I love horses even though they’re a bit scary. I’m not a great rider, and haven’t done any more than feed them a bit of grass since I was a kid, but they are beautiful creatures and a wonderful source of inspiration. As a bored child in the school holidays I used to go round to the local stables and in return for mucking out and grooming, we’d get a free go at riding. It was amazing to be up there in control of such a powerful beast. It was a mixture of awe and terror as they trotted around the field.
I spent a long time gazing at images, looking for inspiration and had all sorts of ideas… white horses on the sea, seahorses, kelpies, armoured horses… there were too many options! The month started to race by and nearly got away from me, but I had the ideas percolating and kept coming back to one thing… Tang Dynasty horses. They have such wonderful expressions and a fabulous sense of movement. The artists really captured the grace of their form.
You wouldn’t guess that these beautiful sculptures were created as long ago as 618-907 CE. They look like modern art.
I don’t think I’ve ever tried horses as a subject before, so I decided to take the last image to model my own work on. It’s still a WIP, as I said the month started to get away from me, so he hadn’t dried out enough to be fired or decorated. I’ve taken the pics in black and white though to make it look a bit more finished and arty! lol
I love the graceful curves of the originals and tried to recreate that in my version. He was hand built from raku clay so should be nice and strong once he’s fired. That also gives me more options for finishing. I’m deciding between smoke firing or cold finishing, but I’ll see how he survives the firing first.
This is the first time I’ve successfully got something to stand up on it’s own legs, so I was quite pleased for that even if they are a bit chunky.
I’m pretty happy with how he’s turning out so far… I tried not to get too hung up on getting the clay too smooth or perfect. Hopefully he’ll survive the firing and I can show him off finished soon!
Thanks to Jenny for a brilliant subject, and I can’t wait to see what everyone else has made. Hope you’ll join me for a look using the links below 🙂
AE Team Members: