Rochester Horses Logo
<< Previous HorseNext Horse >>









Polymer Clay Guild WNY


A Well Seasoned Horse will be composed of colored polymer clay tile mosaic depicting the seasons of Rochester. Unlike traditional mosaic, A Well Seasoned Horse will not have any grout lines as the tiles will butt up against each other forming the skin of the horse.

Polymer clay is a synthetic modeling material made out of PVC mixed with a plasticizer and color pigments. It is cured at a low temperature making it permanent.

A Well Seasoned Horse is a visual tour of the seasons in Western New York. Starting at the horses muzzle and eye covered in snowflakes and his mane in icicles, we progress to a blazing sun on his chest. The rays of the sun turn into branches, on one side a beautiful lilac bursting forth and on the other a maple in all of its fall glory. The lazy days of summer are represented in the horses legs and underside with grass, vines and flowers. Several frogs, butterflies, bees, grasshoppers and ladybugs will be added for whimsical touches. To complete our design we have chosen to add the moon and a few stars.

About the Horse

When the Western New York State Polymer Clay Guild completed their horse they sent out a birth announcement. They welcomed into the world "A Well Seasoned Horse," 225 pounds of fiberglass and polymer clay. The horse, 6 feet tall and 8 feet long took the Guild 12 weeks and 1552 hours of intense physical labor to create.

The process began when they learned of the Horses On Parade project and had three weeks to submit a design. The design was completed and eventually came the good news that a sponsor had selected their design. By the time the 125 pound horse was delivered they had 12 weeks to complete the design and return the horse for photographing.

When they received the horse the designer immediately transferred the design to the horse. However, when they attempted to glue the polymer clay tiles to the horse, no glue they used would bond and the tiles kept falling off. It was eventually learned that the horses had an oil based primer on them that had to be sanded off, The guild members spent three days sanding the primer and the reference drawings - off. There were other problems as well. Some of the clay crumbled and tiles had to be redone.

The close to 130 pounds of clay was donated by Accent Import-Export and American Art Clay Co. The Guild used both Fimo Classic and Fimo Soft and spent hours conditioning. "We learned that Fimo works much better when you beat it to death." Fortunately not all the clay had to be hand conditioned. They had the help of twe pasta machine motors owned by guild members.

The guild used a Hobart commercial oven big enough to hold 6 cookie sheets. Since the horse was covered in 2x2 inch tiles that were cut and baked before application, the generous oven size was most helpful.

For attaching the tiles to the horse 3M Corporation recommended 3M Scotchseal PA Sealant #560, a glue used in the RV industry and strong enough to withstand outdoor exposure. "We were worried that with expansion the tiles were going to pop off. 3M found us the perfect glue."

Zap-A-Gap was used to hold the tiles in place while the 3M glue hardened. For UV protection the horse was coated with four coats of Diamond Varathane.

The above is an edited version of an article which can be found at

Further facts

  • There are seven gnomes peeking out from different locations on the horse including one caught in a spider web.
  • There are aphids on the roses decorating the horses legs.
  • Everyone who worked on the horse signed a leaf except the designer, who signed the moon.
  • The moon and some of the stars glow in the dark.