Thursday, July 30, 2015

The horse in between

Between projects and in stolen hours I've been working on something for myself. Last year I went to France with this idea that I would go to a flea market and find a 100-150-year-old toy horse at a reasonable price, and I would come home with a big stupid grin on my face. Bwah ha ha ha ha. Not.

What I found were merchants anticipating my arrival and the three horses I managed to find were so ridiculously expensive that I was stunned. And they weren't even the type of horse I wanted.

I wanted the horse shown below.

This old playground horse was the best horse I found. For several thousand dollars he could have been mine. I would have been over-joyed to bring this horse home. But alas.......

Much to my surprise, this old playground horse appeared on ebay. Should I do it? Hmmmmmm

Back home in Oregon I looked briefly on ebay, France's ebay, as well as Denmark's for a horse. But seriously? People were so (shock!) dishonest! My Made-in-Bali rocking horse was being touted as a 'Victorian antique' and listed from $999 to $3500. 

My Made-in-Bali rocking horse........ hmmmmmm.......... what if.............. I bet I could.........? And so I did.

The wheels were turning and I couldn't stop myself. I was imagining my horse getting older and older!

I was winging it. First I sprayed it white. Then I sprayed it black. Then I painted over it with Paris Grey chalk paint. Next time I'll paint after the carving is done.

Once the paint had dried, and armed with a mini belt sander and mini re-cip saw, I went to work. That crazy, carved mane was first. I sanded down as far as I could, then it was time for the saw. heh heh heh. Chunks flew everywhere. Big chunks! For being tiny, those tools have some real power.

There was almost two inches of wood to remove. I just kept at it with my mini-recip saw until the blades gave out. They kept bending, I kept straightening them out, over and over until they just pooped oit.

Almost there. I had to use a small triangle sander around the face. And in tight spots I used my mini belt sander. Have you seen them? They look like a Sander-on-a-Stick. Love that thing.

When I sanded the platform I found unexpected aqua paint.

Finally the wooden mane is gone. (I can't believe how much work that was!) I cut a trench down the back of the neck to hold the new mane.

For the new mane I used actual mane from my mini horses. This whole process wasn't as easy as I'd hoped. I had glue all over the mane and my fingers. it was a gooey mess. This old horse came close to having dreadlocks.

The circle is to remind you how much carving had to be removed so you can be awed by my tenacity!

I glued some burlap on and sanded it down to simulate the layers old horses have. I wasn't happy with the burlap, it was too prominent and made the horse look like a middle-ages war horse.

I tore most of it off.

Less is more. 

And, finally, the finished, deconstructed horse.


Before and after

Okay then. I now have my "antique" toy horse.


  1. I am in awe of how beautiful that horse turned out to be!! Very well done!!

  2. What a transformation! It looks authentically vintage now.

  3. That's amazing! I hated it at about the half way point, but then you kept going and I love the end result! I couldn't see where it was going at the midpoint, you did an incredible job, it's really beautiful;)

    1. You know, on almost every project I do there is a point where I hate how it looks. I just keep going and hope for the best. :-)

  4. Well, little rabbit, you have done it again. I couldn't fathom where you were going, but your final vision is wonderful and much better than anything that you might have bought. So...bravo for you!

    1. Mr. Bad couldn't fathom where I was going either, at first. (Ruining a perfectly good rocking horse, for Pete's sake!)

  5. Wow.

  6. Well you kept Horsen around till you got it where you wanted it.
    It looks great and I like that turquoise paint on it's base

  7. I'm with everyone else... you did a fantastic job and it just goes to show you, if you want something bad enough, you can get it. Grin away... you deserve it.

  8. That looks like it came from a Museum. Look THIS is OUTSTANDING !!!!! Possible new enterprise ?? They wuld sell like hot cakes !!!

    1. I would love to do more, but I can't find the wooden rocking horses at a reasonable price.

  9. Wow! That's amazing. Very well done!

  10. Bloody well done! That is really impressive. I thought it was one of the most convincing ''fakes'', and thought they were making them to fool the innocent buyer, without the carved in mane. But you did a great job.

    1. If I ever sell one of my deconstructed horses it will be clearly labeled as not antique. It's all about the art.

  11. Awesome...beautiful! I never would have guessed it could look this fab! Good eye!

  12. what a stunning after affect you hve got there, really really well done, amazing result!!! you are so clever to see the beauty beneath all that paintwork.. really works so well... thanks for sharing..

  13. some hubby, 3-1/2 cats and 3 mini horses. Plus whatever deer, turkeys, bears, foxes, hares or coyotes that wander by. I can be reached at bad.rabbit.vintage@gmail.comDemir Leather

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