it has met with some praise from folks that have seen it. That always helps encourage me..hehehe

I've managed to get the entire saddle, and the headstall, two sets of reins and the tiedown noseband finished. I'm now working on the breastcollar and then onto the ropes and boots. I'm hoping to have it finished completely by December first so that I can move forward onto the Museum project.

I am thinking about doing either a Parade set or a couple of old style California Saddles. I am trying to find a way to get a hold of someone who has access to the Fleischer Saddle
Collection. I'm hoping that they would be willing to get a few pictures of a California Style saddle that is in the collection.

I wouldn't do an exact copy of the saddle but I would do one similar. I would need to know better as to what the stirrups look like as well as the tree and the Mochilla on the back. I really don't want to "wing" it. I also "think" that a nice spanish style braided bridle would look nice with it but I have no idea if it is historically accurate. More research must be done!(I am a research junkie).

Some of my hobby friends have come forward to Encourage me since I posted my whiney post about being unsure as to whether or not I want to continue to be active within my hobby. I want to take a moment and publically thank them.

So thank you to:

Robin Poehlein

Jennifer Danza

Anna Tackett

Karen Jensen

Susan Bensema Young

Ann Bilon

Kate Cabot

Susan Gage


Thank you MUCHO for your interest in my little saddles and bridles. It means a lot to hear from you guys!


I also have opened up my yahoo group to be a discussion list. So far it hasn't been too chatty but hopefully as folks get to know me they'll open up more.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Stallion MCA Magnum Gold


E Major Vivaldi


The Stallion Bey Jullyen


The Stallion Bask Afire Bey


The Stallion LD Pistal


Pianissma


The Stallion Good Thunder


Ericaa


More arabian horse Pictures taken by me



The Stallion GF Omega

BUSY BUSY!


The Stallion Sohlaris.

OMG Life has been Astonishingly busy here! I haven't gotten a WHOLE lot done but I am almost finished with the Roping Saddle. Still need to do the bridle and breastcollar though.

I took over 3k worth of photos at the Arabian Horse Nationals. This is the Last year that it will be held in Louisville, KY so I took this opportunity to take as many pictures as possible. I still didn't see all of the events I wanted to see but I had a magical time! Nothing like being around horses!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Neck Problems


This past Friday I experienced one of the worst neck spasms that I've had in at least 4 months. I was in extreme pain and had nausea... I'm glad it held off until after the Arabian horse show but it really slowed me down.


I'm doing my neck excercises more regularly again and trying not to stay on the computer too much. (Which is difficult for an internet junkie like myself)...


I got some decent pictures at the arabian horse show on Thursday. Freedom Hall in Louisville, KY is my picture taking nemesis. I finally re-read the manual on my camera (duh) and figured out how to make the shutter speed faster. I got some good motion pictures but some are really grainy when blown up despite the fact that I had the camera set on 5meg pictures. I have bought a "solar flare" flash but thats not going to help me when I have to sit up in the nosebleed seats this coming friday and saturday. I also bought a zoom lens which I hope to gawd will be here this week before friday.


Anyway, here is one of my horse show shots.... I always forget how incredibly exquisite an arabian horse is until I see one in person...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Growth ?

Over the las t month or so, I've felt more indecisive about my miniatures. I feel alienated from the model horse hobby and fairly under-appreciated. I guess like any social group, it is sometimes "clique-y" and I suppose I feel like I don't fit into any of their cliques. I've always felt like this about social situations.. Like I'm too much of a 'tard to really understand what everyone else does.

Very recently I've had an experience that makes me more grateful for my close friends and for my husband. I can't get into details but suffice to say that it's made me rethink my involvement in the model horse hobby.

It's also making me think about selling some of my collection and to focus on my miniatures as art instead of pleasing my hobby.

Maybe I'm just out of touch because I haven't taken orders in so long? The pieces I do offer are not very in demand, although I feel like they are some of the best. Again, it could be the "clique thing" or hype or maybe folks think I'm just weird?.. LOL

I wonder if all artists feel this way.

Today I should be able to get back up into the studio and work on my current saddle. My camera is still in the shop so I can't take any new pictures which is driving me crazy!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest!


