As a child growing up in the 60’s l desperately wanted Julip Model Horses; “a Riding Stable on a table” the advert said. Sadly, the cost of these rubber equines with fluffy manes and tails were way beyond my budget………so l contented myself with making my own horses from plastercine, with cotton manes and tails. How l loved my little creations, despite their flaws; heads dropping off, or the plastercine coming away from the wire armatures; both during the critical moments of playing : )
As l grew up, l had a brief exposure to Pamela Du Boulay’s Rydal models. These were stunning horses and ponies made from latex rubber, each featuring exquisite attention to detail while exuding the character of their breed. Again, l could only aspire to owning one of these beauties………and as they were available for a brief period l was to remain unfulfilled in managing to own one. Years passed and l started Animal Artistry in 1984, making my own range of resin Dogs and Horses.
Some time after l went to vist Pamela and asked her about the production process to make rubber horses. The process seemed very long winded compared to the comparative ease of making things in resin, far too time consuming! l did give it a try, but never went beyond the first stage.l decided to concentrate on easier things. Seven years ago l ended up owning/running a Ceramic Studio; not part of my life-plan, but it was necessary at the time. Over the following 7 years l have learned a fraction of the mysteries surrounding Fine Bone China. This altered my perception of time! Everything to do with china production takes a long time, plus it is a rocky road strewn with many disappointing cul-de-sacs. Every process is labour intensive and can be dogged with failure at any time. l am surrounded by plaster moulds and warm kilns, everything is in place for a happy diversion………… Getting things done quickly is a thing of the past now, and l want to make something that will fill a yearning l have had for a long time.
Although it has taken me 2 years so far to actually complete my first RubberNedz, and they are still at the proto type stage, l can now foresee that l shall be able to produce these horses and ponies to a high standard. l have never made anything that has made me smile so much as RubberNedz: they are charming little creatures and they make me very happy……..l make every one for my own pleasure, and then find immense satisfaction passing each one on to a new, loving home. l can see that the true appeal of a RubberNed is the response it invokes in the viewer……..one of innocence and child like wonder. They seem to reflect the pleasure l have had in making them and they are truly labours of love : )