I was wondering about horse hair jewelry and I have some questions
1. Is horse hair jewelry practical
2.does it last a long time
3. Does anyone know of a good place to get some
4.how do I cut the mane/tail
5.what are the different designs
There are many different designs to choose from but it all depends on what you want done and where you get it. I have heard of a place in the UK that does this very cool thing where they imbed a tail or mane hair into a glass heart. But I can't remember what it is called.
My husband is a goldsmith/silversmith and he is just getting into horsehair pieces. With regards to practicality, I would have to say that that has a lot to do with design. If the piece incorperates fine metals and fine braids, it will not be as durable as say, a round, multi strand braid.
There are some awesome designers out there; if you give me an idea of what you are after I cound post some links to designers I would recomend. Are you looking for something more on the fine metal side of things, or more straight up horse hair? What is your budget? I know of one AMAZING designer, but pieces start at about $300 and go WAY up.
We use mane hair because it is finer. Like I say, we are in the learning phase with horse hair, but we've had the most success by going into the middle of the mane or the bottom and simply cutting out a small amount. If the horse has a short mane, of course you will have to use tail hair.
If you are going to have a braider do your jewelery, you will need to collect tail hair. They will typically not work with mane hair as it is too fine. Most of the braiders will tell you how much you need. Usually a piece about as big around as a quarter - a half dollar and the full length of the tail.
My daughter wears a bracelet she had made. It is durable, can get wet. Kind of take care of it like you do your own hair :)