OMG Things have been so busy.. but not really artistically.. just general life. My camera needs repair. My new "Solar Flare" of a flash revealed that somewhere, in my camera is dust and it makes it look like everything I took pictures of this past weekend was haunted... (you know.. orbs.. ? ok.. sorry.. obscure reference).

ok. Not EVERY picture.. but the some of the ones indoors. The guy I spoke with Presicion Photos on Goss Avenue seemed very knowledgable so at the very least cleaning my camera is a good idea.

I'm almost done assembling the roping saddle but I have more to figure out with the stirrups. Roping folks have these new, nifty slanted stirrups so that when they stand in the saddle to throw their ropes they are more balanced. I worry about doing this on a custom order because of some uneducated model horse judges and versatility of the saddle set for other performance setups. THats not to say that all model horse judges are uneducated.. but sometimes one runs into someone that doesn't know about western events.

I am definitely going nuts without my camera though. I made some progress last night on the saddle set and I want SO BAD to take pictures of it!

The selling of the photo cd's has slowed down considerably. Actually, no body wants any this week. I have to work on getting the site into the search engines but Gallery 2.0 is new to me so this is going to be a chore. I'm trying to sling shot it off of my other sites in hopes that people will find the photo cds and want to buy them.

This weekend is the St James Court Art show! It's the second largest art show in the country. It is at least 6 blocks of art show and features some of the best artists in the country! Folks have to be juried in to be able to sell there. Some day, I'll have enough inventory to sell at that place, I just know it!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

VERY Cool!

It seems as though the Picture CD's are a hit! I'm pretty thrilled! (As is my husband - anytime my creative endeavors actually generate revenue he's happy - poor man, he's very patient)

Work on the roping set has been slow but being so slow and careful has really made a difference in quality I think.

There is a AQHA show this weekend at the Kentucky Horse park. I'm going to try to get all of my "Chores" done and make it out there on Saturday... Maybe..

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Frustration


I don't know if other miniature tackmakers have the same issues as I do when doing the shoulders of their saddles but to me, it's the hardest part. I have yet to find a way of covering the saddle swells and shoulders precisely the way that real saddle makers do. I keep working on my pattern though. This is what I have so far...

Also a friend of mine has set me up with the photo software "Gallery 2.0" where I am now going to upload my pictures and offer CD's of them to the public. I have to figure out how to configure the software to use a shopping cart first though.. I was short-sighted on the domain name but I'm gonna use it anway. http://photos.modelhorseshowphotos.com

Unfortunately work has been unusually draining here as lof late so I haven't been working as dilligently at night as I Normally do. Anyone wanna donate about $30k a year to me so that I can just do art for a living?

Monday, September 11, 2006

And Another of Magnatli


This is another of Magnatli

More Beautiful Tekes.


Below is the Black Stallion "Salam". This is Magnatli, A three Year old colt.

The Akhal Teke - A tribute


This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the 2006 Akhal Teke Symposium at the Kentucky Horse Park. I had been excited about seeing a "Real Live" akhal teke horse all week but nothing could've matched actually seeing one in person! They are nearly cat-like in their movements. They are light and airy on their feet!

I met many wonderful folks who breed and own "tekes" and I learned a lot about their heritage and bloodlines.

I also got a great close up look at their traditional necklaces, breastcollars, and hand held silver whips that are native to turkmenistan. I've taken detailed pictures so that I can eventually recreate them in miniature!

I'll attach a few of my photos of the horses that I saw there...

Friday, September 08, 2006

More Lovely Teke horses!



Akhal-Teke Horse


Since I still can't friggin post pictures with my other posts, I'll post a picture of a Teke here. This is a famous OLD picture of a teke from the 60's. This horse is palomino but because of the metallic sheen, he looks golden!

Health and Horses

Health


I've been fairly ill this week. My shoulder/Neck problems have resurfaced because I was not doing my excercises as diligently as I should. (read that as "only when I hurt"). This means that my neck has again gotten weak and has been causing me problems. I've lost at least three days to this this week due to pain, which of course, puts me even FURTHER behind.

I'm hoping tonight, and this weekend will be better nights.


Teke Horses


Saturday Afternoon I will have the rare opportunity to see real, "honest to gawd"
Akhal Teke Horses
at the Kentucky horse Park. Since these horses reputedly originated in Turkmenistan (or around there) in ancient times, they are very rare in the world today. Only about 1500 are estimated to exist world wide. Only about 300 are in the U.S. and the majority of those are in Texas on one russian guy's farm.


