Thursday, February 11, 2010

A hairy situation part1

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.

16 comments:

Jo said...

I am amazed that you can brade some pretty serious stuff.

I'm impressed.

Shirley said...

Looks like it's going to be a nice piece; can't wait to see the finished product. Now I'm gonna have to go through my horse stuff and find the tail hair that I've been saving....
I'd love to see a video of your horse and sleigh.

Sydney said...

Jo- I'll teach you. It's easy just takes practice to get it right.

Shirley- I am just waiting for "horse lady" to get back to me so I can finish it. It's wonderful hair to work with that she sent me so the project is particularly pleasing to do.

We'll see what we can get on the weekend when I have my camera.

Pony Girl said...

That is looking great! Interesting process, thanks for sharing.
So glad Indigo pulled the sleigh. I bet she looks beautiful harnessed up and in the snow!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

You do lovely work. I've tried it and I know how hard it is to do. I ended up with little pieces sticking out everywhere and all scratchy when I tried to wear it. lol.
I definitely will be sending you a package of 'hairs' for a project.

achieve1dream said...

Great horse hair jewelry. :)

What breed and age is Indigo? Glad she did so well once she figured out your wanted to go slow. :)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm so amazed! Thanks for showing the process you go through to prepare the hair, too.

My package of Rojo's hair and Baby Doll's hair, along with your Pay It Forward and some other goodies will be on it's way to you tomorrow morning! Finally. lol!


~Lisa

Desert Rose said...

That is going look fantastic...want to see it with the concho and bead! Happy sledding!!!

lisa said...

Just beautiful! Great work!

Sydney said...

Val-You have to pick the longest hairs and make sure they are all the same length.

achieve1dream- Indigo is just a grade 3/4 quarterhorse, 1/4 arab. I guess I could register since both her parents are but it would cost me $500. I don't need papers to tell me shes a good horse.

achieve1dream said...

Cool. The reason I asked is because she looks a lot like Chrome's dam, who is a flea-bitten Quarter horse/Arabian cross. :)

I agree you don't need papers to know you have a good horse, but after having a goat stolen and told it can't be traced because it wasn't registered I'm kind of glad Chrome is registered. If he were ever stolen I have proof of ownership and plenty of pictures to identify him with. I keep the pasture padlocked, but I'm a little paranoid after the loss of my goat. Anyway sorry for rambling. :)

Sydney said...

Thats funny. Indigo has one daughter named Midnight. Midnight is going to be fleabitten grey like her mom. Right now shes a greyish brownish blackish whiteish colour. Shes about 8 I do believe.

I have Indigo micro chipped so I am not concerned with her getting stolen.

Grey Horse Matters said...

The sleigh ride sounds awesome. I have always wanted to do that. Glad Indigo was such a good horse for you today.

Love your braids and beading. Wish I could do that too, but I'll leave it to the experts. You're a very talented lady and I'm sure horse lady will love her mirror hangings.

Sydney said...

Why thank you. I hope Indigo is as good tomorrow as she was the other day. Silly horse shes gotta be bipolar or something.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Hi..I'm new to your blog.
I love those bracelets..how can I find out about how I could order?
Thx :)

jane augenstein said...

Sydney, your work is stunning! I love it, someday I hope to have some hair from Gilly's tail to do something with; if Pokey will quit chewing it!!!

I used to have a little mare that would pull a sleigh, I had a sleigh too. Oh, so much fun! I wish I had a harness (and Gilly was broke to harness) and a sleigh now! we have a LOT of snow and could go on the roads!
Have fun!!!
Jane

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