Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Azucena is nearly done

I just have to prep her and do some final measurements before she is classed as finally complete!

I will be offering her up for pre-orders when she is completely done, along with nicer photos (and will giver he a complete primer spray over so she is one colour and you can see everything better!) but I would like at least 10 pre-orders before she goes to be cast... I don't think I will get her done otherwise.


Saturday, 19 September 2015

MHL Midlands Live

This was a great show! I woke up at 6:40am and drove up to Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire to meet Rach who helped me run it. Loads of people had already arrived and it was buzzing in the hall! As soon as most of the entrants were set up we decided to get the ball rolling with the classes.

We had two rings for the day, where we showed the OF and the CM classes first, before having a lunch break.

After the lunchbreak, where we would hold the raffle and sales tables for entrants to try and sell or buy things, we had the Artist Sculpture section!

Catriona Harris of Chestnut Ridge also came along with her Breyer Stock, so we had a little stall there for the day selling model horse goodness. She also generously gave all purchases 10% off as a show special.

A lady down under, named Lucy, always sponsors our shows. I didn't find this out until the actual day of the show, but she had bought a Breyer British Irish Draught Traditional model for our raffle for the day. It was so thoughtful and a lovely gesture. Thank you once again for all the support, Lucy!

There were lots of gorgeous models on display, including Northlights and Border Fine Arts models. I really like these ones, I do plan on adding some to my collection soon, at some point... Especially the donkeys!

I also saw some of my customs that I have painted over the years out and about, too. That is always nice to see, that they are still being loved and appreciated in their homes!

Before we all knew it, the show was coming to a close and we were deciding on the Supreme Champions. It was an incredibly tough decision to make, from what I remember there was about four of us deciding the rankings! They were all definite show stoppers, that was for sure.

Unfortunately I didn't show any of my models, as mine are at my parent's house and not at my new location. But it was great to get out and see all of these horses and to catch up with a load of friends!


Monday, 14 September 2015

Long Overdue Azucena Update

My new job has been keeping me busy, in fact I haven't done too much work on Azucena over the past few weeks! This morning was the first time I have taken a photo of recent progress though, to show you what she looks like at the moment.

At the moment I am struggling to find the time after work to work on her some more, I come home really tired and I am also doing other things. I want to work on her when I want to, and not as a chore! But I do want her done as I can't wait to see her painted up, as well as I have a fundraising incentive to get her done.

She still needs some gaps filling, places sanding and I want to add more to her tail... But we are getting there, certainly!


Sunday, 6 September 2015

Some Jewellery Making

Although I am not revealing the plans until everything is fully set in motion, a friend and I are planning on raising money through sponsorship for a charity, and to also go on a challenging yet memorable trip of a lifetime. While discussing fundraising ideas, I thought about the mini jewellery hobby I also have. I have shown some of it before, but I recently bought new materials in order to create different types and to see how I got on.

For example, I bought some horsey bit charms, look how gorgeous they are as necklaces!

I have only made two so far, but have enough charms to make about 6. I also have other horsey style ones, including this cute rocking horse necklace I made.

If you want to see more of my jewellery, as I have bracelettes and earrings too, I made a tab at the top of the page on this website so you can see more. If you are interested in purchasing anything too in the meantime, please get in touch!

I hope everyone enjoys their Sunday!


Friday, 21 August 2015

Long time no Speak!


I hope everyone is keeping well, and thank you to those that are still following me and my endeavors, even though I haven't been up to much at all! I have started my new job, and I am absolutely loving it! Although, it has meant I haven't had much time to be creative, but it is great to have my career in focus and I don't mind the hobby side taking a back seat for the time being.

But it isn't taking a complete backseat, I aim to have Azucena complete soon, she better be complete by the end of this year anyway! Just a little more detail to go and I am happy. I will post photos soon, no worries.

And that donkey chap? He is at the new yard that I currently ride at. I am now the proud sharer of Ruby, a Thoroughbred 8 y/o mare, and she is such a sweetheart. It has only been a few weeks, but I have even seen subtle changes like some more muscling on her.

