These three characters live in the New Forrest their ownwer had seen an automata of mine at on the Caberet Mechanical Theatre web site entitiled Stable (link) and got in touch to see If I would create her very own horses in their stable block. Capturing their markings and mannerisims was a delight. Vanessa sent through photos and took a few small films on her phone and told me about them on an email

'When not throwing hay around Bovril, the big all brown thing who goes on look out has a very long tongued licky habit.'

'Tiana the big one with white face, funny little dots either side of her nose and rather greying hair (she's the old girl of the group) is a bit of a yawner.'

'Gracie the brighter brown one with a smaller face (30cm top of head to nose while the others are both 36cm) likes munching on hay'

The exact size and choice of woods was discussed as this piece was going to located in pride of place on her new kitchen.

Horses Bovril Tiana and Gracie

Working on the detail of the three horses and applying their machanical movements to bring them to life was a joy. Each are hand carved and painted and use specialist glass texidermy eyes for realism. Vanessa also sent each horses main and tail trimmings carefully labelled so the exact horse hair could be incorporated onto each piece.

The challenge was to caputure Bovils tongue going in and out which I was very pleased with. I had never been to the New Forrest so decided to deliver the piece myself and the highlight I got to meet the stars of the automata in person.

If your interested in having your horse pony or donkey made into an automata get in touch. These type of piece are one of my favourites to make.