The holidays are quickly approaching and many a horse enthusiast on your list would probably relish a special, hand-crafted pewter horse art piece. Here in San Luis Obispo County such art work is carefully designed and hand-crafted with horse enthusiasts in mind. Meet Wendy of The Pewter Gift Horse located in Atascadero, California.
Wendy Scruby has continued the Pewter craft business her family has been a part of since the 1950’s. Wendy branched out to horse designs in the 1990’s as she was immersed in the Paint Horse/Quarter Horse show circuit in the 1970’s – 1990’s and saw the need to provide higher quality Horse Show Awards. This got her started hand-crafting pewter designs for the horse world. Some of her Horse Show clients have been or continue to be: Del Mar National Horse Show and the Santa Barbara National Horse Show. She does High-Point awards, key chains, glassware and jewelry among other items.
Being around the horses, showing and training them inspired me to do the pewter horse art pieces.
“Being around the horses, showing and training them inspired me to do the pewter horse art pieces,” explained Wendy. “I started with the Arabian horse because it works so well in artwork due to its charisma. I have branched out into other breeds and more generic, more artistic pewter horse art.”
What is the Process for Making Pewter Horse Art?
Pewter is a precious metal that has made its way through many centuries with some of the greatest works of art being made out of it. It is resurfacing today in fashionable art pieces. There are several stages in the making of pewter art. The design phase can take weeks, especially if it is an original, custom design. “I can make a new design from a good picture. Really special designs are commissioned by local artists. Logos can be reproduced using a computer and then the design is lazered,” explained Wendy. The design is then cut into a wax mold which takes 1-2 days. Rubber molds are made from the original wax mold and about 5 pieces can be made from one rubber mold. Melted pewter is hand-cast (poured) into the rubber mold and when hardened and cooled is ready to be cleaned up and then polished. Most pieces also get hand-painted. Wendy is usually working on several pieces at once, but every piece is hand-crafted by herself or her one assistant. “The process really hasn’t changed much since the 1950’s. The only technological advancement has been with the Dremel tool.” Wendy says.
What Are the Most Popular Pieces?
“The new ‘Cowgirl with Horse’ design has become my new favorite,” exclaimed Wendy. She recently had several items with this design for sale at the Cowboy Dressage World Finals in Rancho Murrieta. “A sculptor in Cambria was commissioned to do this art piece exclusively for The Pewter Gift Horse.”
“The Arabian impressionist-type piece is a bit more abstract of a design that has been very popular. It’s a wearable art piece,” Wendy explained and she went on to say that,
“‘Live, Laugh, Ride’ is a popular piece and so is ‘Spirit Horse’.”
Where Can You See These Pieces and More Locally?
Lucky you, Wendy and her Pewter Gift Horse items can be seen locally at two up-coming local events:
November 29, 2014 :: 10:00 am -5:00 pm
Madonna Inn Expo Center, 100 Madonna Rd, SLO
December 13, 2014 :: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wendy’s Home Shop, 4475 Traffic Way, Atascadero
This is her only public showing for the year at her shop. Visitors will be able to come in and see her workshop, check out the process and buy some items at a discount.
5015 Linne Road in Paso Robles
Displays her artwork plus custom pieces for the winery year-round.
So get yourself and those on your Holiday gift list some hand-crafted original pewter gift horse art from The Pewter Gift Horse.