Stay tuned for more updates, a friend and I are planning on soon raising money for a challenge ride hosted by the British Horse Society (BHS) in Mongolia. We have only just started to talk about it (so I hope I haven't jinxed it!) but this will mean lots of sales of models etc. while we try to raise funds... This is another reason why I want Azucena finished soon, and also my medallions will go on sale with 100% proceeds going towards this welfare trip.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Studio Announcement

Unfortunately I have had to make the decision to stop all sales until further notice in my studio, as this Sunday I am moving house to my new place and I start my new job as a Pre-registration Pharmacist, having graduated on Tuesday with a 2.1 degree in Pharmacy from King's College London!

Of course, I will still be working on my sculpting in my new place, there is just no space to paint etc. I am going off painting for the time being anyway, I need to focus on my career ahead but I still want to create the horses. Azucena will nearly be finished, and she will be offered up to the public to see if she will be popular enough to have cast, and I have my Icelandic pony dream in my mind I want to create!

But, for the time being, I am unable to cast my own medallions and pewter micro sculptures, I cannot take my stuff with me or my model horses, so cannot sell any customs I have for sale currently. They will just have to reside with me for the time being.

Thanks for being so understanding!


Fixing Azucena's Neck

I hadn't noticed much before Azucena was cast as a waste model, I knew the head was more tucked in but I didn't follow it up on my references or thought much of it until some friends pointed it out. And they were right, her headset was all wrong and she looked top-heavy with one too many vertebrae in her spine!

I want Azucena to be as good as I can get her. So, out came the saw and I cut a wedge out of the top near her poll and also cut underneath her head straight up.

I simply boiled the kettle and filled the mug full of hot water, and placed her head inside for a good few seconds prior to bending it into an alternative position and fixing with cold water. I then filled in the gaps with apoxie. I still need to sand it down and resculpt over the top, but you can see the difference it has made to her.

Now she is looking like she used to, but better. I am also making the tail thicker and more flowy in places, to not only make sure the sculpture is balanced but to make her more aesthetically pleasing in general! I know how much we all love nice sculpted tails!

Stay tuned for further updates...


Thursday, 9 July 2015

Azucena Progress

As soon as I had a waste cast of Azucena (you can read about my problems with moulding here), I got to work on her and continuously prepped her. I sprayed her over with a mist of grey primer to help me to identify any lumps and bumps, and general bits I had missed.

There are still a great deal of pin holes I need to sort... A prepper's worst nightmare! She also only had one of her ears in place when she came out of the mould, as you can see from the above photo. I wasn't entirely happy with the ears and was going to continue to carve them out and resculpt them in some places, so I didn't mind this. I rebuilt her ear after fixing wire there and was much happier with it, in this photo I need to wait for it to set and then continue to work on it some more. The ears add so much character.

When I fixed the wire into her head to sculpt the ear, I also fixed some in her buttocks to create her new tail (again, this didn't cast and it was only going to be built up on anyway!) and I got some apoxie to make a rough shape of the new tail. I had to admit, I am liking this tail so much more than the other!

I think this is another learning curve for me, I should leave the manes and tails until the sculpture itself is sturdy for me to sculpt them and have a play with them, and to use stronger wire in the armature itself.

I will update with more progress as it continues...


Two Spotty Botties!

I completely failed to share these two with you before I went away for a few weeks! Better late than never, I suppose.

I finished the Union Jack commission I had, the owner was very pleased (I was too!). He really suits the spotty coat and I gave him all of the appaloosa traits. I wish I could have kept him!

The other custom was a Breyer Giselle, to a blanket spot liver chestnut appaloosa in colour. I painted this one to sell, she is priced at £50 (excluding postage!) if you are interested in her, please contact me.

I need to purchase some more primer before I paint anymore horses... I have two traditional Breyer bodies and two CollectA bodies, however I am soon to be moving once more as I start my new job in Hertfordshire, where I won't be able to paint but only sculpt... So soon I will not be producing new painted pieces.


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Meet 'Copperfox Rochester' - My SR Buckskin Welsh!

So, last night after about 10 days of waiting I finally opened my Copperfox welshie up... And I LOVE him!

I can't understand why people are annoyed... Ok some flaws might be really annoying, I have looked at mine and there are maybe two places that could benefit from some little bits of paint, but they could be easily missed and I was being nit-picky... I mean I have also seen some photos of some horrible rubs but just glad mine is fine. And as for the dapples? Well, I actually like them!