Akhal tekes are as old as arabian horses. The arabian people will tell you that arabian horses are older and the teke people will tell you that Teke's are older. And gawd help you if you start that conversation with a teke person or an arabian person!


Both breeds are desert bred and developed and both breeds have incredible endurance. Tekes are longer, and slimmer than the arabian however. Many people think that they're ugly, but they remind me of an "art deco" style of horse, very elegant.. only living and breathing! The most wonderful thing about akhal tekes are their coats. They have a metallic shimmer to their coats because of how the hair has developed over the centuries. I don't know a lot about it scientifically, but its very cool to look at!


The story of the leading akhal teke breeder in their native Turkmenistan (which used to be a part of the USSR but is now it's own country)

Geldy Karyizov
is a very sad one. The current ruler of Turkmenistan is the usual Dictator story and because Geldy's teke herd threatened the government's control over Teke horses, he's been imprisoned. His family's land has now been seized by the government and they are going to build a chocolate factory. (Turkish Chocolate!?!)


The horses are in dire straits as there is no money coming into Geldy's family to feed them. (You know.. that whole "Women have no rights" in that country thing)There is a lady here in the U.S. who collects money and sends them what she can to help sustain the horses but that is barely enough. I've given her money on occasion. I wish I could do a lot more. If you'd like to help, you can join the Akhal Teke Yahoo group here:
http://goups.yahoo.com/group/Akhal-Teke/

And then read through the archives or post asking how you can help.


I plan on taking as many pictures as possible!

U.S. Arabian horse Nationals tickets


I bought tickets for the U.S. Arabian Horse Nationals today. This is the last year this show will be held here in Louisville, KY. Apparently the Arabian Horse association bought all of the reserve seating tickets for the last Friday and Saturday Night classes which means us poor schlubs that don't own arabian horses are SOL.. Thats ok, as long as I get to go and there are 10 days worth of classes that I won't be missing!


And can I just complain about Ticketmaster? OY that was painful.. two $10 tickets ended up costing me $28! And lets not talk about the 4 $10 tickets... (Ouch!)


But at least I've gotten tickets and I'll be able to go!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Saddles off!

Black Saddlebred


There is something romantic about Black horses. I just love em!

Picture of the New Saddlebred National Champion


For Some reason I can't post pictures with my other posts. So I'm posting a few pictures without actual blog entries.

IF it's not one thing.. it's another


I now have a new ache. My lower back has been hurting a lot over the last three days. I have no clue what I've done to it. I've not been sleeping well.

I've still been plugging away at my latest saddle however.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Of Diets and Chairs..

I have recently gone on a low sugar, low carb diet. I've lost 8 lbs which is a drop in the bucket compared to how much weight I want/need to lose. I wish i could lose 50lbs but more realistically, it will probably be less. I've come to terms recently with my problems with occasional low blood sugar issues. I suppose that I just never understood it in the past, only knowing that I was "starving" or "crashed" when it was happening.


I've felt a lot more "Even keel" now that I'm staying away from a lot of sugar, but along with that "even" feeling, has come a tad of boredom. I'm trying not to eat to entertain myself and if I absolutely can not get eating out of my head I eat rice cakes... For some reason, It's "entertaining". I've also been more careful about definitely eating well three times a day and not eating something that would raise and then crash my bloodsugar so that my eating is more controlled.


My Friend Anna mentioned that the last time I went on a low carb diet, my brain went to "S*it". This could explain why I'm so forgetful now. I don't' know what the answer is or whether everyone else is going through this when they're on a low carb diet. So if you have experienced it please let me know I'm not alone..


Maybe I'm just too inwardly focused and need to go out more...

Last night, some friends and I went to "The worlds Championship Horse show" which is the Saddlebred Championship held here in Louisville, Ky during the Kentucky State Fair. My friend Robin is a big fan of the saddlebred breed and it is wonderful to be with her during the show. She knows so much and explains so much and her excitement and enthusiasm is catching! This year's Five Gaited World Champion is "He's the Man"! He is only 5 years old so this is quite an accomplishment for a young horse!


