New house, new studio!
I am now the proud owner of a full sized western saddle. I picked it up at a garage sale for $25 with nothing more than a significant coating of dust. I cleaned it up and took a plethora of useful photos that I'm uploading to Picasa as I type, but goodness they're large.
So while those upload, here's a quick post on
Sounds ominous, doesn't it? But trust me, it's not.
When you start collecting reference photos, and it will happen, you need a way to keep them all straight. Sometimes photos of the same saddle are obvious, sometimes not so much. Sometimes its easy to remember the make of a saddle, sometimes not. So here's what I do.
I have two reference folders, one for finish work and one for tack. We're focusing on tack today.
Within that folder...are sub folders. Lots of sub folders.
I find it extremely helpful to include the name, maker, type of tack and date in the folder name. "Stubben Roxanne", for instance, probably doesn't require a date because it's modern. If it's antique or historical, I'd include it.
In those sub folders, I take advantage of Win8's handy author feature thingy. I'm really sure it was there in previous versions, I've just now noticed it.
I really, really like crediting photographers where possible. It also makes it easier to track them down later if I want to get permission to post the photos or use them in a publication.
At some point, I will probably find it necessary to split my subfolders out. How to split is tough...english saddles don't always fall into clearly defined categories, and neither do western. What I will most likely do is a 'generic' split into english, western, gaited, fantasy, and "other".
You might ask where I get these reference photos...well, I'll cover that next.
As of 2013, I will no longer be taking regular commission work.
Instead, I'll be focusing on auction and sales pieces. There are a lot of reasons why, but here are the top 3:
1. I often work faster on sales pieces than commissions. We'll chalk that up to an uncooperative muse. The end result is that working faster = more tack on the market.
2. Commissions stress me out. I love them, but they stress me out. I just had a really stressful semester, and as much as I love them, I don't need more stress.
3. I get to work on projects that speak to me. Self explanatory.
I know that a lot of people will be disappointed that they won't have the opportunity to commission work from me, and I know this means there may be a lot of fun projects that I'll miss out on, but given my circumstances this feels like the right choice.
Here's what I hope to do:
Several highly detailed pieces to be auctioned, starting with the parade set that has been languishing in a box and several simpler, saddle-and-bridle pieces to be sold at a fixed cost on MH$P with plenty of advance notice so that interested parties can keep an eye out. I'm going to do my best to offer a fair mix of tack for popular plastics and resins. It's very likely that something for WeeJay, Little Lonestar, Working Girl, Mindy, and the G4/WEG molds will be put out over the summer.
I have other plans, too, like sculpting a western tree and casting it with the help of Rebecca Turner of Solstice Art. These trees won't be for just my personal use; I'll also be selling them, assuming all of this works out the way its supposed to. I'd like to get an instruction manual and pattern together to go with them. I want to try my hand at a few how-to videos, too, starting with the best (well, my way) of tacking up. I want to be really active here on the blog and on Facebook; look for a freebie opportunity in the next few days - the studio page just hit 350 likes and the blog is pretty close to 60 watchers. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy and I'd like to share those feelings as they come along.
State of the Studio
So that is where the studio stands. I'll be cleaning up the website, updating the galleries, and clearing away some odds and ends this week. I have already done a lot of the pre-season clean up and restocking - yay for new toys (I mean tools)! I'm really excited about this summer. It feels like a marvelous jumping off point, and I hope you are all as excited as I am!
Here's to a wonderful summer full of tack, plastic ponies, and creativity!