I had a few bloggers ask to show the process I go through when making a custom horse hair item.
I recieved some hair the other day in the mail from a fellow blogger (whom I will not name, let's call her horse lady) Horse lady has requested two horse hair mirror hangs with tassels and a special bead she sent along with it that she wants incorporated.
This is a very large amount of hair. This is not exactly how I would like to receive hair because the tape around the hair was very difficult for me to take off without taking a whole whack of good hairs with it and not drop the rest. I much prefer an elastic band but I made do just fine because there was a lot of hair here.
I washed the hair. I did not take pictures of this because it got quite dirty and I didn't want to get my camera wet.
The next pictures are the hair all clean and combed out to dry. This is how I would like to receive hair. Not necessarily clean (please do not use conditioner if you do wash your horse hair!) just neat and maybe even braided and banded with a hair tie or elastic band at the cut end. I did not use or clean all the black hair. There was so much I could have made 6 of what horse lady was requesting.
These are called pulls. I count each individual hair and twist them into these strings for braiding. I used 200 hairs in each mirror hang. Making the pulls is the longest part. I took almost an hour each to sort and count the longest hairs.
On to braiding.
This is the easy and fun part and only takes me about 15-20 minutes normally. I do not have pictures of this process because the herringbone braid is very tricky. Drop one hair and you will be stuck re-doing the whole thing. It's frustrating. I re-did one of them three times between having the phone ring, the dog jump on me and someone banging on the door.
Once I was done this one was so nice. My personal opinion, this would make such a nice necklace. It's not often to get horse hair long enough to make this thick of a herringbone braid and have it be this long without having to add extra pulls. Adding extra pulls on a piece intending to be worn is not ideal. One hair loose can be extremely scratchy.
Of course I haven't added the bead and concho yet. I know horse lady already picked my last concho I had like my other rear view mirror hang I made and showed in my braided horse hair FAQ post. b I happened to have two of them I didn't think I had. Shes in luck. I also did the second pull the same pattern as the mirror hang in that post. I probably would have had enough to do both of them like this and still probably have enough if horse lady wants (e-mail me please horse lady! I want to finish this project)
Part two coming up soon. I gotta hear back from horse lady about what she wants.
In the mean time here's some bead work I did on a bracelet for a lady earlier this week. This is the peyote stitch in the middle there. It was quite fun I could have done it all day. I am going to start doing this stitch hopefully more on some of my pieces when it is requested. It's hard to do button knots out of horse hair on bracelets and necklaces because they can leave ends of hair that can be scratchy. I think the beads are a nice touch.
Also, I finally got to drive Indigo in the sleigh today.
I did not get pictures. Saturday for sure. She was awesome.
Here is where I point out she hasn't been driven since early September before she lacerated her shoulder. It was too ouchy for a collar or even breast collar since she was snotty about me touching it or even ruffling her fur even once it was healed over.
She has never pulled the sleigh before. She was amazing. Even when the runners scraped on the stones in the driveway and made a loud scratchy noise she just walked on. First she thought it would be easier to pull by trotting, which is true for a carriage that has wheels and rolls. I was trying to convince her otherwise. She tried cantering. Not my idea of fun, I do not appreciate a face full of snow Indigo.
Finally she got the idea and walked, and walked, and walked. Did I tell you? She walked! She did have a very, very small temper tantrum when I asked her to slow down at first and she was all about trotting. She hopped and tossed her head but that was it!.
When you give that horse a job to do she takes everything more seriously and slows the hell down. I just need to figure how to incorporate this into our other rides/drives.
Have I mentioned how much I love this horse? Well I do. She was seriously so good, just like someone had driven her this morning instead of 5 months ago. I mean I do ride her but driving is a whole other game.