Tuesday, February 17, 2009

End of an Era

When I started Pour Horse, I had no idea where it would lead. That was, what, fourteen years ago? Fourteen years. So many ups and downs, so many triumphs and tragedies. Learning processes, changing technologies, and just plain nose-to-the-grindstone working. Day in and day out, clay on my clothes, plaster all over the counter. Greenware piled on shelves, cushioned with random torn off pieces of foam rubber. The smell of the kiln, hot metal and brick, click and buzz as it heats, snapping as it cools. From making my own clay slip, to making the molds, to casting, cleaning, painting, glazing and shipping... all of it, here, has been woven into my life tapestry and become part of my identity.

So, having announced the end of Original Finish production runs when Otto is finished, it is with mixed feelings that I look toward the future. For the first time in fourteen years, I'm finishing a run and not already working on another one. No mailing to go out, no updating of the name list, no molds to frantically make, no production photo to take out on the cliff. I've done over *three thousand* horses in those fourteen years, most of them Original Finish limited production pieces. Otto was by far the hardest, being the most detailed and complicated of the sculptures. Otto is cast in four molds and his head and forelegs are attached during the cleaning process. His paint job is also quite complex, and the color has varied greatly over the time span of his production. It took three years to finish Otto. But I did it, by golly. I did it. To have a visual representation of what kind of work that entails, Lesli Kathman kindly helped my by doing this graphic:
(click on it for a bigger photo)

Now remember that for every fifteen or so of these, I had to make a new set of molds, which took one or two days to do. And this doesn't represent the broken ones, the bisques, the goofs, or the customs. This is only the OF pieces. It's rather startling, isn't it? But somehow, I still feel a little sad at the thought that I won't be doing another run. Like my family says, "it's like hitting yourself on the head with a hammer, because it feels so good when you stop". I need to put the hammer down now.

There are so many fantastic horses still to make, sculptures to bring to life, and fun projects to do. My studio is full of customs and new ideas. The airbrush is beckoning, to try out new ways of painting, new ways of dappling, roaning, or glazing. With the moldmaking techniques that we can now bring to bear on new sculptures, we can make almost any horse. We are limited only by our dreams. My dream was Pour Horse, and I am grateful for everyone who has been a customer and a friend. We've seen a lot of changes together, haven't we? And now we go into a new phase, where more possibilities open up for going down artistic pathways and exploring new trends and ideas.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a Brownie

The Brownie mold is successful, and here are the clinkies to prove it... some of the first Brownies are out of the kiln and looking good! Nappe sold immediately, and is going to live in the Pacific Northwest for a while. Kaibito is at auction right now, the auction ends Monday, Feb. 8th, so go and visit him at MyAuctionBarn.

It's incredible how much detail this little guy has, with his really deep hair whorls and fuzzy fuzzy-wozzieness. His little eyes are peeking out from under his donkey bangs, and his little hooves are twinkling in a caper. He's a joy to paint!

I've been naming them after geological formations and Grand Canyon locations, the geological formations came from a search for "brownies, imps, pixies" which lead to a website with the names of all of the Little Folk in every language. One name caught my eye, it was Norwegian for a water feature, and another was some sort of geological formation. They seemed to be apt, and the geological names lead me to the Grand Canyon, which is of course one of the most interesting of geological artifacts. Since a donkey was found on Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon, abandoned by the miner who must have perished in the Canyon... the donkey was later named "Brighty", as you probably know... the Grand Canyon names seemed to suit. So, here are the first of the Brownies and their names. There will eventually be a page on the Pour Horse site with all of the glazed Brownies. (clicking on these photos will give you bigger ones)





There will be many more Brownies later, but now that these are done, I have to get back to the LAST EIGHT OTTOS!!!! WHOO HOO!!! And a backlog of customs that need to be finished. Have to get caught up a bit before I can feel good about playing with Brownies again, so look for them in the future!