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Michael Binkley Stone Sculpture of a White Horse

white marble horse sculpture

“White Horse Wave”, 2006

I have carved a few small scale horses in the past and wanted to carve one a little bigger, so in the summer of 2006, I took a piece of carrara bianco marble and executed “White Horse Wave.” The material is one of the best varieties of the noble white marble that is quarried above the famous town of Carrara, Italy. Carrara marble was the only stone Michelangelo insisted upon carving during his life.

“White Horse Wave” has garnered a lot of positive attention and those who visit the gallery love to stoke its back and mane.

I wanted to create a horse in full flight, running at top speed with mane and tail flying in the wind. I wanted to open the space between the horse’s chin and its feet, so I pushed the left front hoof far back and this is the only hoof that touches the ground. The composition gives the illusion of speed, as the horse strains to keep its mad pace. The lighting in the photograph shows the flexing muscles of the animal’s back, neck and legs.

To counteract against the sculpture falling forward, I left a substantial amount of stone between the horse’s legs to keep the weight near the back of the sculpture. This also assisted in supporting the horse’s body. Stone legs cannot give the support that bone and flesh ones can, so sculptors through  the ages have used props, such as tree stumps behind a figure’s leg for added support. Instead, I have left stone between the horse’s legs, called webbing and indeed, the rear left leg is hidden completely. I carved curved grooves in this area and made the direction undulate towards the back of the piece and assists in the illusion of forward movement.

Upon seeing the sculpture, one of my mariner friends remarked that seafarers would nickname white-capped waves “white horses,” and that this sculpture reminded him of them immediately. The colour of the marble, combined with the undulating fluted webbing and the shape of the mane and tail inspired the title for the sculpture.

It weighs about 120 pounds, or about 55 kgs.

Comments: 1

  • Tina Birnie

    March 17, 2015

    Would you be able to make a galloping horse six foot high to order it would be for outside and if so what would the price be
    Thank you I await your reply
    Tina Birnie

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