Wednesday, November 19, 2014

EquinArt Creations Model Horse Sales Is Closing

EquinArt Creations will stop selling model horses on December 15, 2014. We are shutting down our website for model horse sales, and will be transitioning to a new business model in 2015. Moving forward, I am going to focus the company on selling my own nature artwork and photography, as well as selling model horse magazines, books and other publications.

As we begin the shut down process, some of our artists are building and launching their own sales websites. Still others, such as Michelle Platt, are closing out many of their molds. 

Please check our Facebook page, Model Horse Sales Pages, and our website for details on any sales. 

Thank you for your support these past 10 years!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Why Do Artist Resin Horse Models Have Wires in the Legs?

Newcomers to the world of artist resin model horses are sometimes shocked to receive their copy of a "holy grail" resin. The pristine white cast portrayed on the artist or company website isn't in the box. Instead, the cast the collector receives has ugly bits of metal showing on the legs, and sometimes the tail. Is the model defective in some way?

The Amirah artist resin sculpted by Cathy Bercier Choyce. This is a good example of a resin where wires tend to show in the legs - the Arabian has very thin legs. It's not a flaw or a mistake. It's for durability and support.

Those ugly bits of metal are actually important support "beams" showing from the infrastructure of the resin casting. If you've ever looked closely at a horse - I mean really closely, not taking the image of the horse for granted - you may notice that horses balance a great deal of body weight over relatively fragile leg bones. Horse models are no different, and artist resin model horses, especially solid casts and larger models in Traditional scale, balance a great deal of resin weight over fragile legs. Tails that extend away from the body or in an artist flourish over the horse's back may also need reinforcement so that they do not break during shipping or handling.

Better quality resins, even rotational-cast resins which are cast on a machine that creates a hollow space within the barrel to lighten the weight of the final model, almost always have wires inserted into the legs to provide extra support for the piece. If wires aren't use, the legs can bend over time. That's what's happening to my beloved Black Horse Ranch Thoroughbred weanling artist resin, produced in 1990 - here he is, and if you look carefully, you can see some ugly bending starting in the legs, especially the front left leg. It's bending inwards more than it should under the weight of the solid piece:

Most prepping artists and model horse collectors simply sand down the areas near the wires. If the area is particularly bumpy, fillers can be used to smooth the area.

Wires showing on raw cast artist resin model horses are normal and pretty typical within the hobby. It's certainly not unusual.  If you love artist resin horse models, you'll appreciate the support and longevity they add to your prized work of art.

For more on prepping model horses, Feldman Studios has a good instructional sheet online.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

How to Make a Tabletop Photo Studio to Photograph Model Horses

Have you ever seen a sales ad for a model horse and you just cringed at the awful photography?

An example (it's mine, so I can share it without shaming anyone, and no it wasn't intended as a sales photo)

It's like the "what not to wear" for model horses:

Red Fox and cat, sculpted and painted by Candace Liddy. I took this picture. Candace takes better pictures!)

What's wrong with this picture, you ask? It's clear and yes, you can see the models. But it doesn't make them look attractive.

A better photo for a sales page includes a clean backdrop, one that enhances, rather than detracts, from the model.  Many of the finish work artists I know use professional-quality backdrops, and it shows.

Check out these from Schacht Studios (Dani Schacht) and Mindy Berg. Both images used with permission:

Ask resin by Michelle Platt, painting and photo by Dani Schacht.

Another lovely resin by Michelle & Dani - Boise Bound

Mindy did an outstanding job painting and photographing this Meckenzie resin by Michelle Platt.

Why do I think these images would help sell the models more quickly? The background colors complement the coat colors on the horses. When I rode English huntseat in competitions, my trainer always said that green wraps on the horse complemented a chestnut horse, blue or maroon a bay, and so on. I think backgrounds are similar; they can either complement or detract from the model.

These professional-quality backgrounds put the emphasis on the beautiful painting and finish work. They make the models stand out and look beautiful.

I don't know how Dani or Mindy made these backgrounds, but I did some research and found a great resource online that walks you through, step by step, how to build your own tabletop studio with background so that you can take great pictures of small objects. The article includes three resources, from the simplest and least expensive to the most elaborate and expensive options. The author also includes helpful suggestions on how to adjust the lighting to reduce shadows, something I struggle with when I take model horse photos.

This article is helpful for the model horse community, but I also think it will help anyone who sells crafts, yard sales finds or anything online.

I recommend the article Creating Your Personal Tabletop Studio by Jose Antunes to all model horse collectors and showers. Hopefully, the tips will help you take better photos, too!