Art Is The Heart Of Equine Industry For Anna Davis by Kevin DeBusk Some people enjoy riding horses, others enjoy training horses but seventeen-year-old Anna Davis, of Millington, Tennessee, enjoys creating equine art. Anna has started Equusdesigns, a business designed to paint and sculpt replicas of horses. She also designed her own business website at www.equusdesigns.com. "I do commissioned pieces," she said. "I've been painting most my life and started doing wire sculptures about two years ago. I was doing paintings and one day I decided to try working with wire. I had seen someone doing art with barbwire and that's what gave me the idea. "I use mainly different gauge steel and copper wire to make my sculptures. I started out trying it with steel wire and it's grown from there. Steel is harder to form the smaller things like ears than copper.. Copper is easier to work with and is more forgiving and flexible. "When I start I use a heavy wire to form the skeleton and then use finer wire to wrap the body and form the muscles and hair. I'm thinking about branching out into other medals like silver, gold, and brass. "Sculpting is three dimensional and you have to know bone structure and muscles to make them life like. I've been studying horses since I was little. I've studied the anatomy of the horse and will sit and watch horses move so I know how to make the structure. I look at my sculptures and ask myself if this was a real horse would that be correct. "I like to look at the horse I'm doing but if I can't I have people provide me with photos. I like to have several different angles. The more I see the more in depth I can make it." When complete sculptures are mounted on a wood base and art work mounted and matted. All art also comes with a certificate of authenticity. With such dedication to detail it takes time to complete each horse. "It takes hours up on hours to complete a piece," she said. "It varies from piece to piece. I did a Tennessee Walking Horse that took five hours to complete the bridle. I wanted it to move just like a real one. I ended used five different kinds of wire on the head and bridle." On average she tells customers six to eight weeks for completion. Anna's dedication to detail has not gone unnoticed. "I won the Memphis Home Education art contest in 1993, 1999 and 2000," Anna stated. "In 1999 I won first and second. That was the first year I entered both a painting and sculpting. Last year I won the eleventh grade division with my sculpting, at the Mid-South Fair, and it was chosen Best of Show." When not working with art Anna works and shows horses. "I have two horses of my own," she said. "I have a Tennessee Walking Horse/ Quarter Horse cross and a Quarter Horse. "I'm a member of the Appaloosa Association. I don't compete with my horses but I show for Ms. Ginger (Wilson). I went to my first show in May and competed in Hunter in Hand." Ginger Wilson is an Appaloosa breeder from Millington, Tennessee. "I really enjoy doing art," Anna said. "You have to enjoy it and have a desire. You can't learn from wanting to you have to do it. I would suggest to any one to achieve your goals you have to have a real desire to better yourself. You have to practice, practice, practice and learn from it. "After I graduate I plan to attend college and get a Liberal Arts degree. I also want to stay involved in showing horses and riding."
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