He could probably benefit from a bit of shading around his head, but look at those eyes...

FOUR colours in there. And how many do Breyers have? Two. I also don't have a photo of his hooves, but for those that have a Copperfox model just look again. They have hoof growth detailing (and I don't mean the white band).

IMO, bar a couple of random ones, the dappling is spot on (no pun intended :lol: ) They are sporadic and lovely and small. In some areas they blend in well, in others they don't but comparing once more to Breyers that are currently on the market, I find their dapples much less realistic and repetitive. I think if some slight extra work was to be put into these models (i.e. a couple more layers to build the dapples up and to add subtlety, but this comes with practice!) then they will be absolutely wonderful.

My last comment - we are comparing these RR mass produced models to OOAK Deb Brown prototypes. That is a HUGE comparison. I think we all need to remember that we have helped to set up a new business in the model horse world, something that is (and already has) made a huge piece of history not only to us, but to Britain and the Native Breeds. I will be cherishing Mr. Rochester and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for this fantastic company!


Friday, 12 June 2015

Moulding Azucena... Frustration is not the word!

Let me tell you the story of getting my clay model Azucena, the classic scale Andalusian mare I was sculpting, into a waste resin cast... Maybe grab a cup of tea!

I first wanted Azucena in resin form at the end of March. Initially, I bought a skin mould-making kit, where you 'paint' the moulding material onto the model, create a hard shell and then have the mould ready to produce a resin casting from there. This all went well at first, but upon cutting the clay sculpture out, all hope was lost and I simply couldn't get the skin mould back together properly. Next time, I would need to do MANY more layers of silica, but all in all I didn't like this experience!

Feeling already defeated at this point, I fixed her up after having Azucena cut from the skin mould (she had lots of stab wounds and all sorts!) I emailed Horsing Around to see if they could possibly produce a waste resin casting of her for me. All was well and good and I sent her off to them, but she completely and utterly fell apart upon arrival, including warped legs, no ears and her head was off!

I had her sent back to me, where I fixed her up and then I had one more idea to try, and it HAD to work... I purchased some more silica to do a box mould, where I poured it all in and then had to cut her out after. This took a great deal of planning, as I needed to find materials to build a moulding box for her.

This is where I then started to scour eBay for Lego Duplo pieces! I mixed all of the moulding material I bought (I bought a gallon and it STILL wasn't enough!) and Azucena's neck was still sticking out at the top... This was incredibly frustrating. I put in some extra Lego blocks I had into the mix, away from the sculpture, to try and increase the volume. It kind of worked... But I should have had more moulding material.

Lots of learning curves this was, basically. But I will know for next time, that is for sure. I left this overnight and by the morning, the mould had completely set. This meant I could begin to cut out Azucena's clay model. I was worried about the Duplo blocks maybe not being good enough for this task, but I didn't need to be, as I got no leakages.

After lots of cutting, tugging, and perseverance, I finally managed to get the clay original out. But wow, there was literally nothing left that I could recover... So this mould HAD to work.

How scary is that! This was such a stressful and scary time for me indeed! Here are the two sides of the mould I cut. I didn't want to cut all the way through, but I had to, to get her out. She was well and truly stuck!

So... Remember I was talking about her neck sticking out a bit at the top of the mould? Yeah... Well, although it ended up being completely covered, when it came to cutting Azucena out, a large hole opened up in that area and this meant inevitable extreme leaking of resin from the mould when it came to pouring. I had to tape and tape and tape up this mould, and it still didn't work the first time! So much so that I had to wait over the weekend for my new resin order to process and be delivered, lol!

So... On the second attempt, I used even MORE tape (which just sucked, it wouldn't stick, I really had to work hard!) and even cling film to stop it being messy. Honestly, I should have scrapped it and made a new mould, maybe, but hey... It did kind of work, it just meant a hell of a lot more work on the resin casting, which I don't mind, the main thing was that I had a copy of her and something to actually work on again!

If this didn't work... Well... The phrase 'oil beef hooked' comes to mind...!

Fortunately, it DID work!

So... Although this looks INCREDIBLY ugly, I was INCREDIBLY happy that this came out!

Now, this photo was taken yesterday in the evening... This is what she looks like now...

