I love sculpting horses. Maybe a bit more to do with their form than any remaining girlhood fascination with them. I love that they are repeating orbs of mass, those curves attract me, the expressive neck, the large eyes, they're so pretty. Well, okay there is still some girl in me, but I do love those curves!
I start them by making a hollow ovoid sphere for the chest and barrel of the body, then I add on another sphere for the rear end. The spheres are made by that most elementary of techniques - two pinchpots squished together. Then I add the head and neck.
Then, a coffee cup comes in handy. A grande hazelnut latte please:
I like paper cups because they can be cut to shape - cut down the bottom to make it shorter or cut the top to fit the barrel of the horse closely (I add a sheet of corrugated cardboard for more padding if needed). This allows me to safely add the legs. I take the piece off occasionally to make sure it stands evenly. After that, add on the details - face, mane, tail. Once the piece is leather hard, I punch holes in the spheres. One of the best parts is hearing the air rush out of the belly of the horse - it's started to shrink and the air is under pressure!
I let these pieces dry for 4-5 days and I soak the bisque kiln for 3-4 hours before starting the program when I have these pieces in there. Glazing them is fun - sometimes colorful, other times natural. I will admit my fondness for dun or grulla colored horses - I love paleolithic art and this particular horse has a stockiness about it that reminded me of a cave painting.
The other horse has a lick of deep blue glaze and a wild mane.