This Moving Wooden Horse Sculpture is Mesmerizing

Maurice Montero of Arte Mecánico has created hundreds of absolutely stunning moving works of art in his shop in Ecuador, but his newest creation is certainly one that has a lot of appeal to the fine citizens of Horse Nation!

If you watched the video with the sound off, be sure to turn your volume on and get another viewing in! The gears have been designed to not only simulate realistic movement in the body, legs, neck and head, it’s also been carefully crafted to create the sound of galloping hooves to the correct timing.

Maurice’s other work includes flying contraptions, bicycles, human figures, and other unusual animals. His materials also vary significantly from project to project, including wood, metal, bamboo, paper, and fabric.

You can see more of Maurice’s incredible artwork at his Facebook Page, including many other horse sculptures of all types and sizes! There’s also a great behind the scenes tour of his studio here.

Go Riding.


Photo Challenge: 4 Shed Horsehair Sculptures

Art is everywhere … especially in the barn aisle this time of year.

This week, we wanted to see Horse Nation’s creative side and called for your best horsehair creations from the piles of fluff thanks to spring shedding season. As always, our readers delivered — here are four amazing horsehair sculptures.

Keep an eye out for next week’s 24-hour photo challenge! We announce challenge subjects on Monday around the middle of the day on both Instagram and Facebook.

Go riding!

If Snowflakes Were Horses

We caught up with paper snowflake artist and author Marion Nichols to discuss her latest project, ‘100 Amazing Paper Animal Snowflakes’ — horse snowflake included, of course!

Marion Nichols has published an impressive ten collections of paper snowflakes. Her most recent work is 100 Amazing Paper Animal Snowflakes, published on October 15, 2015 through Quarry Books. Each snowflake template within the book is a work of art, using the image of an animal to create a unique design.

Marion, of course, included a horse in the collection:

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 12.57.17 PM

Courtesy of Quarto Publishing Group USA

We caught up Marion to discuss her creations, her artistic life and her horse background.

So how did you come up with the idea to use animals in snowflakes?

I was watching television one evening and cutting a regular paper snowflake — I can’t just sit there in front of the TV, I have to be creating something. I was watching an animal program, and looked at the animals and the snowflake and thought, “I bet I can do that.”

I started with a songbird, and went from there.  I’ve published 10 different snowflake books now.

You mentioned you work at the City Museum in St. Louis. What do you do there?

Definitely look up the City Museum as it’s very unique. Originally I was a volunteer there — I was the “hat lady,” and director of  the Art City section. Mr. Cassilly [museum mastermind and creator] noticed that people liked my little six sided snowflakes, so he built me a little six sided room where I cut snowflakes from recycled paper and tell stories. The museum gets on average about 4,000 visitors a day, so I meet lots of people. The tradition of cutting paper and telling stories is actually quite old; there are many cultures who historically blended these activities on a winter’s evening.

And why snowflakes in particular? How did you get into that art form?

Well, I always have to do something artistic with my hands. I like cutting paper — as I mentioned, every culture has a paper-cutting art form and tradition. Snowflakes aren’t just paper art, either — they are math and language lessons. They teach tessellations and fractals. They show both positive and negative space.

How do you design a snowflake, especially with a shape like an animal?

You can turn anything into a snowflake.  First you fold a six sided snowflake. Then, any shape I use has to fit in that triangle that results from that fold. I’ve found that I need a minimum of four points of contact on the edge of that triangle to keep the snowflake together.

And because we’re always curious… do you have any horse background?

Oh, we had an old racehorse when I was seven! I remember that he was pretty mean. He used to brush me off on trees, and he would hold his breath when you tried to tighten the girth. Needless to say I am not a horsewoman now.

Check out Marion’s animal snowflake book and order a copy! Winter’s not so bad when there’s a way to relate all that snow back to horses, and in a fun, hands-on way.

Go riding!

Horses & Art: Celebrating Don Quixote’s ‘Rocincante’

Rider, artist and author of equestrian art blog “The Flying Shetlands” Shya Beth explains how Don Quixote’s “horse like no other” has been represented in art form around the world.

