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The making of Gamila – part 1

It’s been a long while since I last posted an update… I’m a bad blogger! Apologies for the radio silence, I have been super focused on getting my bachelor’s degree in biology at the end of the semester. Despite of being busy nine to five (actually 5:30), I have been getting lots of things done! One of those things is the custom Proud Arab Mare that I started last year. I thought it would be fun to share in-progress pictures of her from start to finish, and also share some handy tips.

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If you remember, she started out headless and earless. Her head got attached in a new position by removing the plastic neck, and inserting wires into her head and withers to form the ‘skeleton’ of the neck. After that, the wire was covered with painters’ tape, and the shape of the neck was also cut out of painters’ tape. I then added blobs of Aves Apoxie on top of the tape to shape the neck further (you can still see a bit of white tape sticking out fro her neck). Gamila was then left to dry overnight so the clay could harden.

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Later, I sculpted her neck muscles, as well as her ears. I tried sculpting her ears the same size as her OF ears, but decided to make them a bit more feminine. I actually attached the ears to to head with superglue + baking soda, after the clay had hardened. I then sculpted the bits that attach the ear to the head on a real horse. I also added the mane and forelock.

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I also glued two wires into the hole that her OF tail left. These wires were then covered in superglue + baking soda, and the rest of the hole was filled up with that too. This made a very strong base for the tail that I was going to sculpt.

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I also added some blobs of apoxie sculpt on the wire to get the basic shape of the tail, and to build a base to sculpt the rest of the tail on top of. At this point, I left Gamila’s apoxie to harden overnight.

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The next day, I added even more blobs of apoxie sculpt on top of the base. At this point, I try to add in the basic shape and thickness of the tail (although I leave it a little bit less thick than I want it to be eventually, because I will be adding more clay on top of this layer later). Again, Gamila’s clay was left to dry overnight.

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Then it was time for the really fun part of sculpting, adding the actual hair detail! To sculpt this tail, I used only a thick needle, my hands, and an old paintbrush (to smooth the clay). I generally make lots of small rolls of apoxie sculpt (see photo below), and stick those on top of the tail in the direction that the hair is flowing. Then smooth it all out with some water and my fingers, and I’m ready to get going on the hair detail!

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First, I push my needle into the clay to sculpt the general direction of the hair flow. I really push the needle pretty hard into the clay, to get deep groves. I don’t worry about putting any detail in at all at this stage, since I will smooth nearly all of it out again.

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To smooth it, I wet my old paintbrush with water, and press/drag it along the tail. This leaves me with a nice smooth hair flow on the tail.

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I then start sculpting in more detail, again using only the needle.

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Then I smooth the grooves down again.

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I actually keep repeating the cycle of sculpting and smoothing until I’m satisfied with the amount of detail in the tail. I try to be careful with how much water I use during smoothing though, as Apoxie sculpt can fall apart during sculpting when you use too much!

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Finally, when I’m done (this is usually after 1-2 hours), I leave Gamila to dry. I only sculpt half (or less) of the tail in one go, because I want my Apoxie sculpt to be workable (and because I would surely smoosh some parts by accident if I try to do it all in one go).

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And after all that, it’s on to painting! (But that’s for another post). Here is a sneak peek of Gamila with her foal.

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Christmas halters

Want to spice up your collection this holiday season? Check out these lovely Christmassy halters!

#1: “Christmas Tree”. Beautiful halter in different shades of green and gold. Features handmade cowries and golden sharks teeth charms. 


#2: “Gluhwein”. This halter was inspired by a special European Christmas beverage  called gluhwein, which is warm red wine with spices. It comes in shades of purple-ish red and gold, and features cowrieshells and golden sharks teeth.


#3: “Starry Night”. A lovely dark purple halter with lots of silver accents. It features handmade cowrieshells, and silver coin and star charms. 


All halters fit the PS Arab, Breyer PAM and the Salome resin.

Each halter is priced at only โ‚ฌ15! They come without leadropes, but I can make one for just โ‚ฌ1 added to the price. If you would like a Christmas halter, please contact me through the ‘Contact’ page. But be fast before they are sold out ๐Ÿ™‚

Macrame mania

This weekend was spent trying out some new macrame designs. I made some with spiralling knots, some with different kinds of beads, and even one multicolored one! 


These will all be turned into halters in the next few days. All of them will be for sale except the black one with the clear beads (that’s a commission). 

In other news, a new Arabian model horse will arrive tomorrow…can you guess which one? 

Tribute to Touch

Before I started university, I used to ride a great gentle mare named Touch. She was an Irish Sport Horse (a cross between an Irish Draught and a Thoroughbred or Warmblood breed). 


She had the most gorgeous large head with a convex profile, and she could be as stubborn as a mule when it came to jumping (she *much* preferred dressage). 


But nevertheless she was my absolute favourite mount. And to this day I still feel a little sad that I don’t get to ride her anymore. 


For a long time I have wanted a resin or custom model horse painted like her, but could never seem to find the right model to represent her. Until…a Branston resin popped up!

Photo by sculptor Eva Rossiter


I found an ad on MH$P which listed 2 copies of Branston. I immediately contacted Eva (the sculptor) if they were still available. Unfortunately she said they were both sold, but she graciously offered me another copy. It was a ‘second’ because he had a broken leg and very many pin holes, but I was absolutely delighted I could purchase him! 

Photo by sculptor Eva Rossiter


I will repair my copy and customize it into a ‘her’ ๐Ÿ™‚ And then I’ll paint her as a portrait of Touch. 


Here is the cute little certificate I received from Eva. My Branston is number 16/20. 

I don’t think I’ll have her ready for the show the 19th, but who knows ๐Ÿ™‚

Working on commissions

As of yesterday, this halter commission is complete.ย It’s based on a real halterย in native style.


I have another commission in the works that is also based on a real native presentation set. It’s a very stylish set in dark red with dark blue and yellow accents. So far I have the base for the halter (not pictured), and the collar is nearly complete. Just need to add tassels to the ends of the ropes. The tassels still need a bit of styling too, they are all over the place now!

 

New addition to the herd

In my collection reside 3 Breyer Proud Arabian Mares now, but shockingly, none of those have a matching foal! So a week ago, I decided to buy a Proud Arabian Foal body for customizing. He will be either chestnut or bay – I haven’t decided yet. Here he is with my grey PAM (who will also be customized at some point):


He’s adorable right? I have already resculpted his tail and hooves, and repositioned his legs since the original model’s legs toe out quite a bit. 

He has his own cute foal halter as well, in macrame style.


I still need to work on his mane, ears and…ahem… his ‘boy bits’, so painting is still a long way off. But I can’t wait to see this little guy in a soft baby bay or chestnut coat!

Various projects

Here is a costume update! I have been slowly working my way towards getting the red costume constructed. All it needs now are stirrups, a halter, bridle and collar – the hard part is over!

And I have also nearly finished the black commission halter I have been working on. Just need to order more gold jumprings to complete it.

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And last but not least, I have nearly finished my Saluki dog sculpture! I painted a layer of black acrylic paint over her to see where she needed more work. Eventually she will be a black-and-tan colour.