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Horse Art in Polymer Clay

Polymer Clay Relief Sculpture of a white horse by Sara Joseph
The White Horse, Polymer Clay Relief Sculpture, Sara Joseph

Horse art is everywhere in Texas. It is impossible to have lived here as long as I have and not have absorbed a passion for horses. It is in the very air that we breathe. I mean that quite literally!

In spring, walking through the hushed halls of the Kimbell Art Museum, I am often amused by those who disgustedly wrinkle their noses at the earthy smells of horse dung wafting from the Will Rogers Coliseum, just a block away!

At the Coliseum, in enormous barns, proud owners of thoroughbreds and other more humble livestock, exhibit and trade with gusto, unaware of the contempt of the more genteel Museum goers downwind.

Not surprisingly, common ground is reached when local artists capture the magnificence of these animals (minus their stench!) and create wonderful horse art (or equestrian art) for the more cultured visitors to our city.

I joined local artists in creating horse art in polymer clay as a mild form of protest. I am ashamed to admit that I was actually voicing a formal complaint against the Lord! During a particularly bleak period of time, I felt ignored at art shows—my art was continually overlooked, while others seem to sell effortlessly.

Galleries in Texas invariably exhibit some form of equestrian art, which garners a lot of admiration from the locals and tourists. Almost unconsciously I found myself grumbling that the only art that seemed to be selling was horse art!

Despite my resolve that I would only create art at His leading, I found my hands shaping a horse in relief. I felt a smug sense of satisfaction at finally creating a work that I felt would be surely be popular—and of course, SELL!

My triumph did not last long, because opening the Bible that day, I read,

“A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save!”

Psalm 33:17


Polymer Clay Relief Sculpture of a grey and silver horse by Sara Joseph
The Vain Horse, Polymer Clay Relief Sculpture, Sara Joseph

I was acting outside the boundaries I had set for myself, seeking monetary rewards instead of sticking to my earlier stated objectives! I had purposed that faith would be an integral part of my creativity. Art my hands created would be the fruit of conversations with God. Yet I had succumbed to the yearning for sales over maintaining the integrity of my motives regarding my work.

How grateful I am for the Lord’s gentle disciplinary hand of correction! When I had repented of my impatience and rebellion, that only He could know of, I felt the liberty of forgiveness and the freedom to create all the horse art I so desired!

It now intrigues me to see the many references to horses there are in the Bible, worthy of exploration as themes for future work!

The White Horse, did sell, and I felt no guilt about it. I had been forgiven.

Polymer Clay Relief Sculpture of a running horse by Sara Joseph
Born Free, Polymer Clay Relief Sculpture, Sara Joseph

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:2


There is truly no liberty like what we enjoy in Christ Jesus!

Having learned my lesson (at least for now) I create with the understanding of who really must be in charge! My hands shape clay with a sense of awe for the God who knows me so completely. My lofty aspirations and my often shallow motives are all laid bare before Him! He knows how selfish I really am, despite striving to be otherwise. Yet He loves me anyway and encourages me to believe that I can be who I aspire to be. He is kind enough to help me along. And for that I am so very grateful.

I discovered that in the Bible, the horse is frequently used as a symbol of man looking for deliverance from it's strength than from God. In fact, it was a consistent theme through the ages.

I was not alone!! Others, besides me, seemed to choose the tangible instead of the unseen power of God! That is why the kings of Israel were cautioned against accumulating horses. Deep abiding trust in God was to be their source of strength, not the size of their armies or the strength of their horses.


“The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, "You are not to go back that way again."” Deuteronomy 17:16


I learned a valuable lesson (one that I pray I wont have to relearn many times!) in my first rebellious making of horse art. I was to trust God alone and refuse to assess success or failure by comparing myself to others around me.


His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147: 10-11


Today when I create horse art, I am captivated more by the One who created the horse in all its glorious grace and form, than the creature itself.

I also refrain from leaning on my horse art works to bring me the sales I find myself craving. I discipline myself to crave His pleasure instead, trusting Him for the rest.

I pray that you will take from my lesson in submission more than just a chuckle of amusement. Instead, may you appreciate the relevance of the Bible and the wonderful way the Holy Spirit corrected me from straying into self reliance, encouraging me to lean on Him when sales were slow.

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