My immediate family moved to a brand new house in December 05. We sold our old couch with matching chairs and old guest room furniture to the folks that bought the old house. What I didn't realize is that I would be leaving my chair that I sit in to make miniatures behind. Ever since then, I've been trying to find a replacement for that chair. The chair that I used sat really low to the ground and was upholstered and very comfy to me. I started to use a folding chair here in the new house.


I have also been having a problem of feeling comfortable and creative in my new space. I just didn't feel right but I attributed it to my own resistance to change and I told myself that I would get used to it.


Luckily for me, I married the best husband in the world. The guy that bought our old house works for my husband. On friday my husband asked him if he wanted to part with one of the old chairs. The guy stated that he wasn't using both chairs and let my husband come get one of them. When I got home from the horse show last night, the chair was in my studio!


Today, in my new chair, I felt more at home than I have since Last December! I re-arranged the studio some and that feeling of comfort and creativity is back! I can't believe what a difference that damned old chair makes! HAHAHAHA! Just goes to show that "new" isn't always "better".

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Feh

Every night this week I've been working on the "Rigging" for my latest roping saddle project.  I'm having an issue with concentration for some reason. I will trace the design onto the leather,
only to lift the tooling film to reveal a ton of unusable mistakes underneath.  This means that I'm having to do things over again.  It is always worth it in the end to re-do pieces but it sure is frustrating.


Because of all of the tooling and "neck craning" I've been doing, I have been having a few muscle spasms in my neck and shoulder but
so far I've been able to kinda roll through the pain and move forward.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Well damn.


I found out the results today from the Kentucky State Fair and I didn't win any blue ribbons. I don't know if I got second or any honorable mentions but hey, at least I entered something. Maybe I need to do something more spectacular next year or maybe I just put it in the wrong category.



My roping set is coming along ok. I screwed up this morning and put antiquing paste on some pieces when I should've dyed them a second time before putting on the antiquing paste.



I've been increasingly forgetful as of late. Maybe I'm just taking on too
much...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED.....


But then nothing has really gone forward...yet...



So lets see.. where to begin.



The Museum Project is a tentative go. They are definitely interested in me, and having some of my work in their gift shop. I am waiting on some copywrite permission before I can move forward however. This opportunity is something that an artist waits for their entire life. I will do anything to see it come to fruition. Including be patient! :-)



In July, My husband and I headed up to upstate New York to visit with his wonderful family! I had a lovely time. One of the highlights was visiting the Baseball Hall of Famee in Cooperstown, Ny. Cooperstown is the most wonderful little town!

I understand that it is kinda kept that way by one woman so that it never loses it's charm. So if you go, eat before you go. There are no Mc Donalds or Grocery Store chains so take what you want to eat and drink with you.


Also wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to drink in
everything "Baseball" you could ever possibly want to see. It was
wonderful!



With all of the history in the museum, I still have to contend that their art galleries are the best. REAL Norman Rockwell paintings. REAL. Not prints or copies. The real deal. Also I discovered a new artist named Civility who was obviously inspired by Rockwell. (Or at the very least their styles are similar which I loved.) There was also a wonderful exhibit of African American Artists on the subject of African Americans in baseball. I enjoyed that exhibit the most. It was very, very moving.



We also ended up at the Local Utica, NY Brewery, theSaranac brewery. I loved the tour because they have several art pieces at the beginning. They have TWO count em TWO Tiffany lamps. One Desk Lamp and the other is an UBER Rare Hanging lamp complete with original beads! It was inspiring to see such gorgeous pieces in person! They also have one of PT Barnum's Travelling desks that was entirely hand carved. They also have a German Grandfather clock that unfortunately I don't know much about...



Then the next week I went to "Model Horse Mecca" also known as the
North American Model Horse Nationals
and At the end of that same week
Breyerfest.


In the Miniature Model Horse world, the Nationals are the "world series" for all of the winners of the local shows within the last two years. The fact that I had people who use my tack in the National show is
wonderful enough. However I was the maker of the tack on the Saddleseat champion
this year. It was doublely wonderful because one of my closest friends,
Robin P. is the one that won!



My tack also garnered several top tens for some close friends! Although I am not sure that people in the art world would consider this prestigious or a "real" award, It is "real" and prestigious to me.



I donated a piece to the local art fundraiser "Art for the animals". The art sold at this event will go to the Shamrock Society which is a Local no kill animal shelter. Although my halter didn't sell for as much as I had hoped (I don't think a lot of people "Got" it) the money still went to a good cause. The event was wonderful with fantastic food and drink from local restaurants! I am definitely going to donate again next year.



