Email Oopsie!

Denderah bone china No. 1

I think were were too many high-res photos in my blog post about the china Denderah #1 sale. So the emailed version of it decided to send no content at all! What I was trying to communicate, is that this piece is finished and ready for sale.

Here is a direct link to the sale page.
Bids are only being taken until tomorrow at 8:00pm… so don’t miss out. Thank you!

Denderah Bone China Sale Notice

Denderah bone china, No. 1

I’m very excited to offer my Denderah Arabian Stallion sculpture, bone china edition, #1. The edition size isn’t firm at this time, but I’m thinking it will be around 15 pieces, all finished by me in one-of-a-kind colors.

A Slightly Flawed Test Piece

This particular piece, the first one to be glazed, is actually very slightly flawed. It was the first one to be made, so it served as a test for casting, assembly, and firing. The body is ever so very slightly leaning at the cannon bones of the two down legs. Which means the raised hind leg is a tiny bit higher than it should be, and the raised front leg has dropped to where it is nearly touching the base. This is overall a very subtle flaw; the kind of thing that probably only I–the sculptor, intimately familiar with the work–would notice.

So, to compensate for the above, I’ve given it an absolutely splendid color. This is a very fine dappled grey, with the dappling painted in both cool and warm greys as they fade into the white body. I decided to leave a lot of the upper body, mane, and tail in the pure white of the china, so you can appreciate the gorgeous china itself. The base has been painted a bright spring green.

There is no question in my mind, after glazing color onto chinas for 17 years, that the overglaze enamel colors that I use are quite simply made for fine bone china and porcelain, like no other kind of ceramics body. The translucency and bright white of the china plus the glass-like high gloss finish makes these applied colors simply glow. They merge with the gloss finish in a way that makes my horse colors look so different compared to when the exact same glazes are fired into opaque earthenware. It’s hard to explain but when you work with this stuff up close and personal like I do, you see and revel in the results.

How The Sale Works

In my ongoing effort to find a sales method that is easy for me and seems fair, I’m trying something different yet again. This will be a Max Bid Auction.

Starting bid: $700.00. Includes USA FedEx shipping or a majority of the overseas shipping paid.

1. Send via email, the one maximum price you are prepared to pay for this piece. You can only bid one time.
Subject line: Denderah Auction.
Include: Your max bid amount, full name, mailing address, and phone number.

2. Bid Deadline: Tuesday October 6, 2020, 8:00pm Mountain Standard Time.
Email your bid to: karen@westerlydesign.com

3. After the bidding deadline has passed, I will send an email to all bidders letting them know what the winning bid is or if there is a tie. Those in the tie will be contacted privately about what’s next. Those not in the tie will get an email after the tie break round(s) so you’ll know what it went for.

4. The bidders in the tie break round(s) will be offered the opportunity to submit one more higher bid, within 24 hours. This way even international bidders won’t miss out. The person submitting the highest bid in this round will be the winner. In the case of further ties, more rounds may be necessary.

5. A payment plan of 60 days is offered to the high bidder. You must put 25% down and pay off the balance in 60 days, or the deposit will be forfeit. Full details to be given to the winning bidder.

Many thanks for your interest and support!

Coming soon, Denderah China No.1

I am almost finished glazing the first piece in the Denderah bone china edition. (Right now I’m dithering about whether to put some grey color in the mane and tail or leave it pristine white.)

This one will be for sale. I’m trying something different; it will be a one-bid silent auction. You’ll send in via email your one maximum bid. In the event of a tie for high bid, the two bidders will be asked to bid one more time. Time payments will be accepted.

All details to follow when the piece is finished, probably early next week. Thank you! Send questions to me at karen@westerlydesign.com

My Italian Fantasyscape

Wally thinks this is a big yawn, but I’m thrilled to finish this painting!

Today I finally finished this oil painting that I started in March. It’s a composition based on four different photos of the Umbria region of central Italy, that I shot while on a 6-day bike tour we did in 2018. Yes I’m the slowest painter, but I also had a lot of diverse projects all going on at once in the studio this spring and summer. It’s 48″ tall, made specifically for a wall space in our dining room.

This is the main photo that inspired the painting. It’s a hill town called Calvi dell’Umbria.
Here’s a different very small medieval hill town, where I got my reference for the vineyards in the foreground.
This photo has the church and its bell tower, plus good refs for building shapes.
And lastly, a photo I took in the town of Assisi, just because the clouds were so perfect. And begging to be painted.

The Last Third

The big shock of my husband Paul getting lymphoma cancer in February was an immense life wake-up call. He’s so fit and healthy and there is no cancer in his family. He was the last person I’d expect to get cancer at age 59. It fundamentally rocked our whole idea of how our lives were going to go. (He’s done with chemo and thankfully found to be cancer-free for now, and he is getting back to his normal life.)

Having to helplessly watch him go through that—and then the covid19 crisis hitting at the same time—left me with large amounts of time for introspection and soul-searching. I’m now a 60-something and I have known in the back of my mind for awhile that I’m probably going do something different with this last third of my life. (I hope I will get another third!) I crave something new to focus my creative energy on. 

I will always be making things. It’s part of my DNA; the art has to come out. But the big surprise is that I do not care about horses any more. Not like I did in my childhood; that horse-mad girl is gone. Collecting Breyers and china figurines, painting horses, sculpting horses, sustained my love for them… but in an entirely visual way. (I’ve never owned a horse and still don’t know how to ride.) 

Now I’m done with sculpting horses. I will never say never-again, but I have nothing left to say on the sculpture side. I’m so happy that I got the Denderah sculpture finished. The resin edition met all my goals, and I’ll be able to order bone china pieces as needed, as long as Donna Chaney is willing and able to make them for me. (I don’t think I’ll need that many, Donna!)

My current painting (in progress), inspired by a cycling trip we did across Umbria, Italy.

I love love love landscape oil painting, which I started doing about 8 years ago as a way to get entirely away from computer/phone/screens—and horses—in art. I’m gaining confidence with each new canvas and I think THIS might be that last-third life-track for my creative soul. I guess the walls of my house will be covered with paintings because I can’t bear to give them up!

I’m still very interested in ceramics and glazing. There are so few people able to paint chinas right now that it would be very sad to just sell off all the white ware. My studio is beautifully set up for this work and I love working here, so I will continue to finish china pieces. I have viable molds for a few of my older sculptures (can you believe Boreas and Optime are nearly 20 years old???) and making pieces from them is fun work when I feel like doing it. I want to experiment with new art glaze finishes.

I have achieved everything I could want in the hobby, received so much more than I ever dreamed possible. I know what it’s like to be at the top of the game and I am so very grateful for having had the opportunity. I will be a collector of horse models until I die. I love Breyers and the company’s ongoing story. I will be found lurking around BreyerFest every couple years.

But I just can’t think of any more ways to help, contribute to, or give back to the hobby, other than throwing more money or donations at it. I don’t feel needed. I know I’m not a great teacher of equine art. I don’t like judging or holding model horse shows anymore, I don’t care about many of the popular trends, and have zero tolerance for the stupid recurrent drama. 

I’m deleting the Westerly Design Facebook page. I do plan to keep my Instagram presence. It is: @traveldogartpony. I love IG; the non-confrontational/non-controversial stream of pure imagery is perfect for me right now. I randomly post my travel, dog, art, and pony photos there. With emphasis on Dog… always way too much Wally pix! I hope you will look in. 

Any studio news or sale items I come up with will be posted to this blog/email list and to IG. You can still use FB messenger to talk to me.

That’s all for now. This seems right. I feel positive. Thank you for being with me all this time.