Friday, September 20, 2019

Mutton Busting. TJS Other Animal Performance.

     *note* The photos in this post of the sheep build and the show entries were taken by Elaine Lindelef.

At the tail end of July I got an email from Elaine Lindelef. She had a very unusual performance idea, and she wanted a doll made to go with it. Elaine was planning on showing in the Other Animal Performance class at The Jennifer Show. And she wanted to put together a mutton busting entry. I was vaguely familiar with mutton busting, but had never really looked into it much. Elaine sent a variety of photos and we got into discussing what she wanted for her doll. 
      Elaine had a very specific vision of what she wanted for her little mutton busting kid. She needed a child that was about 6-8 years old, boy or girl didn't matter, in probably a plaid shirt and a teal or red helmet with a pearly finish. I was also offered bonus points for an intense emotional expression (delight was on the list). I think I did OK with this little girl. And if anyone needs a pearly teal helmet, I have plenty more paint. 
    Breyer youth dolls are typically too large to pass for a younger child convincingly. So how do I handle that issue? I completely disassemble the doll so I can make her a custom size. I also use the smallest size and youngest looking doll head Breyer produces. As a plus for me I also take weird photos of a doll in pieces. That's how I roll. 
     After the doll was completely in pieces I had to put her back together. An unusual part of remaking this doll was the transverse cut across her midsection. I usually leave the body intact and just chop up limbs. But to make a doll overall smaller, I felt she needed a shorter torso as well as shorter legs. Once she was back together and dressed she was pretty cute. And she looked pretty delighted to me. 
     Though in this one she looks cold... She ended up with a shortened torso, shortened arms, shortened thighs and I even shorted her a bit more at the ankles. 
     While I was working on making a small doll to ride a sheep, Elaine was working on sculpting said sheep. And just how do you go about that? First you have lots of reference, this is one of Elaine's daughter's sheep. 
And this is the beginning of "Sweetheart"
     Elaine told me when she was a kid she used to agonize about not being able to find cows. But now if she wants a twisty sheep she can, and will, just whip one up. That is a good talent to have!

A bit more body on her now. 

Definitely looking more sheep shaped. 
     Elaine's small youth doll, who she named Lili, entered Bad Performance with this lead-line barrels entry that went terribly wrong. Lili was already posed for the mutton busting entry and Elaine didn't want to mess with her. She looks really surprised to me!

And here is Sweetheart , the sheep, with Lili, doing mutton busting in Other Animal Performance. I really love these photos!

      Each angle captures the entry in a really cool way. 

     In the end Sweetheart got third in Other Animal Performance and two people gave her Love. Lili did her job well and I am sure Elaine can think of a bunch of other fun things to do with a cute little kid. 
     The Jennifer Show has some incredibly unique classes and I am really happy I got to be a part of some of them. I do love spotting my dolls in entries. And Lili was made for this and I hoped that she would do well for Elaine. Though I really think it was Sweetheart who made this entry so incredible. 


timaru star ii said...

There is a live video of a grandchild mutton-busting on (I think) Lynn Isenbarger's blog. If it hadn't been for that I doubt I'd've known about this sport.

Anonymous said...

I am going to have a lot of fun with Lili in all kinds of local $4 gymkhana type classes and other fun things kids around here do with their horses! I also think she's going to be glad to have that helmet rather frequently. :-)