September 08th, 2016
The whole process started a couple years ago with an idea from Carol Ward to create a piece for her new project, the Murieta Inn.
Jan took her existing logo of a rearing horse with a colorful sombrero on its body and put a her own twist on it, adding the action and gesture of the mare shying at a sombrero tossed at her feet by a gust of wind.
The concept was first sculpted at a foot in height, once approved by Carol, the moquette was enlarged in foam to what would be 1/4 life size. Jan took that core and sculpted the piece again to make sure that all proportions and details were correct before enlarging it again. Originally, the plan was to install the piece outside the front doors of the motel and since sculptures tend to "shrink" in appearance, so in order to appear life size the piece would actually measure slightly larger.
It was eventually decided that the piece would grace the lobby instead, so after a little more number crunching, we settled on 3/4 life size set in a planter to gain the necessary height so that the mare's extended hoof would clear the head of any guests who got close.
In December Jan hauled the large version of the foam core back to her studio in Kim, CO for the final sculpting. Before the clay it looked spookily like the giant blue horse at the DIA. Yikes!
That didn't last long though, when 2016 rolled around she was ready to haul north to Bob & Kathy page in Loveland where she was taken apart to make a mold and a wax that would be used to cast the sections in bronze that would be cleaned up and welded back together.
After a double check from Jan the piece headed over to Dale Cisek's for the patina that gives a bronze it's finished appearance.
Very soon it will be time for her to make her cross-country trip to her new home at the Murieta Inn, Rancho Murieta, California.
In the meantime, the 2016 El Rancho Futurity & Foothill Fiesta is upon us!
The cutting will be held September 10th-18th at the Murieta Equestrian Center and will feature as it's trophy the original rendition of "Expect the Unexpected" cast at a foot high as the 2016 Jerry Ward Incentive Award which appears at the end of this video...
A while back, actually its been over 16 years ago now, I asked my mother, Maizie, if I could name my new puppy after her. Lots of people might've thought that was a little strange, but she looked at me and said, "I'd be honored."
As the pup grew she took on many of my mother's characteristics. She was energetic, loving, a pleaser, and always up for an adventure. It was almost like having a piece of mom in a dog's body. They both had a light in their eyes, even when their bodies no longer allowed hikes to the canyon, over the next hill or around the corner...
Mom always said she is with me whenever I am horseback. I'd call her every week and fill her in on what I saw and did. When Maizie dog couldn't go with me I think she still dreamed about it while she napped on the porch at home.
Well, Mom went on just over a year ago in July and Maizie Dog ran after her last fall.
These days Mom is horseback or hiking the hills of heaven with all my critters alongside. I wish they could call me and tell me what they see. I look forward to catching up to them one of these days.
Thoughts from western artist and cowgirl, Jan Mapes compiled by Cori