Monday, July 13, 2015

Share The Love at Breyerfest 2015

We are thrilled to announce that Share The Love will be at the Clarion in room 107, with some amazing items for sale!

We will have sets of our Share The Love note cards and postcards depicting drawings by Maureen Love.  There is a rooster, kittens and horses, including a chestnut Quarter Horse, the Belgian Sespe Violette and Lippitt Morman, the Morgan stallion.

Postcard Sets $11    Note Card Sets $20

$150 each, plus shipping
We will also have our Share The Love numbered Limited Edition earthenware figures that each come with a Certificate of Authenticity ~ large Banty Roosters, a few sets of Muscovy ducklings, quail, seagulls and some super exciting new pieces.  The new additions to our line are a very cool twisted tree, and a life-sized Pelican bust! 

The tree is similar to the one from Maureen's Horse and Tree sculpture, but much more intricate.  I haven't seen any originals that she had made from this mold, but here is a picture of her original plaster ball mold for it:

We've used two different glaze decoration styles, a more realistic version and a few using some wonderful art glazes.

 Trees $55 each
The life-size Pelican bust is amazing.
It was the only part of Maureen's sculpture of the entire Pelican I could rescue, and just the mold for the bust is huge.  There was no way I could have carried the mold for the body.  Her original stoneware Pelican sat outside in her front garden.  This is a picture of her original plaster ball mold of the bust with our pink rubber master casting inside:

You can compare the size of the mold to my toes, to get an idea of the scale.  Maureen's ball molds were done by flicking the wet plaster onto the original clay sculpture to create a plaster shell, and was a way to cut down on the amount and weight of plaster she used.  In this photo, to the right is a smaller original mold of hers, and you can see where the description of ball comes from, as opposed to the usual squared-off molds used for production slip casting.  Squared-off molds are much more substantial and sturdier than the ball molds.

And here is our finished Pelican bust ~~~

We've used a satiny matte glaze, so the finish shows off the sculpting detail very well, without the glossy glare that Maureen disliked.  We've kept her detail in the mold as pristine as possible throughout.  The brown bottom section was not meant to be seen but merely used to attach to the body, however it is a great chance to see her original rough tool marks and fingerprints.  This is the California Brown Pelican in partial breeding coloring, with some red and yellow showing through on the bill and neck, and traces of blue on the face.

We've used a rustic steel base to support the sculpture, and it is detachable for shipping.  I loved the look of the distressed steel against the ceramic, and since Maureen often fabricated and used steel in her sculptures it was a fitting choice.

We are taking orders for all of our items, for those who can't get here!  The Pelican busts are $265 each.

We will also have some old and rare Hagen-Renakers for sale, other clinky horses like old German porcelain, and, for FREE, some baby Mystery Plants to take home with you.

Our current dun Cheauka pony orders are being worked on, and we will notify the next people on the list as they are completed.  We won't be taking any money until each one is ready, so if your email has changed since our original message to you, please make sure to let us know so we can get hold of you.  We will have one in our room for display, and there will still be other colors to be issued in the future.  We won't be taking any new orders until the next announcement, and there will be a combination of first-come-first-served and a lottery to be as fair as possible.  Thanks so much for your patience and support!

Monday, June 15, 2015

More Maureen Mysteries Come to Light in De Forest

Maureen Love and Hagen-Renaker collectors may remember the continuing saga of the Maureen Love Mystery Pieces.  Share The Love here and Kristina Lucas Francis in her Muddy Hoofprints blog have written about them in the past, and readers have contributed many photos of their own to add to the subject.  For those who aren't familiar, the Maureen Love mystery pieces are sculpts that Maureen created and sold to companies for production other than Hagen-Renaker or her own line of Maureen Love Originals.  This happened during a slow period for Hagen-Renaker in the early 1960s.

We know of a running horse, several versions of rearing horses, her large modern stylized bull and a miniature stylized rooster. 

This is our latest exciting entry on Maureen's mystery pieces - three new ones, actually!
Recently I came across a pair of ducklings for sale online, done in a cold-painted metallic gold finish antiqued with brown, that just stunned me.  I immediately recognized them and knew every little detail of them, because as Share The Love I had poured and glazed sets of them last year using original molds from Maureen Love's estate.

These two ducklings are the first time we have examples of Maureen Love mystery pieces that actually have the pottery's name marked into the bottom. 
They are both impressed marked under the base DeForest and both have the number 420.

I then found another example, glazed in a screaming 1960s red/orange.  I really like this one, as it shows off the carving detail very well.

The base does not show any markings.

They are sculpts of Muscovy ducklings, and a description of our Share The Love Limited Edition issue of them is here.

