Monday, July 14, 2014

Studio Update: July 14

(The Building Blocks series will continue after these interruptions.)

I think I'm replacing friendship with tack making.

(I'm kidding.)

But my usual summertime studio buddy is off in Africa building schools for impoverished children, so I have no one to bug with my day-to-day tack making woes (the term "first-world problem" does come to mind). She told me before she left, though: "Just update your blog and I'll catch up on everything as soon as I come back."

So that's the plan. Expect some pretty darn frequent and probably pretty stream-of-consciousness updates for the next week or so. It's just so much more motivating to get stuff done when there's someone to tell about it!

My first studio update is a literal studio update- we recently had guests come stay in the basement with their very small children, so my studio had to temporarily migrate upstairs to the bedroom. This poor tiny little desk was fine when I first started making tack, but is now much too small to handle the massive mess mini tack makes.

A few things are responsible for said mess.

July was supposed to be my "sales stuff only" month. I have a show in August that I'm planning on showing performance at, but I have no tack of my own, so I thought I'd limit myself to building my own show string before I made anything more for anyone else.

And if I did make anything for anyone else, it would be a sales piece, so I could decide what to make and for whom, etc.

But absolutely no commissions

This phase of saddle making is called the "awkward adolescence."

In my defense, I did get almost halfway through the month commission-free. Until a trade opportunity came up that I absolutely could not refuse (seeing as I was seriously considering buying the trade item outright earlier!). So now I have these two hunter sets on my desk- the dark one for myself, and the tan one for an incredibly lovely lady who I'd gladly break promises to myself for.

I don't know why all my tack bodies are old, bad CM's...

 Thanks to the heat and my subsequent fear of the outdoors, both saddles are about halfway done after just one day of work. Hallelujah!

As for the four or five other items on my "need for myself" list...

Those black straps on the big saddle rack are pieces of prepared lace for a pleasure driving harness. Now that all my big tack is off to new homes, the big ol' rack is being used as a place for lace to dry after being hit with Gum Tragacanth, or a place to set teensy pieces I don't want to lose.

 Also on this tiny desk:

Pieces of leather in varying shades of dye, and a sanding sponge thing that I originally bought for thinning leather, but quickly realized it stinks at sanding and makes a much better pincushion. 

A little carrying tote/storage space for all my shtuff (empty right now due to everything being sprawled all over the desk)...

And the designated corner for finished/in the process of being finished tack. The roping saddle is getting its own post later, the hunter set is a loaner from Anna (we figured she wouldn't need it in Africa and maybe I'll need a prop horse for a games set up?), as is the parade set. 

Pro tip: when you don't have enough saddle racks, use Schleich foals.

I'm sure many more updates are to follow.


  1. Do you take orders on mini tack? Email me

  2. Love your updates! Haha "awkward adolescence" phase of saddle making!