Thursday, December 30, 2010

Painted Pony Shop Meets the Trail of Painted Ponies

Trigger and First Edition "Bonanza" Figurine
Picture Thanks to the Trail of Painted Ponies
Earlier this year, I had the privilege of having my horses featured on the prestigious Trail of Painted Ponies website.  The Trail is known for providing high quality works of equine art, at reasonable prices, to collectors.  President of the Trail, Karlynn Keyes, emailed me personally requesting that she be able to feature my designs on her site, in a new handcrafted collection, in the Treasures from the Vault.  This was a fantastic opportunity for me, as it brought in a little more attention and interest.  I sent Ms. Keyes five of my designs:  Ivan, Charger, Trigger, Mara, and Orrick, and they were paired with beautiful Trail horse figurines as collectible sets.  Here's the link:

Ms. Keyes is a wonderful philanthropist, and has done much to promote the growth of the Trail of Painted Ponies collection and its artists.  I'm so grateful to her for giving me a great start!  To read more, visit this link:

Friday, December 24, 2010

The 'Crafting' Part of Handcrafted

The other day I made a visit to the workshop to cut out some more horse heads for custom orders.  There is so much involved in putting this part together!  I use Eastern White Pine, that was selectively harvested from a private lot in Maine.  I put it through the planer, to smooth both faces, then trace the design from the templates onto the wood.  Next, I use a band saw to define the shape and remove it from the board.  Next comes sanding....oh, so much sanding! First, a horizontal belt sander that is bigger than our diningroom table, then a table-top vertical belt sander, after that, two different sized spindles on the spindle sander, a palm sander, and a little hand sanding for the tiny nooks and crannies.  Then, off to the router, to curve the corners and give a softer effect to the wood.  And then, a final light hand sanding, to make the wood smooth and consistent for the paint job.  Wow!  My hands go numb from the vibrating of the machines, and it can be hypnotizing by hour number five.  You forget that you are working with spinning blades and sandpaper that can remove your hand completely of skin!  But I love the sounds and smells, it reminds me of growing up around my Dad's sawmill.  Fond memories :)

Next, the heads get transported to my private workshop (a.k.a. our tiny 12'x12' spare bedroom/office/music room/storage area) for the special secret process of painting, decorating, accessorizing, and personalizing.  I never know what is going to happen next in that room, it is always an adventure!  I have a tiny vintage Singer sewing machine and an antique Singer foot pump sewing table, which I love to death.  And I'm always surrounded by horses in different stages of creation, so there's a never-ending list of things to accomplish.  My happy place!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Design, Beau the Appaloosa

I thought I'd take a minute to introduce the world to my newest design:  Beau, the Appaloosa.  Beau originated as a custom order for a friend of mine in Old Town, Maine, but evolved into something completely different than I expected.  Giving this guy his spots was a blast!  I usually am very precise and meticulous, but on this particular design I was able to let loose, and splatter paint at will.  The method I use for giving this Beau his markings ensures that no two will look alike, and the end result is fun and artsy.  Very unique!  Beau is available on Etsy for 70 USD.

Painted Pony Shop on Etsy!

My small homestead business, making handcrafted hobby horses, is now on Etsy!  I'm so glad that I am finally able to share my creations with the rest of the world.  I get so much joy from making these horses, it's hard to part from each one.  My painted ponies have been featured in a few treasuries since they have been listed, here are a few: