Tag Archives: HSO

Parthenon Ponies

Greetings from London! I’m sitting in my Airbnb-rented flat with a mug of PG Tips, ready to write a quick blog post and trying not to eat a whole package of chocolate Digestives in one sitting. It’s day sixteen of a twenty day trip. I’m at the point where although I’m still really enjoying myself, I’m starting to miss home a bit more, and thinking about my animals a lot.

The remains of many an afternoon

The remains of many an afternoon

One of the highlights of the trip was getting to not only visit the British Museum, but go for two long, glorious days. The museum is free, although we also bought tickets to the special exhibit on Pompeii and Herculaneum, which was excellent. I saw lots of things I’ve read and dreamed about, included the Elgin Marbles.

The Elgin Marbles are the sculptures from the frieze, pediments, and metopes of the Parthenon in Athens. They were brought to Britain by Lord Elgin in the early 1800’s where they have been displayed since. For a Classics nerd like myself, this is one of the Must See artifacts from the ancient world.

Horses are commonly depicted in ancient art, of course, but I was really struct by the dynamism and detail of the horses in the Parthenon Frieze. The Frieze has been photographed, drawn, and imitated countless times, but here are some of my favorite pictures showing the expression and detail I found so compelling.

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detail of the above

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I loved this horse’s stance

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detail of the above- check out those wrinkles!

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This one was cool- what a unique and ambitious stance

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We couldn’t help but laugh at this guy, who appears to be checking his iPhone instead of paying attention to his mount.

I probably could have gazed at these guys forever, but there was much more to see, both in the museum and beyond. I’ve got fodder for a couple more horse-themed posts from the trip which I’ll work on putting together. I have a lot of pictures to sift through, and a lot else to do when I get home :)

Horse Shaped Objects

I’ve been very busy with my new job (wheee!) and don’t have much to share on the blog, let alone time to post it! I’m working on a few projects (mostly repairs, unfortunately) for the NW Congress at the end of October, which will be my last show of the year (and the biggest!). One of the  things I need to do before then is make a new and better set of stablemate scale ground poles, so I’ve been sneaking in a bit of time here and there on those. I’m taking pictures for a simple little tutorial too. In the meantime, check out these rather amazing Horse Shaped Objects I encountered today at Goodwill:

I’ve seen horse planters somewhat like this before, but the cowboy clown really takes it to a new level.

“I’m meeeelting!”

This guy appears to be a Classic Arabian Stallion knockoff. Although I’m not sure what the sculptor was using as reference when they did the jaw…

I think this guy was my favorite. There is just so much going on in this piece, punctuated by that taped on tail. And is that a little Hermes-style wing sprouting from his shoulder?

Alas, none of these treasures came home with me. I picked up a couple organizing containers, dropped off two bags of donations, and whisked off to my next errand. Perhaps someone else will give these ponies the loving homes they deserve :)

The beginnings of Sleipnir

When my dear friend Sarah asked me to make her a model of the eight-legged stallion of Norse mythology, Sleipnir, I couldn’t help but say yes. Even though it’s a completely insane project and I have quite a few others I’m in the middle of- or would like to start. But I couldn’t resist.

Traditional references aren’t as applicable for an eight legged horse, but we found lots of very cool Sleipnir art on Deviantart to inspire us and aid in the brainstorming (including this amazing skeleton). From there I made a series of sketches until we were both happy with the plan:

It took me a couple of weeks to get both of the bodies I needed (Schleich’s Andalusian Stallion and Haflinger Mare) and I was very eager to begin. Alas, cutting a Schleich in half is a huge pain and I burnt out my dremel before I finished both.

Now, with new dremel in hand, I’ve been using every spare moment to work on this wacky, fun project. Check it out!

The unsuspecting victims

Plotting the carnage

Ouch!

Starting to come together… sort of…

Pinning the pieces – you definitely want at least two big wire pins to hold together something this large

Assembly progress: 6/8

All legs attached and lookin’ fine!

Next up: tons and tons of sculpting. But it’s super satisfying just to have him at this stage. Now I think I can calm down and spend time with all the projects. Sometimes you just need to scratch a certain itch.

Enthusiastic Dismemberment!

Since coming back from the show I’ve been full of inspiration and enthusiasm for more customizing. This poor pony has been in this uncomfortable state since early 2000.

Unfortunately for him, sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better.

But roughly 24 hours later…

He’s only barely horse shaped, but at least he has all his limbs reattached!

Fuzzy Pony Goodness!

When I was in Washington this spring visiting my alma mater, I couldn’t help but stop in at my old Goodwill. It’s a great one because the prices are extremely low, so it’s always a treat to stop in and look for treasure. To the entertainment of my friends (who were waiting for our table at the brunch place next door) I returned with this amazing acquisition:

Seriously, for $.50, how could I pass that up?

Kitteh Approved

Cuddle time

I had big plans. And so, over the next few weeks, she transformed…

I called this the "hippo stage"

Getting hairier...

Almost halfway

And then I got really tired of dealing with yarn, and the poor thing sat for a while. But a few weeks ago, with my deadline approaching, I got back to work. And now, the very fat-n-fuzzy pony is done!

The pink bow is the original one, saved and attached to her new tail

I’m pretty pleased with my creation. The hairing got pretty tedious, but the mane and tail were fun to do and the final product is totally worth it. She is a birthday present for my dear pony-loving friend Robyn.

Ponies in Other Media

I’ve been busy this weekend at a Creativity Workshop held by a local potter. My mom (who is also a ceramicist) invited me to go with her. It was fun to have time set aside to do art in a variety of media. And since this workshop was all about delving into your own creativity, of course I ended up with some equine forms emerging.

Two of my clay pieces were ponies. I am particularly pleased with the sitting draft foal. Working in clay is so different from sculpting in epoxy- in some ways I love it, and in others it drives me absolutely nuts.

This skinny, angular guy is one of my consistent doodles. Here he is in oil pastel. Some time I’d like to try to make one of these in 3-D on a thin wire armature. I definitely don’t have the skill to do it in clay- those little legs would never hold up!

Honoring the Past with Plastic Ponies

It’s been a slow couple of days in my studio- I’ve been busy with family and such, and besides a few coats of primer not much is happening. But while on an urban hike this Sunday with my parents I rediscovered a Portland quirk that might interest other model horse fans. It’s called the Horse Project.

See, in Portland (and other cities, I’m sure) the oldest streets still have metal rings set into the sidewalks, where people would tie their horses as late as the 1920’s. The rings didn’t see much use after cars became ubiquitous, until in 2005 a Portland artist decided they were still relevant.

Scott Wayne Indiana started tying plastic horses to the rings, and encouraging other people to do the same thing. They’ cropped up all over the old parts of Portland, and today they are still out there for you to find. We were walking in a neighborhood of beautiful old homes and I explained to my parents the purpose of the rings and mentioned the Horse Project. At that moment I looked across the street, and low and behold, there was a nice plastic pony faithfully waiting at the ring.

The Horse Project’s website has quite a few dead links, but they do have some more pictures. There’s even a Breyer Misty featured!