Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Update on Share The Love's Cheauka Mustang Pony

Thank you for the totally overwhelming interest in Share The Love's latest project!

We'd like to answer some questions that came in about Share The Love's Cheauka mustang.
He stands 6 1/4 inches tall to his eartips, is earthenware ceramic and is a young gelding.
We will have 5 different OF colors for Cheauka, with a final total of 50 OFs, and no bisques will be sold.
The first OF color of dun will be the largest edition of 15.  As we finish each horse we will contact the next person on the list.  We are not taking any payments before your horse is done.  The 15 duns have been spoken for (a couple times over!), and I have notified them by email.  I will keep a few extra names on file in case of a cancellation. 

He is $425.  We will offer time payments for two months of $217 each month, or three months of $148 each month, a one week leeway on payments, but forfeiture of previous payments if not received by then. 
However, STL reserves the right to give preference to Paid In Full orders.   
Shipping & insurance is extra. 

We don't have a list of the other colors yet, but knowing Kristina they will all be wonderful! 
If you don't hear from me please keep an eye out on our Facebook page and blog for our next exciting color we'll issue in 2015.  
We're so excited to be able to make him available to you, and thank you for supporting our Share The Love project!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Share The Love's New Release ~ Mustang Pony 'Cheauka'

Share The Love has exciting news!  
Announcing the release of our Mustang pony named Cheauka, the Native American Hopi word for clay.  

He is a Traditional size done in earthenware ceramic, produced and decorated by 
Kristina Lucas Francis. 
The total issue size will be limited to 50.  That number will be divided into more than one OF color. They are each numbered and come with a COA.
He was originally sculpted by Maureen as an Indian on a Mustang pony.  We have been able, as Maureen had approved of for other pieces, to remove the rider.  
Kristina has done a wonderful color for the first OF version, a beautifully shaded dun with leg bars, dorsal stripe, tipped ears, exquisite detail.

We will have 4 for sale and the Test for viewing at the Open House and Clinky Classic 5 at the Lucas Francis studio and show hall, and will take orders through our Facebook page and Model Horse Sales Pages
His price is $425. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Home After Breyerfest

Home after Breyerfest ~
I had the most wonderful time at Bfest this year.  I cannot adequately express how happy it made me watching people flipping through Maureen's sketchbook photos and calling out the Hagen-Renaker names they recognized!  Hearing how each collector felt connected to her work, how they started collecting, memories of perhaps meeting her, a few who were at her home....  It made up for the many avid plastic collectors running out of the room who had never heard of her now that Breyer has discontinued leasing her molds.

A few precious memories will stick with me ~ bits of advice on mold making, pouring slip, cleaning seams ~ offers to answer technical pottery questions, listening to Leslie answering questions on equine colors with such a depth of knowledge and humour our mouths went from forming wows to laughing out loud.   In slow periods in the room during the day having time to talk in-depth with a few people and getting into conversations about random things like relationships they had survived, or how we detected our cancers, and giving hugs and encouraging words to each other.

Then there is the Sunday morning frantic TP wrapping of the HR minis, trying to snag the elusive Clarion carts, wishing you could have said a proper goodbye to certain friends who'd been there, the stacks of empty Breyer boxes in the hallways.  Finally, heading north on I-75 and getting to play moldy oldy discs and enthusiastically sing without worrying about staying in key to Blind Faith, ancient Rolling Stones, Beatles Abbey Road and the White Album ~ and then being SO lucky as to find playing on the radio the Adagietto from Mahler's 5th symphony, the most sublime piece of music ever written.

Life is good...........

Friday, July 11, 2014

Here at Breyerfest!

We're settled in Room 107 here at Breyerfest after a late night of fun.
It is always a riot to watch first-time Breyerfesters come into your room, with sunburns from being out at the Horse Park all day, and dazed expressions on their faces!  And such great parents, escorting their kids from room to room, carrying large bags filled with boxes of horses....

Here is our Share The Love display this year:
There is only one rooster left!  We are taking orders, though, so let us know and we'll get on them as soon as we get back home.

