Kestrel has finally shared some of her jewellery making with us and it’s phenomenal. What starts out as a pile of horsehair becomes ordered and ultimately beautiful at the hands of a master artisan. I’ll let kestrel explain the process…

I’m working on my website and one of the things that needs to be done is to re-shoot all the photos. Since most of my work is custom (in other words, people send me hair from their own horse, and then I make stuff out of it for them) I don’t have things in inventory, and that means I had to re-make all the items in order to take new photos. One of the things I like about my work is being able to transform my materials, whatever they may be but in this case a messy pile of hair, into something orderly and worth having. 

©kestrel, all rights reserved

Some of the braiding was done before it occurred to me to take a photo, but that messy pile of hair is going to be turned into 6 bracelets: 3 that are an 8-strand braid, and 3 that are a 25-strand braid, one each of white, chestnut and black. In case you are wondering: that messy pile of hair is made up of 1,761 individual hairs. That I had to count. On purpose. I don’t usually sit down and figure out things like that, because I just really don’t want to know; it’s a little depressing. But, if one is going to braid hair, one must first count it. 

©kestrel, all rights reserved

Part way finished, you can see the 3 8-strand bracelets are done and I’ve just started on the black 25-strand bracelet. 


©kestrel, all rights reserved

All done! It looks very different from how it started out. Now what I have to do is take good photos of each product so that hopefully, people will want one of these made from their own horse’s hair as a keepsake or memento. Just another day (OK, actually it was about two weeks) in the life of a braider. 

Thanks for sharing, kestrel. I’m astonished at the precision and beauty of the finished product. I can’t begin to imagine the amount of work involved, especially the counting! These are surely cherished keepsakes. Why, it’s enough to make me wish for a horse of my own.






  1. says

    I am not much of a horse fan, but these are beautiful and I am sure many horse fanciers would love them as a memento of their beloved companion. The work is beautiful.

    I cannot even imagine counting 1761 hairs. I think that I could count it five times and get a different number each time.

    I love the goose statuette :-)

  2. kestrel says

    Thanks! Ah yes, my blue goose… I found him somewhere laying in the ground, about 20 years ago, and I thought he was cute and have had him ever since, watching over me. A Guardian Goose, I suppose.

    On counting hair: I once posted (years ago) in another forum on leather braiding. In that particular case I had counted out over 1,000 hairs and said so, and one commenter stated that if he had counted 1,000 hairs, the first thing he would braid would be a noose. :-) However the braids will not come out even if one does not count the hair, and we don’t want that, now, do we? :-D

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