This is Maureen's original sketch of the Muscovy ducks,

Maureen's original mold of the crouching one,

and our Share The Love version of them in glazed earthenware.

The DeForest of California ceramics company was created by Jack and Margaret DeForest and began in 1950 in Duarte, California, later in El Monte, CA.  The Hagen-Renaker Pottery was originally located in Monrovia, right next to Duarte, and for an additional trivia note - Lippitt Morman, the model for HR's Lippit, used to be stabled in Duarte, CA, also.

DeForest, also seen as De Forest, is known for whimsical functional ware pieces - banks, canisters, shakers, mermaid & fish wall plaques, serving and condiment pieces in an Onion and also Mustache Man series.   One of their slogans was 'Coast to Coast, It's the Most.'  Realistic figurines are very out of character for them.  I have found very little on DeForest, and welcome any additional information.

Using their name, however, I did find another example of a third Maureen Love mystery piece.
It happens to be one of her favorite subjects, a quail!  This is an example in a lovely turquoise blue glaze and quite large at 8 inches tall, photo courtesy of Etsy shop nldvintage:
 The base reads DeForest Calif USA 600 with a copyright symbol 196? (perhaps a 2)

The large quail mold from Maureen's estate below is very similar but not exact to the DeForest one.  The body, head and beak shape is close, however the plumage style is more realistic and flowing in the DeForest example.

Below is a plasticarve wax original master of a large quail from Maureen's estate (courtesy of Kristina Lucas Francis) that is very similar but not exact to Maureen's mold above, especially different in the cheek and throat detail and shape of the forehead.  I've set it at an angle to make it easier to compare.  Maureen did several different versions of quail and bobwhite, and there are others not pictured here.

The closest quail sculpt of Maureen's to the DeForest is actually a miniature quail.  This was cast from an original Maureen Love mold, and even though much smaller and the body shape being different you can see the more realistic feather detailing.  The topknot, cheek and throat is very similar, and the foliage on the base is not only similar to the large DeForest quail, it is very reminiscent of the mystery horse bases.  I think with all of this it is safe to say that the DeForest quail is actually a Maureen Love sculpt.

A second example of the DeForest large quail has been found, and now joins my collection.

The base reads DeForest of Calif  U.S.A.  600 with copyright symbol 1963 or 1965, the date is very faint, darn it.

This quail is a mystery within a mystery.  The glaze is fascinating.  It appears this piece was previously glazed with a brown satin or matte glaze in a more realistic style.  They then literally poured the new glaze over it.  Notice the large drip off the tail, and large areas where it didn't cover the glaze underneath.  Here is a closer view of it showing here:

The amazing overglaze on this may have been applied because the more realistic decoration was not popular, or because the topknot had broken off and the overglaze covered up the flaw.

Whatever the reason, it resulted in the most wonderful crazy crawling glaze!

Collectors keeping their eyes open may still come across  rare examples of Maureen Love's sculpts, and can still add their own chapters to Maureen's history. 

This is what keeps this hobby exciting, and I hope to hear from you with your own discoveries.

 Now, check out another update on Maureen's mystery pieces by Kristina in her Muddy Hoofprints blog here..........

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy Birthday to Maureen...

                    Happy Birthday to Maureen, and
                                                          Happy Mother's Day to Sarah~~

Well, it is actually a belated birthday wish, as Maureen May Love was born on May 7, 1922 in San Diego, California.  Thinking about her the other day, I was also thinking about other Maybaby model horse collectors I know, like Nancy Falzone.  This brought up memories of one of my happiest model horse gatherings, back in May of 2000, with the theme of collectors born in May.

This Mayfest birthday event was thrown by Nancy Falzone, and sponsored by Laurilyn Burson, Made With Love and Hagen-Renaker at a model horse gathering at Nancy's home.   For those who don't know Nancy Falzone (or Nancy Mongan back then), she has been collecting model horses and Hagen-Renakers since 1953, but it wasn't until the 1970s that collector Ellen Hitchens drew her into the model horse collecting community.  She became active in the hobby and was one of the pioneers along with Marney Walerius ('the' pioneer of model shows and Breyer collecting), Nancy Kelly and Simmie Smiljanic.  Simmie issued one of the first model horse magazines and Nancy Kelly has written several wonderful books by Schiffer on collecting now.

Nancy Falzone attended the first Model Horse Congress, the very first Breyerfest, has kept every scrap of paperwork related to the model collecting community and has allowed pieces of her collection to be photographed for practically every book on Hagen-Renaker and Maureen Love.  She corresponded regularly with Maxine Renaker, Maureen Love, Marney Walerius, Martha Armstrong, Helen Farnlund, William Wiemhoff, and many many others.  Her detailed records of literally all of Hagen-Renaker releases are still consulted by collectors, and her collection of model horse documents is a treasure trove for collectors and historians. She is limited in doing detailed research and reading correspondence over the internet due to her poor eyesight, but still loves the hobby and always enjoys talking to collectors.

