A Hat Making History Part 1

Hats for Art and Artefact

When my friend Helen McIntosh suggested we make objects and art for our up coming exhibition Art and Artefact. I thought I would love to make hats.

Because the journey into hat making has been so interesting I thought I’d share some of the process.

types of hats
A Collection of Old Hats and Fascinators

Research into hat making

Originally I made drawings of characters wearing strange hats but was not sure how I would go about recreating them. I had to really think about how to make 3D patterns to fit a head. It really tested my brain.

I researched youtube and pinterest and bought a few hat making books for ideas. I even bought a hat pattern. I used part of the pattern to make a crown for one of the hats.

Using Recycled Objects to create hat shapes

I amassed a collection of interesting items from the local op shops to think about the structure for my hats

Objects used to create structures and frames for hat making
Wire fruit bowls, lamp shades, candle holders, hangers, glass, lamp parts, flowers, bric a brac etc

Playing and Possibilities

I began playing putting things together some of the objects together to see what shapes I could make.

bowl stand hat
An Upside down Fruit bowl Possibility

The Fruit bowl stand was in the end way too heavy but I did create a pattern from the bowl stand using artistic wire.

There is a real joy in putting interesting objects together

Fabrics, Flowers, Trims and Feathers

I also started sorting my collections of fabrics, flowers, lace, beads, jewelry, and objects I had made. I put together colours and materials that I felt worked well together.

Hat Blocks

wooden hat moulds
hat blocks

My friend Lucille lent me her Aunt’s hat making wood blocks. The blocks are old and beautiful and some are adjustable. I used one as a mold for one of the hats.

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