Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Mad hatter

I'm always rather ambitious when I start things, and always want to know everything at once!  So, a hat making workshops a few months after I began felting? Bring it on!  In fact, it was a wonderful experience, I learnt so many things in the one day, thanks to a marvellous teacher Pam de Groot.  I traveled to her cosy workshop in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, where I spent a blissful day not just learning to make a hat but learning about the design process, taking ideas and inspiration and turning them into an object.  Pam is a not only a gifted artist but also a very good teacher who seeks not just to show you what to do, but to nurture your creativity and turn your wacky ideas into reality!  I also learnt a lot about shrinkage, making dreadlocks, attaching dreadlocks, making 'quality' felt (even and tight), hat construction, colour and how a little bit of silk really can go a long way to great effect.  Here is the result of my efforts - an original design but very much based on Pam's work (we started with modifying a template of hers to fit my idea of the front 'turn-up').  This was initially flat felted using the template (resist) and then when we had done a LOT of rolling finished with a hat block.  You can see more of Pam's hat's and theatrical headdresses on her blog, they are sure to inspire.  Pam also wrote a nice little blog post about the workshop and my hat - 'what a cracker'!

The photo of me wearing my hat below is Pam's photo from her blog - taken just after the hat was made (still wet with pins in!)