"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Headless Horseman Rides Again!

This morning, I thought I'd share one of my most sentimental pieces. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is one of my favorite classics and last summer I decided I wanted....NO...I needed to make my own Headless Horseman. This was my first real wood carving that I dared to combine with different mediums. Since then, working with mixed media is all I want to do!

The Headless Horseman's horse is hand-carved and placed on a wood dowel to give a sense of movement. He's painted and distressed in several layers of crackling gel. His ears are real leather. I used rusted wire as his mane and tail. My husband, Ted helped me drill the holes just so, which turned out to be a two-hour project! It wound up being a lot of fun working with Ted and spending time together - just him and me. That's why I could never sell this piece! It's too sentimental. We also attached his reins with ever-so-tiny nails, holding our breath that the horse's head wouldn't split!

The dowel is connected to an old wood children's block. Not being satisfied with a plain brown block, I painted a picture of Ichabod Crane being chased through the woods by the Horseman.

The quote on the back of the block is taken from Bing Crosby in the Disney version of Sleepy Hollow, "For Once You Cross that Bridge My Friend, the Ghost is Through, His Power Ends."

The Horseman is completely needle-felted using various shades of wool roving. His boots are sculpted from paperclay and I made his cape from red and black felted wool. He holds his pumpkin head up in the air, like he's just about to throw it at Ichabod. Of course, he rides bare-back!

The next morning, Ichabod's hat was found abandoned, and close beside it a shattered pumpkin. Now rumors persisted Icahbod was still alive, but the Dutch settlers refused to believe such nonsense. For everyone knew that the schoolmaster was spirited away by the Headless Horseman.


  1. Outstanding my friend! ~Shelley O.

  2. You did a marvelous job on this piece !
    I love your story narration !