As she wrote in an article for the Hagen-Renaker Collectors Club (HRCC) many years ago:

     "Collecting low times in my life, I would immerse myself in my hobby to help keep my mind off my problems.  Accumulating something that made me feel good when I looked at them helped me get through many tough times.  Collecting to me today is quite different from all the other stages in my life.  Yes, it is still finding something to add to what I have, but more than that I enjoy helping others with the hobby, especially the newcomers, to learn more about Hagen-Renakers.

     "Collecting is not how many one has, it's not the monetary value, it is the people you meet along the way, the friends you make, and  the sharing of the hobby with others.  It's the letters and the telephone chats and the sharing of finds with each other.  It's the getting together at live shows and at Breyerfest.  What a good time we have sharing with each other!  Without all of this it would not be near as much fun, maybe no fun at all.  I cannot imagine this fun hobby without the people involved in it.  This is what collecting means to me today."

Nancy Kelly did a wonderful write up of the Mayfest event for the HRCC newsletter, August-September of 2000 issue.  Here are two photos from that event, generously shared by Nancy Kelly. 

This is a group photo, with Nancy Falzone standing on the right side wearing a short sleeve blue denim shirt, and Gayle Roller in green kneeling in front of her.   Sitting next to Gayle is Michelle Oviatt in the royal blue top, who really helped Nancy pull this all together (along with Nancy's dear husband, Don), and Nancy Kelly is unfortunately out of view behind the camera.  This was also a celebration of John and Maxine Renaker's wedding anniversary, and here is the adorable cake:

Laurilyn, Made With Love and Hagen-Renaker contributed special pieces for gifts and prizes.  I believe the Made With Love draft foals were being released at that time, and remember some being there. We'd love to hear from other attendees of that event to hear their memories and help us ID everyone in the photo!

I wanted to also give a shout-out for Maureen's mother, Sarah Aileen (Specht) Love, for Mother's Day.  For those who knew Maureen you can see the resemblance.

This is a photo of Sarah as a young woman, taken around 1900 in Dubuque, Iowa.
Here is Maureen's mother as a young girl with her baby brother John, taken around 1888.

Sarah and her brother John a few years later,   

and a portrait of Sarah by Maureen. 

Maureen's mother had done some china painting, and Maureen also used china painting techniques, although under the glaze, in a few of her own ceramic pieces.

One example of that is this ceramic mug decorated with a familiar scene of a race track as a present for her husband.   Maureen met P. G. 'Whitey' Calvert probably at Santa Anita race track where she sketched the thoroughbreds, draft horses and horses used to guide the race horses to the starting gate. 

 Another example of a china painting technique was a small ceramic tile decorated by Maureen and sold in her estate auction.  This is the original sketch she based it on:

She's used a black and/or brown underglaze decorating pencil to actually draw on the bisque ceramic.  The lighter tan colors of the mane and face and shading in the background were done first, and may be a combination of the brown pencil and other underglazes brushed on, and the eyes may be the yellow pencil or underglaze.  The dark pencil was drawn on top, and a wet brush has blended and widened the lines in some areas before being coated with clear glaze and fired.

The pencils come in a few basic colors and are an often overlooked technique for ceramic decorators.   Amaco makes them, and they are available as pencils or chalks.  They can be used like pastels on the bisque ceramic, and before they are fired can be moistened with water and brushed to blend them.  They are then covered with a clear or lightly tinted glaze and fired in the kiln.   For those who use pastels to customize Breyer horses, this would be a great technique to try if you get into decorating bisque clinkies.

I'm sure Maureen who loved to experiment with mixing her own glazes and clays would be very happy to inspire someone to try new techniques in pottery!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Happy Spring from Maureen Love!

Happy Spring and Happy Easter to all Share The Love fans!

I thought we all needed a cheerful beginning to Spring this year, and Maureen has provided a 
very sweet treat.  The brilliant red flower is a small card that Maureen created as a young girl, 
and is perfect for a celebration of Spring.

We also wanted to share these four precious small Easter cards that a very young Maureen made 
for her parents, Sarah and Tom Love:

The red flower card was not inscribed, but the others had Maureen's inscriptions written 
on the backs of them.  We knew you would love to see those as well.  
Wishing you all a wonderful Spring of 2015!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Maureen's Elephant Drawings

In researching the drawings of elephants done by Maureen Love for an upcoming article
'Wild About HRs' by Kristina Lucas Francis for the Hagen-Renaker Collectors Club Newsletter (HRCC), I thought I'd share a few things about Maureen's sketchbooks and drawings with Share The Love fans.
In numbering the sketchbooks, they were done without any knowledge of their chronological order, and were given numbers merely in the order they were picked up to be photographed.  The drawings themselves, however, were numbered sequentially within each book.  The inventory numbers began with ML0001 through ML1064, and were written on each drawing with microfine archival inkpens as unobtrusively as possible before putting them into archival sleeves. 

