Saturday, December 18, 2010

Winter has finally arrived and with it less time spent outdoors, for me anyway. Todd feeds the horses, plows the driveway, carries in wood and I only go outside to get in the truck for grocery runs. Not that I hate winter or anything, it's the cold I have a problem with. I've hung up my riding gear until the spring, and am more than happy to stay indoors as much as possible, preferably in front of the fireplace.

Progress is being made on the casting backlog. With Todd about caught up on winter preparations he is now back in the casting shop and will be helping with casting clean up, so we should be able to get a lot more work shipped out over the next weeks and months. I've been spending all my studio time cleaning castings since the summer, when I needed to step in so Todd could work on a much needed home remodel project. So, I have not been sculpting at all, there is nothing new in the pipeline and probably won't be for at least a few more months. Believe me, I'd much rather be being creative than sanding on castings. It's very boring and tedious, and I don't seem to know where to stop so the castings going out are 70-80% prepped.

My back problem seems to be manageable now. I still can't stand for very long, but the pain is under control and I have been able to resume most of my regular activities. I had a great physical therapist and chiropractor and have continued my exercises at home, I think it helps a lot. At some point in the future I will need major back surgery, but the longer I can put it off the more likely the FDA will have approved new surgical devices that could save me from having to have a spinal fusion. Fingers crossed that's how it turns out anyway.

At one point my sciatica was so painful that I couldn't walk at all, and my therapist suggested I use a wheelchair for an upcoming pack trip. Yes, I was too stubborn to give up my pack trips :) As far as I know I may be the only person who has packed a wheelchair into the Weminuche Wilderness:

When my back started to do a little better I started riding Indy, Todd's TWH. Those who know Indy know he is, um, weird. But he is the smoothest horse we have and he makes me feel good, the way he carries himself just makes you feel alive:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The summer flew by yet again with me not updating my blog since June...yikes!

Lots of stuff has been going on. Firstly I have been having issues with my back since the end of May. Apparently time and gravity take their toll on us all eventually, but at 43 it wasn't something that I was thinking would happen to me. So, much of my summer involved going back and forth to Durango for various doctor's appointments and physical therapy. We also had company for most of the summer, and have been doing a major home remodel. During all this we managed to squeeze in two pack trips up the Pine River.

Fortunately I can still ride, and can work without too much pain. I've been cleaning up the reiner castings and am terribly slow, and probably way too particular, but I know what I am sending out is a top notch product. I normally don't do the clean up work, but am doing it so that Todd can have the time needed to complete our remodel before winter sets in.

Sommer Prosser was here for three weeks house sitting just a few miles away, and I was able to recruit her to help clean castings, too. Since she is from Phoenix I wanted to show her what life is like up here in the mountains and got her out on a few rides. Here she is on Indy in an area called Cave Basin, about 12,000 in elevation:

We are hoping to have the remodel mostly done in early October so we can go on our fall riding trip to southeastern Utah. Anyone who lives in snow country knows the need to extend one's Indian Summer for as long as possible to give you the fortitude to make it through the upcoming months of snow and cold. I am going to be diligently cleaning reiner castings until then, with my little room being the only place I can be and not get in the way of the remodeling project.

And what about the remodeling project? The master bedroom has been retextured, painted, wood floor installed and now the main part of the house is getting the same treatment. Except it's a lot bigger than our bedroom, and involves a semi-demo of the behemoth fireplace into something a little less huge and monolithic. We've lived here for 9 years and it is finally time to take it on! Yay!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Colorized reiner

After some time spent working through a basic Photoshop book I tried my hand at colorizing a photo of an unpainted reiner resin. I thought I would have time to paint one in reality, but simply ran out of time as I've been busy with cleaning up castings to ship, my garden, and my back going wonky on me. With doctors orders to take it easy I thought learning some Photoshop skills would be fun and come in handy.

Hopefully my skills will improve with more practice, I think it would be fun to do up a bunch of pics in all sorts of horse colors :) Fun!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Reiner progress

Every time I get to the final steps in getting a sculpture ready for production, I am amazed at how much work there is left to do. I guess it's like giving birth, my brain makes me forget the final tedious steps in order that I may feel motivated to bring more sculptures to completion in the future. After the clay is finished, it feels, well, like I'm done :) Far from it, though. A mold needs to be made from which only one resin casting will be poured. That casting undergoes more sculptural work and detailing, including the time consuming veining process:

This stage can last 2-3 weeks! The casting must be sanded smooth, and any final details or changes must be added before the production mold process can begin. The first step to the production mold process it to protect the master casting with plastic wrap:

Then the casting is covered with a layer of clay that has been rolled out to an even thickness. Once that is complete the seam for the plastic mold shell is added, and it's ready to have the mold shells made:

Once the mold shells are made, the whole thing is opened up, the clay removed, everything reassembled, and the silicone is mixed and poured into the cavity between the resin master casting and the plastic shell. Here is what that looks like when one side of the shell has been removed:

At this point I take the silicone with the master casting encased inside it and carefully cut it out with a scalpel. This is very tedious and usually take the better part of a day to do. For each new production mold, the master casting is set back up with the mold shells and more silicone is poured in. It's very time consuming, but this is how small editions of detailed castings are made :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Reining horse coming soon

It seems like the economy is picking up a little for everyone, so I've decided to put out a new Traditional scale horse. This will be my first Traditional horse since 2008! He's a cantering reining horse that is tack and performance friendly, and is packed with quarter horse character. He is leaning into his turn so he has a base. Price and sales methods are not yet decided, please join the Rose Studios News announcement list for info as it becomes available.

Part of the hold up on getting the reining horse's release sorted out is the huge amount of Working Girl orders we received at the close of her edition. We got over 200 new orders! Whew! Casting all those little girls will keep Todd busy for several months, and I am not sure how that will effect the release date of the reiner just yet.

On the real horse front, spring has 'semi' sprung here in Southwestern Colorado. Sunday we went down to New Mexico to ride and got sunburned, today at home it's been blowing snow all day. Hopefully the snow and wind will come to an end soon so that we can make our annual spring trip to Utah to ride and go antler collecting (a holdover from my taxidermy days).

Here's a super short video of another new hobby, sand sliding:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Working Girl edition ends soon!

Hard to believe it's already been almost a year since Working Girl was released! Time sure flies. The last day to place an order for this power packed bit of SM scale stockhorse goodness is March 24th. Check out her page for more info and more pics.