David Smith, The Rocking Horse Man himself started his carving in Yorkshire Stone many years ago, and although the techniques are very similar (both require mallet and gouges) I am sure you can imagine he finds it a little easier carving in wood than in stone.
He now takes great pride in creating family heirlooms, even doing the time honoured traditional method of gessoing, before painting ,dappling ,varnishing and tacking up in order to achieve the finest hand finished traditional style rocking horse.
David also uses his cabinet making skills in hand crafting the safety stand on which the Rocking Horse sits, producing scalloped edges and other fine details not found on any other safety stand, the result is a fully functional piece of furniture that truly compliments the hand carved Rocking Horse.
If you have a name for your horse we are able to embroider it onto the saddle cloths .
David is also very proud to have accepted an invitation to become a member of the Guild of Rocking Horse Makers which recognises achievement and true craftsmanship.
Many companies are importing cheap reproductions from the far East, so it is very important that you look for a gauranteed, traditional rocking horse lovingly hand carved using time honoured methods from within the uk.
We are not mass producing Rocking Horses, but instead are hand carving with love and care using traditional tools in our own small workshop in the beautiful coastal village of Robin Hoods Bay, so please allow approximately 6 to 8 weeks time when commissioning your Rocking Horse , I promise you, it is worth the wait.
Just to give you an idea of the effort we go to I will explain a bit about Gesso.
Gesso is a technique used in the early days of Rocking Horse construction ,after all the carving is complete Gesso is applied , gesso is a mixture of rabbit skin glue and gilders whiting mixed together in a glue pot until hot , at least six coats of this mixture are then applied hot onto the horse,
Each coat is applied in the opposite direction to the previous coat to ensure a nice build up of the mixture, the horse is then left for approx one week to thoroughly dry at which stage it is sanded down to a beautiful smooth finish and ready for about six coats of paint ,then a nice dapple finish is applied plus two coats of varnish, which in time will mellow nicely, the horse is then ready for tacking up and almost ready for rocking!.
In the time honoured tradition we still use this technique today on all our dapple grey and painted horses.
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