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SPUR The magazine of Thoroughbred and Country Life Countrystyle: Precious Steeds

The horse in jewelry presents a problem of detail. How does one go about rendering two miniature polo players and their ponies, for instance, in precious metal? Designer Ruth Morlocke explains that like an actual sculpture, her very fluid designs are first carved in wax with sprue, or feeder, wires attached.

These are the means through which the liquefied metal is eventually cast. (Examples she showed us were actually blue in color.) "After the piece is cast, all the sprue wires are cut off," says the Chardon, Ohio-based artisan. Bit of a sticky wicket when your creation is only 1 1/2 inches long, but Morlocke remains unfazed.

The resulting diminutive designs are up to snuff; Morlocke's works with fine gems even made the cut for the 1992 Diamond Horse Collection.

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