We thought it important to keep them in their original order, and to also photograph the sketchbook covers that had Maureen's notations of what was in each book.  Those notations were priceless, especially in identifying the individual real Arabian horses and thus the Hagen-Renaker Potteries (H-R) sculpts they were used for.  The job of trying to identify each horse and animal has been helped by welcome contributions of visitors to my room during Breyerfest, and Kristina Lucas Francis' eagle eyes.  

There were also many drawings that were not bound in the spiral sketchbooks, but loose.  The larger ones were given inventory numbers. There were, however, drawings that were much smaller, some on pieces of paper about the size of a business card and even smaller.  Those were not given numbers at the time, but I'll continue to work on doing that to their digital images.

There are two bound sketchbooks with drawings of the elephant that was obviously used to sculpt the Hagen-Renaker Potteries (H-R) Desigers Workshop adult Indian elephant they named Rajah, with only one sketch of the young elephant used for the H-R model of Pasha.

ML0903A is a three-quarter view from the rear of the Rajah adult.  The back side to that is ML0903B, an incredible drawing of Rajah from the side, facing right, along with a separate head-on view.
                       ML0903A (Below)                                               ML0903B (Below)       

The next page, ML0904A, is another wonderful drawing of Rajah from the opposite side, facing left, along with a hind-end view.  These two drawings faced each other in the sketchbook like bookends.

The back side of that drawing is ML0904B, an adult facing left, perhaps walking.  These were done on grey paper, with black, white, brown and pink colors of pencil, and all appear to have been drawn about the same time.

                              In a separate sketchbook are two more drawings drawn in just black on white paper.  Drawing ML0962A is an almost exact duplicate of ML0903B, side view looking to the right.  The trunk is in a different position and the ear hangs lower, isn't as jagged, but very similar otherwise. It also has 2 partial head views.  On the upper left edge of the drawing is written Ventura Blvd.  We're not sure if that refers to where the elephant was located.  If that rings bells with anyone, please let us know!
Drawing ML0962B is a young elephant used for the H-R Pasha.  The body is much more compact, smoother, with a larger domed shape to the back.  The feet are smaller, not as splayed as the adult, with smaller toenails. 

ML0962B  Pasha
Enlarged Detail from ML1049A below.  

ML01049A (Above)     ML01049B (Below)
There are 22 loose drawings numbered ML01049A through ML01063B (no ML01050 or ML01058).  They are drawn in black on white paper.   There appear to be at least two different elephants here, but we would love to hear from you collectors how many different individuals you see ~ have fun comparing ragged ears and butt wrinkles!

ML01051A (Above)
ML01051B (Above)

ML01052A (Above)  It is subtle, but Maureen has used pink shading on areas of the skin in this one drawing

ML01053A (Above)

ML01054A (Above)

ML01054B (Above)

ML01055A (Above)           ML01055B (Right)

ML01056B (Above)

ML01056A (Above)

ML01057A (Above)     ML01057B Right)

There is no ML01058.
You can see areas of glare in some of these photos that are reflections off the graphite pencil.

ML01059A (Above)    
ML011059B (Above)

ML01060A (Above)
ML01061A (Above)
ML01061B (Above)

ML01062A (Below) and detail from its upper left corner (Above)

ML01063A (Above)
ML01063B (Above)

The last group of 7 may be the same elephants as above.  These drawings were not numbered at the time, and were drawn on tracing paper.  The first three are drawn in black.

MLOScans118 (Above)

MLOScans119 (Above)

MLOScans120 (Above)
The last 4 drawings again look to be of the same elephants as the previous group.  They are drawn in purple pencil on tracing paper. 

MLOScans121 (Above)
MLOScans122 (Above)

MLOScans123 (Above)
MLOScans124 (Above)

That makes 35 drawings of elephants total, however, we may find a few more.

If you look, you may be able to see 'ghost' images from the drawings on adjoining pages.
I love Maureen's tiny sketches tucked into her larger drawings, and being able to enlarge them enough for you to see is exciting ~  we hope you agree.  We knew she could sculpt in miniature, but these truly tiny quick sketches of such immense creatures are very impressive!
Share The Love is happy to be able to share some of Maureen's drawings with you.
Let us know if you'd like to see more, and which animals you'd like us to show.