We also brought some vintage Hagen-Renakers to sell, as well as a spectacular very rare German porcelain piece.  It is the 14" tall huge rearing stallion or 'Steigendes Hengst' produced in the 1920s by Von Schierholz and Sons, and sculpted by Gustav Gossenburger.  Thanks to Kathy Williams and the Model Horse Gallery for that information.  You can see the scale compared to the H-R Brahma bull Geronimo! 

Here is a closer view of the H-R shelves:

That is a 'faux' Hamlet, but those are the real Hagen-Renaker rare set of Hitching Post, Anvil and Water Trough!

Some H-R ballerinas, a few Peter Pan and other Disney pieces, old mama giraffe....

And that is not a 3-legged Irish Setter - that is the very rare Freeman McFarlin setter in a pointing stance!

We've given away a lot of the Maureen Love 'mystery' plants but still have a few left, so please give them new good homes :-)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

New Releases from Share The Love!

I'm so sorry for how quiet Share The Love has been, but I got such a late start this year because of the cold and snow since I pour slip outside.  However, I just finished the first couple of test pieces for this year's release!  I'm planning on bringing several sets to the Clarion during Breyerfest, and will also be taking orders.  These are all limited editions of 50, and numbered.

One is a set of three Muscovy ducks, with three different sculpts, each one in a different color.  I'm SO excited about these, ever since I got a glimpse of the molds at Maureen's estate.  I could not figure out what the heck they were, maybe baby roadrunners?  But then I remembered a sketch of hers that reminded me of them.  It took me quite a while to go through all of the drawings, but I found the sketch and it was obvious they were Muscovy ducks.  

I have never seen any of these that Maureen made, and the molds looked pretty clean so she may not have made any.  They are $150 for a set of three.

I also am making another of my favorites, a Banty rooster.  I only saw one of them she made in her house and estate, so I based my decorating on it.  The detail is awesome.  They are done with a satin glaze, which was a good compromise between her rough matte finishes and the glossy finishes she did not like.  It is $150 also.

I will be in room 107 starting Tuesday.  I have a few Seagull bells and busts left, sets of Share The Love note cards and postcards, and I will also have the test OF for the Naked Pony later in the week.  We changed the color slightly from last year. I don't have a price set yet.  Oh, and I will have a few baby Kalanchoe (Maureen's mystery plant) to give away!

Maureen Love's 'Mystery' Figures

The infamous Maureen Love 'Mystery' horses have been and continue to be a fascinating subject for collectors of Maureen's horse sculptures.  The companies other than Hagen-Renaker that have copied her sculptures are many, including Lane Ceramics, and we know that Maureen did do sculpting for at least one other company, along with prototype sculptures for a pottery producing liquor decanters.  More about that in another blog!

It is so interesting that many collectors of Maureen's figures actually bought examples of her Mystery horses very early on in their collecting, just because there was 'something' that drew them to the sometimes garishly glazed pottery that ordinarily they would not have looked at.  For years collectors speculated about the pieces, especially the running horse, because it just looked so ~ Maureenish.

I, too, bought a white iridescent running horse at a flea market because it screamed Maureen, and several years later showed a photograph of it to Maureen herself.  We were at a BOYC model horse show, and she told me that she had sculpted it for a small pottery company owned by two brothers.  Maureen couldn't remember their names, but she did sign the back of my photo to confirm her work on that horse. 

In going through her sketches and drawings, I found a few sketches that look like that running horse sculpture.  Some of these sketches are very small, one only about 2" across.

This one below shows that tilted head position very well:

I also found examples in her sketches for the rearing Mystery horses, which help 'prove' that she did sculpt them, or a version of them.  Here are the left-facing ones:

 This one below shows that very distinctive flowing leafy support under the belly:

Below is a right-facing example:
These drawings show the horses in a more horizontal aspect, but it appears the pottery wanted a definite rearing horse.  It may be why particularly the right-facing large pottery version appears to have a smaller waist and chest girth, perhaps it was stretched out a bit when repositioning it?

