My new website can be found at http://www.quernuscrafts.co.uk/

Horses and Wee Horses (b.20 November 2009)

(Drum roll please...) Ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud to introduce the latest addition to the Wee Beastie range - Horse and Wee Horse!

As a result of a commission from Nicky at the Yorkshire Craft Fair in York on 7/8 November (thanks Nicky!), I returned once more to the equine realms. Those avid readers of this blog will be aware that I have previously experimented with Wee Horse back in July (click here for the post), but I didn't take the design any further.

Until now, that is!

I have been quite at home with Wee Sheep and Wee Highland Cows, using simple facial features and extruded clay for hair to good effect. So I decided to apply the same principle to Horse and Wee Horse. I applied a thin oval of pale clay to the lower portion of the face for the nose, and then pressed in two exaggerated nostrils. Then, after faffing about with cutters for the ear shapes, I found a much niftier and simpler way by taking a small blob of clay and pressing the tip of the clay shaper into it (I use a similar technique to shape cats' ears). After applying the ears to the head with liquid polymer clay, the head is then attached to the body, again with liquid clay (what did I ever do before liquid polymer clay?!)

Another refinement is the inclusion of a small disc of black clay to the bottom of the horse to give an impression of hooves (or pale clay in the case of the palomino horses).

Next came the fun part! I extruded some clay and applied it to the head and neck to create a mane. I built up quite a number of layers, much more than the other Wee Beasties, which gives a more natural feel to it. Varying the length of each strand also helped.

The tail was equally fun to do - to keep the shape of the tail, I placed three strands next to each other, and then laid more strands on top of them, spreading some of them out to the side. Because no strands stand proud of the body, it creates a robust tail, although it looks fairly fragile.

To complete Nicky's commission, I made up a paddock for the family of four horses. I first made one of these last month for display at my first craft fair - it was a real Blue Peter effort, and I had lots of fun creating fencing out of small lollypop sticks and lots of sticky backed plastic! I think the Horse Family looks rather at home in their paddock which measures 13cm (w) x 11cm (d) x 7cm (h). 

I'll be listing Horses and Wee Horses on Folksy soon, and they made their debut at the Made-It Craft Fair in Wetherby on 21 November 2009.

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