People were looking for Practical Art there like Vases and Bowls or paintings. Abstract little halters didn't catch the imagination or fit the bill of what folks wanted. Ah well, there is always next year!



Last weekend I dropped off one of my saddles at the Kentucky State Fair Leatherworking Competition. I'm anxiously awaiting the results! Last year a lot of people apparently entered their work in the wrong classes so I'm hoping that I entered mine in the right one. (crossing fingers)



As you can imagine, I'm tired. I've also put on some weight that I am now desperately trying to take off. I've discovered that I am probably hypoglycemic. (not diabetic) I have been attempting to stick to a low sugar, low carb diet. I am really really motivated because I'm tired of being so sick all of the dang time!


Monday, May 22, 2006

And... we're waiting.......


This is my latest double bridle. IT is for a "lord of the ring" resin sculpted by Jennifer Reid. I love this resin. I wish I had many more of them but they are expensive to get a hold of..

As of today, I have not yet heard any further news about the opportunity with a national museum. I'm really hoping it comes through though so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The person that I'm talking with over there is SO VERY nice and really has good energy.. so I'm hoping that it works out.

The last week and a half has been horrible health wise. I've had headaches more days than not, and I think that the anti-biotic I'm taking is messing with my digestive system. My neck has been exceptionally "spazzy" too. I think it's the chair I'm using in my studio. It's too tall so I'm doing a lot of neck craning. I need to find a new chair - as soon as I'm friggin well enough to go looking for one.

I'm onto making a saddle to match the last two double bridles. Each time I make a saddle I end up re-designing my patterns to make them better. This of course eats up time but I think it's worth it in the end.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Things are looking so much brighter


The Opportunity that I illuded to previously is going well. I do not want to Jinx it by revealing it before it actually happens. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm just thrilled to be considered for it!

The saddle that I re-vamped turned out really well. I took a week and fixed just about everything that I didn't like about it. There are one or two things that I wish were better on it but then I think that every artist feels that way about their work.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Creative flow


There was MUCHO Creative flow in the
Studio this past weekend. IT was quite wonderful! I went to the Cherokee Art
Fair (Louisville, KY) this past weekend and as usual I was inspired by all of
the art that I saw there. One of these days I'm going to have enough inventory
to actually be able to have a booth at an art fair.. Although I have to say that
I'm glad I don't - because this means that most of what I have sells.


 


I'm tweaking the oak leaf and acorn set
that I received back from the Museum. It is coming along rather well if I do say
so myself.  I do not know if the hobby folks will like it but I'm very
pleased with it.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Life's ebb and flow..

The Kentucky Museum of art and Craft called me today to inform me that there was a museum curator out west that wanted to talk with me!!! Funny how life changes on a dime isn't it!?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

well..damn..

Today I went to get my Western Saddle Set back. The Folks at the museum were very complimentary of my work-Stating that lots of people oogled my saddle but obviously no one really wanted to buy it. Funny that it was too expensive for people to buy yet too cheap to earn a living wage for me. They asked for more of my work which thrilled me to death. I was afraid that once I got down there that they'd say "Uh, take this POS away.".


As always the walls at the
Kentucky
Museum of Art and Craft

were packed with amazing handicrafts. I wish I
could win the lottery and then go shopping there!!!  I also wish that they had a bigger budget for advertising and for web development. No words can adequately
express the amazing treasures found within it's walls.



My saddle is still in great shape though. Almost as pristine as when I made it.. Only two pieces of silver tarnished on it, both were conchos. (I must've missed those..).



I did notice that the seat sat crooked. The saddle is now sitting in my studio, in pieces.. I'll be working to put it back together satisfactorily after taking it apart to fix what I considered were it's flaws. Some totally new pieces will have to be made. I'm considering scrapping it because I think I can do better now.. but I don't think it's a crappy piece... I've just advanced.



I think the tooling is a lovely pattern. I want to try the pattern again but tool it more this time. I'm considering changing the silver plates on it.



All of the silver conchos will have
to be re soldered onto pins so that I can put them back into the saddle. I am
TERRIBLE at soldering.. I hope I have some fromRio Rondo.com already sitting around <G> ( bless you gary deal)



I'm working on another Double bridle for my close friend Anna. THAT is coming along great... it served to boost my confidence today before I tore into the western saddle..

