Archive | Studio visits

Odds and ends

Right now I am waiting for the kiln to cool so I can see the Vixen and Imp set that Addi has glazed. You can see a picture of them in their bisque fired form on Addi’s blog here. We have the smaller kiln cooling, too. Two or three days before the end of a studio visit is always “crunch time” because the firing and cooling times on the kilns limit what can be accomplished at the last minute.

I have been far less productive than Addi, mostly because I have been in my favored mode as hostess. But I do have one of her Jellibabies cooling in the smaller bisquing kiln. I’ve also been working on one of Sarah’s claybody customs. I had her in progress when Addi arrived, and she’s been a good subject to show Addi how I layer my dappling. We are a lot alike in our glazing methods; I tend to think of our styles as being most alike among the underglaze artists. But the one thing that has become clear to us is that I do a lot more intermediate firings between all my layers, which is why my dapples tend to come out in soft focus. The downside is that I don’t get quite the “punch” that Addi is getting, so I will probably do a bit of experimenting with “getting bold”.

I have been taking progress pictures of the softer process on the claybody, though, and will try to post those at a later time.

In the meantime, I wanted to pass along some odds and ends on the color front. Some of you may remember a post I made about the registered tobiano Arabian, RWR Sonora. That was back in February of last year. At the time, I was told by the registry office that the issue would likely be resolved “sometime in October”. I guess I erred in not asking which October. But almost two years after the issue first came to light, the papers have been pulled. The registration was marked cancelled in DataSource (the Arabian registry database) effective October 9, 2009.

On a distantly related note, I have meant to pass along a link to this cool article for a while now. Researchers have been testing ancient remains for color genes, and these are the results of that initial study. (The link takes you to the supporting documents, rather than the subscription-only article, but the real information is there anyway.) Thanks to the mummified remains of a Yukon Horse, we already knew that the silver dapple gene was really old. It was, however, surprising to see Sabino 1 and Tobiano dated so far back (early Bronze Age and Iron Age respectively). Of course, this study was conducted with relatively few color tests – only what was available at the time – so it may be that early horses were even more colorful!

I’ve also meant to pass along this link, too. That’s a German Shepherd with a white pattern thought to be the product of a gene mutation (and not, as in the case of the tobiano “Arabian”, fraudulent papers). Here is the dog thought to be the point of mutation. Research is being conducted on the pattern (called “Panda”) at UC Davis, and there is a brief overview here. It is currently believed that the gene is dominant and lethal (in utero) in a double dose. There have been other “piebald” crop outs reported in purebred German Shepherds, which has suggested that there was a recessive white gene in the breed. (Horses are a bit unusual for domestic animals in that the vast majority of their color mutations are dominant.) If the research is correct then either this is a different gene, or it is a relatively frequent mutation. (A word of warning about broaching the subject of “pandas” with German Shepherd breeders. It’s not a good idea.)

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Such a great time!

Yesterday Addi and I took a break from the studio, and travelled to Pawley’s Island, South Carolina to meet up with Sarah and her husband Chris at the Brookgreen Gardens. That’s Sarah there with Sandy Scott’s Eat More Beef.

I have written before about my love for the sculpture gardens at Brookgreen. I fell in love the moment I found the place, and ever since then I have been dying to share it with my friends in the equine sculpture world. If ever there was a place meant to inspire those of us who love three-dimensional animal art, it would be Brookgreen.

We could not have asked for a more lovely fall day for our visit. And that was a good thing, because the four of us covered every inch of the park. Many of the volunteers there mentioned that they had never seen a group quite so enthusiastic just to be there.

Fortunately for our professional images, they missed a bit of the silliest parts of our visit there!

Here are Addi, Chris and Sarah striking bird poses at the Fountain of Peace. (I’m not sure Chris’ martial arts “crane position” is quite in keeping with the fountain’s theme…)

And here Sarah, myself and Addi are duplicating the pose of the “sculptor” (the figure just visible behind Sarah’s upraised hand) from Carl Milles’ Fountain of the Muses.

Being a good sport, Chris gives it a try.

He was an even better sport when we found this young gator beside one of the ponds. I took several pictures when I realized that while we were impressed with his size, it wasn’t really obvious when the only other things in the pictures were grass and water. So I asked Chris to get in the picture, to show the scale.

But the prize for being adventurous goes to Sarah, who decided to satisfy our curiosity and order the Peanut Butter Burger for dinner. My favorite part was when the waitress asked if she wanted pickles and lettuce on it, and Sarah asked if that’s how people usually ordered it. The poor waitress looked a little embrassed and admitted that it wasn’t something people usually ordered. That sealed the deal – Sarah had to order it then! (with pickles)

She swore it was really good and even got Chris to agree. Addi and I both figured that lots of inspiration and some close encounters with gators were probably enough excitement for the day.We were so very fortunate that the Breunig’s vacation brought them close to the Gardens, and that it did so when Addi happened to be visiting. It made for a wonderful day. I will post some of the inspiring pieces we saw at a later time, but for now I’ll just close with this morning’s sunrise over the beach.

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