I can't believe it. My camera was hanging on the round corral the whole time, and I failed to take a single photo!
You'll just have to take my word for it that sculptor Lynn Fraley of Laf'n Bear LLC spent Saturday morning at In the Night Farm, observing and measuring several of our Barb horses.
A couple Fridays ago, Lynn graciously gave me a tour of her Boise studio where she creates the most amazing equine sculptures in both ceramic and resin. Scattered around the studio are model equines in various stages of development, from wire frame to kiln to freshly casted.
Limited edition models line high shelves. Glistening ceramics rest on racks, partway through the time-consuming process of being painted dapple gray. A charmingly doleful, clay draft horse stands in the refrigerator next to a pitcher of iced tea. Each model, including my favorite Campaneo de Acadie, an Iberian stallion who reminds me irresistibly of our own Insider, features intricate detail from facial veins to wrinkled eyelids to tiny frogs in every hoof.
I was struck by Lynn's focus on anatomical accuracy. Unlike most sculptors, she builds her models from the inside out, marking joints and molding muscle groups beneath the surface for extremely realistic results. In addition to her meticulous application of architectural concepts, she has an artist's eye for the subtleties of facial expression -- and the courage to stand up for the welfare of real horses. (You won't find a big lick model in her studio, despite the fact that it would probably sell.)
Like me, Lynn has an insatiable thirst for information on everything from breed/type history to color genetics to anatomy. First in her studio, then in my round corral, we talked of hoof care and growth rates, of training philosophy and conformation, of bones and backs and brains. These were conversations of my favorite kind: the sort from which I learn a lot -- most particularly, how much I have yet to learn.
I can hardly wait for more.