Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dreams really do come true

Glossy buckskin Cardiff

I've always been drawn to pretty things, much more than the average person I think.  As a child I loved going into antique shops to admire the fine pottery and china, something most kids really wouldn't do.  Even back then it was always a desire of mine to be a producer of beautiful things, to be able to 'call the shots' and make what I wanted, when I wanted, etc.   Surely if I considered it beautiful, someone, somewhere would also cherish it.

Some years back I commissioned Laura Hornick Behning ( http://www.brookridgemorgans.com/ ) to sculpt some mini pieces for me to produce in resin.  Something that was more affordable, yet still filled with good style.  To date I've commissioned six different mini sculptures with one on it's way.  We've concentrated on Morgans (Laura's passion) and Welsh (my passion, as well as Morgans), trying to give a variety of gender and positions.  They're a lot of fun and altho I do not really actively market them, they are usually here in stock for that occasional email from someone looking for one.  Each sculpture has it's very own personality, Laura is very gifted in finding that in her sculpts. 

Laura, like myself, is a long time "china head" and we both like things that go clink.  She had told me once that it was a life times goal to see some of her work in the fired form, something a little more permanent than resin.  Of course I let her know that someday I would get around to finding someone to produce some of our wee ones in ceramic.  It is much more difficult to get your little horses produced in ceramic than resin, there aren't too many artists out there dabbling in ceramic in comparison to resin.  So the kids were put on hold until I stumbled onto someone willing to produce them for me. 

After the fate which secured Deputed Duke with my friend Donna Chaney (http://www.animalartistry.co.uk/) I had a good working relationship with her and the artisans she has working for her.  In a conversation I asked if there was a chance that her mold maker could make some molds of some small resin horses I had produced here (the ones by LHB) and she said it was possible.   So off I shipped the two Welsh stallions to Donna, with me scheduled to follow in a month to work on some other china projects, mainly the big Duke guy.

To keep this posting somewhat short, I arrived in the UK and spent over 2 months with Donna at her Animal Artistry/Alchemy studio and homestead.  While there Mark made my molds of Cardiff (Section D Cob stallion) and Colywn (Mountain Pony - Section A stallion).  It is a long process to make the molds, as timing and fate would have it, the molds were finished at about the same time I had to come back home.   So we were getting closer to some clinky product, but not quite there.  The first two prototypes were pieced together, I got a glimpse of them in the kiln just before I left for the airport.  Again, their progress was delayed.

Since I ran short on time, Donna agreed to produce me some bisque earthenware inventory to get glazed up for BreyerFest.  Soon I was getting flooded with boxes from the UK, inside with little bique beauties waiting to be decorated.  My kiln did not materialize like anticipated so I missed their debut at BreyerFest and again, they sat in the boxes naked and lonely.  It is now September and still no kiln, it is killing me ... I wan to so see some of these bisques with coloring. 

As you probably know -- the ceramic industry is limited with skilled techicians.  Those who do it are usually so busy with their own ware it is impossible to get them to take on outside projects, just not enough time in the day for most people.   Luckily for me, Joanie Berkwitz (http://yashasbonsaiblog.blogspot.com/) replied to my pleading of help and agreed to glaze me a little herd of both Cardiff and Colywn.  We had both worked together years before, mainly with the Seneca project so I knew she was just the right person to breath life into the bisque bodies.   Well, she wasted no time making them priority and has been glazing up a storm.  So today I will debut a couple of the ones she has glazed for me.  I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I have.

Very matte lilac roan Colwyn

view of the base's backstamp

Very matte Palomino Cardiff

Right now there is no information to share about these small guys.  There will eventually be an edition of each one but for right now we are just too early into the game to say anything.  I was just so proud of the boys I needed to share them with you.  I guess you could call these "test pieces" as we are experimenting with what looks good, in what finish, etc.   Who knows, perhaps I can convince Joanie to do us a very limited 'guest artist' edition?  Time will tell and if anything materializes, you'll see it here first.

It is also a great time to give my eternal thanks to Joanie for stepping up and sharing her incredible talent and wisdom with me.  Also, my sweet friend Donn Chaney who has added so much quality to my life in many ways!  Of course, I cannot forget to thank the sculptor who actually created their very being ... Laura Hornick Behning!  Laura, you and I have finally had some dreams come true!  Many more dreams await us! 

gloss bay sabino Colwyn

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