You can probably tell she has no tail... If you can't, well, she doesn't have one! So... I wasn't ever entirely happy with the tail I had put on and I was always going to go over it in many places, change it here and there, it was more of a base I could get cast so I could work on it some more. I also sculpt manes/tails etc. much better in apoxie. So... Watch this space!

She is also only sporting one ear at the moment... This may be zero befoe being two...

Lots to do but YAY! Glad I could share this with you!


Sunday, 7 June 2015

Pewter Micro Models... Part Six - They are now AVAILABLE TO ORDER!

That is right - I have set up Paypal buttons on the Sales page of my website now, so click at the top which will take you to it (alongside some finish work pieces that need new homes!). After working out costs, they are priced at £7 each, or three for £18 (excluding postage costs).

Thank you so much, guys!


Friday, 29 May 2015

Pewter Micro Models... Part Five - Casting Garnet!

Well, the last (but certainly not least, I hope!) micro was needing his mould being made, in order for him to be cast. That all went swimmingly and before long, I had my first casting.

You can probably tell that this isn't the best casting - and the other side was by far worse! This can be overcome through using some talc on the moulds, which ensures a smoother finish. However, upon remelting this one and trying to cast another... I ended up burning my hand in three separate places, causing a blistering! Oops!

Needless to say, I was ready to give up altogether and just try and find someone else to cast them for me. But the next day, I tried again because I knew what went wrong! And lo and behold, a nice casting.

I have since cast two more Garnets, they are still rough and need some prepping as they are raw, but I will get on with that shortly. I can't wait until I see others enjoy these little models as much as I do!


Friday, 22 May 2015

Three Finished Schleich

These models were in progress before I left for Canada for a week's holiday (I will just share a sneaky photo I took of the Toronto Skyline!)

The Schleich TWH model is a sweet, genuine model. I painted her a simple dark bay colour but also gave her a little snip. She is for sale, priced to sell at £16 plus £3.30 UK postage.

This warmblood I also finished. She is a gorgeous honey-like chestnut colour which I am really pleased with. She is priced at £18 plus £3.3 UK postage for those interested. 

Last of all is this Shetland, almost like a one-trick pony, as he is balancing on his hind legs! He is really cute and his skewbald colour just makes him pop. He is for sale at £15, plus the £3.30 UK postage costs. 

I apologise for the terrible photos and short post that lacks detail, needless to say I am very jet-lagged right now but hopefully I will perk up over the next few days! If you are interested in any of the models, get in touch.


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Progress in the Studio!

I have a couple of completed models, as well as plenty in progress! I also bought 24 unpainted Breyer Stablemates where I will probably be offering some up as 'commission-me' models. These two models I recently finished, the Icelandic has a home already. He is a lovely light chestnut colour and I think the tobiano colours make him pop!

The second model I finished is also a stablemate model, the G3 Highland Pony where I took him and took his feathers off, and resculpted the mane and tail. It makes him look like a welsh pony now!

This Highland pony is for sale, if anyone is interested, I am looking for £15 plus the £3.30 postage.

These other models are in progress. This Union Jack is a work in progress to a leopard spot appaloosa, and is a commission model. Although the first layer is only there, both the owner and I are getting excited about him! He will also get some hairing detail but not quite yet...

This last photo, although certainly not the best, shows some models I have that have their main colours done (apart from the Shetland and the Giselle, they need more white markings filling in!) and they are now awaiting their details.

I don't know when they will be done, but they are all currently sales pieces. Stay tuned!


Thursday, 7 May 2015

Hamlet by Audrey Dixon

I apologise for the silence on my behalf... As I type this, I am at university in between two of my Final exams, I had my first one yesterday and my second will be on Tuesday afternoon. So, unfortunately, this means no real artistic updates or endeavors for me as I have to CRAM these final few days to the best of my ability (which is actually a good thing I can't do any sculpting or painting here, it would distract me too much!).

At the end of April, Audrey sent me these photos of a Hamlet she painted and I just have to share. He looks so lovely in this colour! It really makes me happy to see people enjoying my models and seeing them with clothes on, so to speak!

Seeing these photos made me realise I want to sculpt another miniature model... But I have Azucena to finish off and I created an armature for a traditional scale Icelandic pony!

I will post an update on Azucena soon, I promise... There was a massive set-back with her, but if everyone crosses their fingers, I might just be able to pull it off...!