A friend who runs a B&B (First Farm Inn) that offers trail riding as an add-on option up near Cincinnati came up with an interesting challenge last week. “Can you make a felted unicorn horn to go on a horse’s bridle?”. Apparently a guest had wondered if she could book a birthday ride, and did Jen have any unicorns.
So after a semi-ok prototype, I landed on a better design and made one up! This reminded me of a couple of things about product development which is what we fine craft artists are actually doing when we’re creating a new line of work. We have to work the bugs out of an idea before we offer it for sale.
Art that hangs on the wall or sits on a pedestal doesn’t have this onus – but art that has a use must be designed to be able to carry out its function well. A cup should be able to hold liquid, a sweater should hold together and a unicorn horn can’t flop down on a horse’s face! Nor be too stiff so as to pose a real risk to the unicorn handler.
I went back to the drawing board and fine tuned the armature I was using as the superstructure and added a sleeve so the contraption could be used on multiple browbands for different bridles. I also lengthened the horn so it looked a little more natural on my model’s noggin. I liked the results and delivered it to Jen. She loved it! So I made another and now have them offered for sale in my Etsy shop. I’ll let you know if I get more buyers. I think I will – wearing one turns ANY horse into a unicorn for photo opps!