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


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
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 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. 
This is my art site
- 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".
is the site that I maintain for my friend
Nancy Wagner. Nancy paints equine miniatures as well as making  modern type