Rocinante and Book

One of the most influential and widely translated books in literary history, The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, written by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, is celebrating 400 years since its first publication this year. Often referred to by its abridged title, Don Quixote, the book was published in two volumes during the early 1600s and is considered to be one of the most read works of literature ever created.

Did you know that it took Don Quixote four days to chose a name for his horse? Many sculptures have been made of the famous Spanish knight and his beloved horse, ‘Rocinante,’ with the newest one to join the collection featured above.

In honor of the book’s four-century anniversary, the professionals at Oyma 3D made Quixote this horse of his dreams this summer in July. Egyptian design engineer Mahmoud Al-Swedy of Oyma3D digitally sculpted a 3D model of Rocinante over the past nine months.

“This is my homage to Don Quixote. I have been profoundly influenced by this deeply amusing and truly compelling book and wanted to create something that reflects my admiration,” says Al-Swedy.

“It took me quite a while to decide what is the best way to honor a gentleman like Don Quixote de la Mancha, until I figured out that giving him the horse of his dreams is the best gift we could ever give him. Particularly, if the horse design is very complex to the extent that it can be made only by professional 3D printers.

“Don Quixote’s horse Rocinante was not just an ordinary horse, but he was to him the resemblance of the super horse that a heroic knight like Don Quixote can rely upon in his legendary battles like when he fought the giants (such as the famous fight with the windmills),” adds Al-Swedy.

“A horse like no other, this is how I wanted this sculpture to be, an intricate and unique piece that suits a magnificent knight like Don Quixote.”

According to Al-Swedy, Rocinante came together through the collective efforts of artists and vendors from Egypt, Spain, Holland and the USA. While the design sketching was done in Egypt, the 3D modeling and bronze casting was completed in Spain and the final 3D printing prototyping was done in Holland. The final orders will be shipped to the USA for 3D printing. He compares this global network of partners for the project to the influence that the book has had around the globe.

“It’s no surprise that a book globally revered would have a team from across the world working together in its celebration.”

Other artistic renderings of Rocinante include this statue by Anna Hyatt Huntington at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrell’s Inlet, South Carolina.

Brookgreen Gardens. Don Quixote, a knight on his horse Rocinante. Sancho Panza, his squire standing beside his donkey Dapple. (Cervantes): Brookgreen Gardens, Quixote Projects, Quixote Brookgreen, Knights, Donkeys Dapple, Hors Rocin, Horses Rocinant, Don Quixote

This sculpture of Rocinante was created by Anna Hyatt Huntington in 1923.

This is in the Plaza de España (Spain Square) in Madrid. It was designed by architects Rafael Martínez Zapatero and Pedro Muguruza and sculptor Lorenzo Coullaut Valera. Most of the monument was built between 1925 and 1930, and it was finished between 1956 and 1957 by Federico Coullaut-Valera Mendigutia (Lorenzo Coullaut’s son). In 1960 two new sculpture groups were added, one of them being Rinconete and Cortadillo  made by Federico Coullaut-Valera.

Rinconete is the horse and Cortadillo is the donkey.

. Made by sculptor Lorenzo Coullaut Valera ...
Here are a few drawings featuring Don Quixote and his steed, created by Gustave Doré in the 18602.
Pin by Diane Doute-Leverette on "David Copperfield", published 1850 ... 
Collage of the engravings of The Adventures of don Quixote by Gustave Doré

And, finally, a painting of Don Quixote and Rinconete by Honoré Daumier (1868).


For more fascinating equine art history features, check out The Flying Shetlands, a blog by equine artist and rider Shya Beth. Her mission is to showcase and highlight unique and exceptional equine art and artists across the globe.

Growing daily, The Flying Shetlands has new articles every Tuesday and Friday. It is also the founder of the first ever #EquineArtHour on Twitter for equine artists along with art and equine enthusiasts to share their work and interact with each other for an hour every Sunday, 4-5 p.m. See the official page here.