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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2 Responses to Odds and ends

  1. Marge Para October 17, 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    I see what you mean about ‘not bringing up the subject’ about the panda shepherds, read some of the message boards about these dogs; yikes! Actually I think they’re kinda cool.
    Kind of reminds me of the fight over registering solid color paints and apps years ago, (actually it still rages for some)

  2. mel October 17, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    What it says to me is that, when humans “design” animals for appearance (and occasionally function!), we cover up the “native animal” through careful and/or thoughtless inbreeding.

    Of course, I also recognize that gene mutation happens as well.

    But my point is that nature wants her way, and human intervention only goes so far. Humans generally become deeply distressed by the thought that there is a more dominant force than our own intellect and desires; hence, the “dread” and angst surrounding “panda” in a dog breed or white in a quarter horse.

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