Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Boots, breeches and stirrups

Today I made stirrups for my rider.  That's a lot  harder than you'd think.  It took me a while to find the right size wire to be the top of the stirrup (to look the right size while covered with clay) and to make the tread of the stirrup strong and straight.  I used scraps from the perforated aluminum sheet I'm using as the armature for Feather's wings to make the tread strong and straight and aluminum armature wire for the top.  The bottom loop where the stirrup leather goes through was added by just putting a roll of clay there and carving it down.  You may be able to see that on the pic of the rider with the stirrup in place.

That pic is a bit crooked, sorry.  The leather goes up inside the rider's leg and is adhered to her leg and the horse, in the appropriate places.  I'll cut the stirrup off the piece just above where the leather goes through the stirrup when I get ready to send it to the foundry.  It would just drop off if the piece was dropped or shaken as it will be in shipping.  They can weld it in place in bronze.

The boots and breeches are done, and I think you can see the bottom of her shirt.  She was wearing a blouse that wasn't tucked in, and for now, I'm sculpting what she was wearing.  I'm going to send her pics soon so she can decide if she wants her shirt tucked in, sleeves on the shirt (her shirt was sleeveless), etc.

This shot's a bit closer, but also crooked - hard to get great shots with a phone.  I'll straighten these pics and re-upload them when I have more time.  I'm kinda rushing to get this online right now. 

BTW, this hind foot will soon be cut free of the wire holding it to the ground.  This foot in reality wouldn't have any dirt splashing up to support it, so I have to make it free.  I talked to my foundry about it to make sure having only two legs on one side would be strong enough to support a piece this big without it bending.  Bronze is soft, after all - it's mostly made out of copper.  Anyway, they said it should be fine, and they'll put bronze rods inside the legs touching the ground to strengthen them if they think that support will be needed.

When I cut this foot free, I will cut the wire up inside the hoof (thus ruining that nice hoof, so I'll have to sculpt it again) and then I'll put a wall, sole and frog in the bottom of the foot.

This is how the whole piece looks right now.  I haven't done any work above the waist - it's all just "placeholders" for now, measured pretty well, but not sculpted anywhere near what those parts will be like when it's finished.  I need to raise the shoulders a bit - they're too low.

Anyway, that's progress to date!  Comments and questions are welcome.

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