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Well.... That could've gone better


A few years ago, 2003, I was out of a job and desperate to really make a "go" with my art. I found that Kentucky has a thriving and state government supported crafts program so that craft artists have an outlet for their work. (I think this is a wonderful thing!) Empowered with an idea I drove to downtown Louisville and presented my work to the Kentucky Museum of Art and Crafts. They loved my work and I was on cloud 9!

I daydreamed of the new markets and clients that I might acquire through this arrangement.. even going so far as to think that I might actually get a living wage out of what I create.


Unfortunately it was all a daydream and none of what I had hoped for materialized. Luckily though I retained my Hobby Clients and they bought most of what I had placed down at the Museum.


Yesterday, after 2 years of not selling it, I contacted the Museum and asked them if they still wanted the silver oak leaf western saddle set. They do not. It's coming home this week as soon as I can go down and get it.


 I notified my yahoo list and asked if anyone was interested in it. Not a drop of interest was to be found.... Not even an email that said "I'd like it but..". I even offered to drop the price.... No emails..


I'll admit that I made this more as a display piece than as a practical hobby piece but I was hoping that folks would look closely and admire it's strengths and allow me to fix it's weaknesses.

The silver leaves on the saddle are hand made and hand cut from silver. Each one took me almost an hour to make. I learned so much while making them. And each one, seemed at the time, to be an individual masterpiece.


 I'm not professionally taught. I'm self taught. I find this to be an advantage in many respects such as, I'm not "boxed" into what can and can not be done. I'm free to allow my imagination to flow. If I have an idea, I can bring it to fruition despite any conventional wisdom (or warnings for that matter). The downside to this is that I have to "wing it" with my tools. I buy tools sometimes only to find out that they don't work or that they're utterly wrong. I sometimes get a good tool but it takes me forever to learn how to use it well.. or right.. hehehe..


Anyway, *I* really felt as though this set was the pinnacle of originality... And maybe it was too original? The shoulders lean too far backwards and the cantle is too "Shelf-y". I can fix that easily.


 I suppose it's like any vision that any artist has. We artists see it so very clearly, but the rest of the world does not. This is very frustrating but really, can I expect people to see what is not there yet?

It's all rather disappointing...


I guess this set is staying with me..For once I'll have my own work to keep :-)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Yes, they are miniatures.

This is my latest Miniature Bridle. It is for my Friend Robin Poehlein. It's taken me way too long to make it. Three weeks. Last week I was very sick so most of last week was a bust. I recently taught myself to lace the 1/16th width snaffle rein so I've been putting it on just about any double bridle that I make. Robin is giong to be showing it along with the matching saddle at the North American Model horse Nationals at the end of July. I hope that she does well with it :-)

"Is this thing on?"

I can't imagine that someone would be interested in what I
had to say, but I read an article about how to get one's self noticed on the web
and they swore this was the way.


I'm sure that some folks are saying "Why are you blogging
when you should be in your studio creating". Well.. yeah.. I wish! LOL!  I
do have a day job. I am an email administrator/support engineer for a small Web
and email hosting company.  Luckily, I do get to work from home.


Unfortunately my work doesn't sell well enough for me to
actually make a living with it. That and I'm "molasses slow" at creating things. 
This is in part to being too picky and because I have a lot of health issues. 
Nothing singularly debilitating, but I do have a lot of aches and pains in my
hands and shoulders and I do get a lot of headaches.  Lately I've also been
having a lot of stomach trouble.  Ah the joys of getting older...


What I make is art that seems to straddle two markets. 
Model Horses or Equine Miniatures and Home Decor Pieces.  When making tack
for model horses, I have to consider practical application.  When Making
tack for display, Anything goes really.


For those that care - I've been published in Three
magazines relating to Equine Miniatures and I run three websites.  Two of
my own and one for a friend.




http://www.desertnightcreations.com/halters.html 
This is my art site




http://www.theequineminiaturist.net
- this is my collection and reference
site. I don't work on it often enough for it to be a "real contender" but it's
nice to have a site to 'Play with".




http://www.mysticriverstudio.com
is the site that I maintain for my friend
Nancy Wagner. Nancy paints equine miniatures as well as making  modern type
jewelry.