It's a Wrap!

The set isn't quite finished. Almost, anyway. But that's not what this wrap is about.

It's about Saran Wrap. Or plastic wrap, if you buy the store brand like I do. Or Evil Forcefield of Staticky Doom if it hates you has much as it hates me.  It sticks to my hands, the counter, the box, itself, and everything but the dish I'm trying to cover.  But I digress.

It's very hand stuff for fitting; protects the model from dye and miscellaneous gunk without creating a lot of extra bulk.  This idea is not mine, lest you think me brilliant or some such nonsense.  Jennifer Buxton and Leah of Shoestring both use plastic wrap to protect ponies while working on various projects.

This lovely Jezebel, resculpted by Mel Miller, is not mine.  Alas and alack.  Let me go weep in the corner for a moment, because she's really lovely and I'm not even an 'Arab person.'

. . .

Okay. Back. If she were mine, I'd skip this step entirely.  Blank resins are not sacred in this studio.  No paint means no problem - I fit directly to the model, wet dye or sealer be darned. WeeJay especially has some epic dye 'sweat' marks, but is tacked up right now (AND my card reader decided to be finicky).

But Jezebel is not mine, and so a great deal of care has been taken with her.  When not in use, she hangs out on a piece of felt on her side, well out of the general carnage.  And when it comes time to fit her saddle, she gets a plastic wrap poncho for protection.

Because I have such bad luck with plastic wrap actually sticking to the desired places, I secured this with a piece of scotch tape under the belly.  It's taped to the plastic wrap, not the pony. The plastic covers more than necessary, actually, since this is just to fit the saddle, but covering the neck and croup helps keep everything in place.

I cover the saddle with sealer top and bottom and then twist tie it down gently.  Too hard and you'll get funky lines across the leather - no bueno. The sealer has two purposes - extra protection for pony down the line and it makes the leather damp, which helps accelerate the shaping process and keeps the saddle in shape after it dries.  Water would accomplish the same purpose, but I like having more than one coat of sealer on a project.  For most of the saddle, this is a second coat. I can be a little flaky with sealing after dyeing and before construction, especially if I'm in a hurry, need just a little bit of this color, or whatever.  That, and the fact that I paint on the studs that go on the jockeys near the pommel, is why I always always seal EVERYTHING at least one more time after I have finished constructing the saddle.

While training the saddle, I do not apply sealer to the stirrup leathers.  I'll do that after it comes off the horse. The stirrup bars (or what would be stirrup bars) are usually covered by the twist tie and cause the stirrup leathers to dry funny.  It's easier for me to do those after the twist tie comes off rather than fighting them.

And viola! Nicely trained saddle, clean pony, win win.

If anyone's counting...10 days until class starts.  Think I can finish this in time?


  1. Great post! "Plastic wrap poncho for protection" made me giggle.

    What do you use for your sealer? I really should be sealing my tack projects. Do you use it on bridles too?

  2. I use Tandy's Eco-Flo sealers. I have Satin Sheene and Super Sheene on hand, but I use Satin most often.

  3. Whoop, forgot-sealer goes on EVERYTHING. Bridles, boots, girths, anything but especially things that come into direct contact with the horse. If you're using scrap leather from Tandy, you probably don't need sealer but it's always better to seal than not.

  4. Thanks! I'll have to acquire some!