I haven't made a lot of progress on the cinch. I finished up the weaving that I was working on and I've put it aside to concentrate solely on the cinch now. I had a period last week wehre I was feeling super creative and I started several different things, but this week I've been tired so I haven't progressed much. I have an idea on how to try to make the cinch a second time thanks to my Friend/Mentor Susan Bensema young but I haven't gotten very far with that Idea.
Last week I also bought a blue sheet of poster board and I've been playing with lighting techniques in order to get a some good, more professional pictures of my tack. As you can see, the photos above are a bit dark. The Funny thing is that my old point and shoot camera takes better pictures of the tiny stuff than my DSLR because it has a built in macro lens. Unfortunately, though, the old point and shoot camera is only 5 megapixels and the DSLR is 10.
I'm also realizing that if I want to sell to "upscale" clients I need a website overhaul. I don't think I have the "foo" to overhaul the website and make it look the way I want it to so I may have to eventually have someone else do it. So many ideas in my head and so little time!!
I also started thinking about eventually doing a 1/6th scale braided bridle. There is a group of hobbiests that collect the 1/6th scale Johnny West Riders and horses. They are very very nice folks and are not as competitive as the 1/8th scale folks are. It's a relief to talk to them sometimes. They're a very close knit group and are very creative. I think it would be fun to work on something a tad larger than what I'm used to working on. The larger the piece the more detail I can put on it. The problem is finding the right scale hardware. Rio rondo has some pieces that help out a lot (in fact I'll be using one of their bits for the braided 1/6th scale bridle) but they are still working on things like halter rings.
There is a man within their hobby, Luis, who sculpts and who is kind of an "agent" For a miniature tackmaker in Mexico. (Luis is in mexico too) This tackmaker is astounding! He makes the miniature mexican style saddles with all of the extras like embroidered saddles and silver pieces. I believe he's also responsible for the trees and other accessories that Luis sells. He's really inspiring to me! I'd also like to buy one of Luis' 1/6th scale resins some day so that I can make tack on it.
If you can't tell, I like to read about and make myself aware of as many different hobbies as possible. The more I learn, the better my miniature work becomes. At one time in my life, I was very fond of saying "I'll never do this or that". Putting limits on what I would learn such as working with silver. It wasn't until I was given the amazing opportunity to have my work sold from the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft that it dawned on me that I should work with as many "Real" materials as possible. They suggested that I learn to work in silver because to them, the silver tape just wasn't good enough. I'm glad they planted that seed in the ole noggin because I think my work has definitely benefitted from it.
I have been thinking lately that I should also work on sculpting my own saddle trees. I've been thinking about this because I want to make my work 100% original. There are may tackmakers out there with excellent saddle trees, so it's definitely not because those trees aren't good enough. I have a thought about a wire armature that I could make in order to sculpt a saddle tree over top of it. If I make one good enough, then I could eventually have them cast. Thats way off into the future though.
I tried to enter the "Art of Horse" magazine art competition with one of my bridles as a soft sculpture but they informed me that my bridle was ineligble. I entered some of my photographs instead. This of course inspired me to make another bridle strictly for entering art competitions with. I really think that people need to see the miniatures that the 1/8th scale hobby produces because they really are works of art. I feel like the bits and buckles and the little things that Rio Rondo has for us to use are really no different than "found object" sculptures. Wonder if the art world will agree with me?
Lastly, I'm working on my model horse tackmaking article. It's not a "how to" article, it's a general advice article. I believe in everyone finding their own path and to tell someone how to make something is circumventing that process to me. Also, I'm far from organized enough to do a "how to" article. You should see my studio, it's a total mess now. Not my normal "messy" which means organize chaos, but a real, downright, "Holy crap where is everything" mess... Anyone know someone that organizes for a living?