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?