The 'Mystery' bull ~
I was so excited, many years ago, to have found an example of an outside pottery version of Maureen's Spanish bull sculpture.  I had been lucky enough to hold Maureen's original black stoneware bull, and recognized it immediately when I saw the glossy white one for sale.  Imagine my joy at finding out who now owned Maureen's original one, and being able to bring our bulls together for a photo shoot at Kristina's studio! 

For photos of many examples of the pottery versions and very detailed analysis of them, please visit Kristina's blogs:

We'd love to hear about your fabulous 'Mystery' finds ~ and who knows what other pieces of Maureen's are floating around out there?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Maureen's Mystery Plant

Hi, Everyone!

I hope everyone is enjoying our Winter weather.  We have a bright spot in all of this snow up in Michigan ~ our 'Mystery' plant has started to bloom!
For all of you that received one of the baby plants from Maureen's house I wanted to put together what I've learned about it, other than it is one of the strangest plants I've ever heard about.

It is actually a Kalanchoe Houghtonii plant (although there is differing information it may be Kalanchoe Daigremontiana, but that is my best guess).  It is a succulent that grows tall  (about 3 feet) on a single stalk with jagged leaves, which sprout new small plants on every serration.  The leaves are medium green above and blotched purple underneath, and it flowers in the winter.

It is a viviparous plant, meaning it generates offspring while attached to the parent.
When the babies are ready, when they actually develop several tiny leaves and roots, they fall off and root wherever they land.  They are invasive, and those babies, according to Kristina Lucas Francis, even rooted into a leaf of her very tough pineapple plant!  There is a great blog about them at that describes them as an evil genius, dropping babies amongst cactus spines for protection.

As they describe it, "A gene which normally is only used in making seeds has been altered in such a way that it's useless for seed-making. Thanks to the changes, though, this gene can be expressed in leaves. So instead of forming embryonic plants in seeds, it forms embryonic plants in the leaves, skipping the whole pollination-and-seed stage entirely."

The flowers are orange hanging bells that all hang from one basic large flower group at the top of each plant.  The blooms last for over a month, and should be snipped off to prolong the blooming season.   Long stems can be pruned back and cuttings can be taken to start new plants. Kalanchoes root easily from stems inserted in potting soil.

That is a pretty cool plant already, but there's more.  Out of the top of every one of my blossoms, another complete plant started growing!

This made the already 3 foot tall top-heavy plant so unstable it was really difficult to support.
After the flower has finished blooming, you can re-pot your plant in a slightly larger container.
You should use a quick draining soil such as cactus mix with additional pumice or pearlite added.  Fertilize three times in summer with a 10-10-10 fertilizer.  Allow the top two inches of soil to dry out between waterings, do not let sit in water, and during dormancy in winter water only enough to keep the soil from drying out completely.

Kalanchoes need lots of light, preferably a south-facing window in winter and bright indirect light (or east/west window) in summer. If your Kalanchoe plant is looking leggy and thin it probably isn’t getting enough light.  Kalanchoes do fine in normal household conditions, but they need to be kept away from drafts. Keep your kalanchoe above 50°F.

Since kalanchoes are photo periodic you can encourage the plant to bloom again by cutting back on the amount of light it receives. They need 12 hours of darkness to set blooms. Once the blossoms have formed, the amount of light is not critical.

Although they can live as house plants, kalanchoes will grow happily outdoors. If you live in a frost-free area they can be planted in the ground. Their leaves can become damaged by intense sunlight. Morning sun or dappled shade is better.

Here is a photo of my new flower a few days ago.  This plant was one of the babies from Breyerfest 2013: 
And here it is today!

Okay, it hasn't opened yet but it's close...
I hope all of you that took some of these plants are doing well with yours.  I plan on having more at Breyerfest 2014, so stop by the Share The Love room for one of your own.  I can also mail out babies to those who want one when the weather warms up.  I'd love to hear how your plants are doing!