The Making of a Multicolored Horse

October 24, 2008

I have more thoughts coming on the Demeter work… but of late I have been busy working on dolls, so I thought I would post this making of about my most recently completed project.

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I just finished working on the largest of my projects just in sheer size – JB the Rainbow horse is just over 20” tall, 6” wide at the chest and 21” from nose to tail. He started out as an experiment, but I sort of got the measurements wrong. I was trying to buy a horse that would work in scale for the Tonner dolls that I use most often in my art… but he’s a little bigger…. In point of fact, he’s scaled to fit the American Girl Dolls who stand 18” tall. Oops. (there is a reason I was a humanities major in school!)

All Ooopses aside, JB has been a lot of fun to work on. I started out by covering him in muslin attached with glue to his body and then from there attaching 1-2” wide squares of fabric in a rainbow of colors going from violet at his head to red at his rump and flowing down his legs. I pinned everything into place first, adjust colors and swatches as needed depending on which colors ended up next to each other.

Once I knew all the colors would work in their locations I started gluing and gluing and gluing and then there was more gluing. And did I mention the gluing? Oh yes, and the gluing J I probably should have taken a picture of my fingers at the end, if I could have found them under all that glue! Still it was rather cool to watch JB come to life with each layer of fabric that became a part of him.

After a night to dry, it was time to work on his mane! Six different colors of yarn went into the mane, and of course, way more than I needed at first, but that was okay, because all the over flow went to his tail. The mane is sewn and glued onto padding on the back of JB’s neck so it’s nice and strong to fly in the breeze and be twirled around fingers and braided. (he is Such a flirt!) His tail is anchored the same way on to his back end to allow for braiding and fluttering.

And last of all JB’s hooves got a luscious coating of gold paint so they would shine just as much as the rest of him… while I watched John Barrowman in “Dr. Who” of course!

He turned out to be a ham and a half when it came time to do his photo session… being insanely picky about where he wanted to be photographed and who with… who??? Since when does the doll pick the subject ?? Apparently he is a people person! He’s also a lot of fun to play with especially if you like playing with hair and different fabric textures.

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