Tag Archives | dominant white

Returning to the studio


As you can see, the studio blog has a new address and a new look. The new look is temporary while I work on integrating all three sites – this blog, the horse color blog and the Blackberry Lane website – using the WordPress platform. Part of this change is an effort to make it easier for me to keep the sites updated, but it is also to prepare for the sales and distribution of the new books. The Equine Tapestry blog, which already used WordPress, is now self-hosted (which means no more ads) but has otherwise remained the same. Eventually that will change since the theme (“Connections“) has not be maintained by its creator, making it incompatible with some of the newer WordPress features.

That will be sometime in the future, though, because I have returned to the studio to catch up on some long overdue projects. This follows my annual trip to Boise to participate in the annual gathering of ceramic artists, Mudhenge. The horse at the top of this post was created while I was there. The sculpture, Juniper, was created by Karen Gerhardt of Wizard’s Vale. In years past, I have looked forward to the trip as an opportunity to learn from my colleagues. After spending the better part of a the last two years immersed in writing, I just hoped I remembered how to glaze! I did. It seems that all I forgot was that I could not see without cheaters, which I foolishly left at home. I suppose that says something about how removed I have been from the studio. (I can now attest that the real ones are much more effective than the ones you get at the drug store.)


I cannot say that I found any magic answers about how to effectively juggle work on the books and work in the studio while I was in Boise. I have come home with renewed energy, and a sense that the last two years have not been entirely at the expense of my work in the studio. The pattern on my Juniper is taken from one of the newly discovered “W” mutations, previously known as “dominant white”. In years past, we would have called this color sabino roan. It has always been a particular favorite of mine, and after having to create precise illustrations of it for the upcoming book, I was more aware of its nuances than ever before.

I should have a few more new horses to share in the coming weeks, and with luck those will be followed by the first color proofs of the new book. It might be a while longer before the Equine Tapestry blog returns to its formerly active state, since those posts tend to come at the expense of work on the books. You may also see a bit more about the books and the publishing aspect of Blackberry Lane here, especially as I gear up for some of the books targeted more directly at artists and collectors.

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A neat comparison

I finally finished my latest project – an extensively patterned Voltage. I suppose most collectors would call her a sabino roan, but she was done from references of Dominant Whites. While the name would suggest that the horses with the gene are white, in actual practice many have breakthrough coloring that is almost impossible to distinguish from sabino.

Whatever someone wants to call her color, finishing her has been my obsession for weeks. I could really relate to my friend Sarah’s blog post from several weeks ago, where she talked about difficult projects that cause almost everything to stop. This mare was like that for me. The consolation is that horses like that often turn out really cool.

She’s also a good horse to show the difference clay makes.

These two horses are made from two different types of clay. The Lirico in the back is made of English bone china. The Voltage – the horse just finished – is made from American earthenware. Bare bone china fires really blue-white, while earthenware fires a softer, creamier white. The difference is visible if you compare the two sets of legs. (It’s even more obvious in person, but my camera tends to bleach the whites a bit.)

I had asked Joan if I could hold on to her Lirico to see the differences between the two horses. Both horses were painted with the same formula of colors. Much of their painting was done at the same time, and they were often kilnmates, so the only real difference in their color would come from the clays. (Well, the clays and firing conditions. Kilns have a mind of their own when it comes to what they do with any one piece, even when pieces are fired together.)

I expected the Lirico (left) to be cooler in tone than the Voltage (right). It was, but what surprised me was how rosey the brown tones were on the Lirico. I didn’t expect that. In person, the Voltage looks very much like she is gray, but the Lirico looks like a rosey taupe. Both are very appealing, but more different than I thought they might be!

I should add the the differences in their patterns are not due to the two kinds of clay. I was simply after two different looks with each horse. It would have been easier to create the more lacey, patchy pattern on the bone china, and the softer, more roaned one on the earthenware. That’s because unfired color can be wiped off bone china, while wetting underglaze tends to stain earthenware. But I wasn’t thinking about that when I picked the patterns for each horse. (I will next time!)

And with these two (regretfully!) going to their intended homes, I am anxious to get back to work – and to more regular blog posts.

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