Modelmaking and horses have
been my twin passions for as long
as I can remember.

I was born in Glasgow and brought
up in the Stirlingshire countryside;
a succession of borrowed ponies
and the Strathblane and District
Pony Club taught me to ride, while
my treasured collection of pony
books fuelled my interest in art.

The wonderful line drawings of illustrators such as Lionel Edwards,
Peter Biegel, Stanley Lloyd, Joan Wanklyn and Sheila Rose were an
endless source of inspiration.

My academic parents viewed their strange pony-mad daughter with
dismay; school reports were invariably disappointing as only the Art Department could enthuse about my progress.

I found painting difficult and frustrating, but working with clay or plasticene always felt like coming home, and my teachers were very helpful and encouraging.

Parental disapproval meant that Art School was not an option. The
three years at teacher training college which followed school were
memorable only for a good Art and Craft Department where I learnt
the basics of casting and mould making, and was able to produce my
first bronze resin horse.

Real horses then took over.
Freed at last from the wearisome confines of formal education, I spent the next
ten years in Devon, riding, teaching, breaking, hunting
and carriage driving. It was
great fun, but inevitably
sculpture took a back seat;
however when I finally left
Devon, I had two horse portrait
commissions from friends.

Fired with enthusiasm as I was,
I completely under-estimated
the enormity of these tasks
knowing as little as I did, and
much anguish and an extremely
steep learning curve ensued!

However I finally managed to produce two bronze resin horses; and
even in my over stressed and exhausted state I knew that I was totally
captivated and fascinated by the whole modelling and casting process;
at last I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up.

By 1987 I had discovered the Shropshire/Radnorshire border
country, so similar to the rolling hills of my childhood. I bought a little house in Clun, and, in 1988, having improved my modelling and casting techniques, I started trading as Toric Trophies (named after a favourite horse), supplying my exclusive range of plaques and trophies by mail order to clubs and shows all over the UK.

With my knowledge of carriage driving I was able to offer driving models which were awarded at both the BDS and the BHDTA Championships, which was a great honour. Gradually new challenges and commissions emerged, and I started producing larger models for one-off presentations.

By 1999 these were taking up more and more time and as I found them much more fulfilling to produce, I sold Toric Trophies to explore this new direction.

I am now kept busy mainly with portrait models and I tend to specialise in native ponies and cobs.

My childhood love of ponies has never left me; I teach at the local Pony
Club branch and am constantly amused by the character and cunning
displayed by our native breeds! The challenge of capturing this essence
in a model is endlessly fascinating and I still turn to the illustrations in
my old pony books for help and inspiration.

I hope you will enjoy looking at these examples of my work.

Liz Henderson