In this workshop you will learn to "block" millinery felt and straw materials using traditional hat blocks or hat forms. The felt and straw forms are dampened and steamed and then quickly blocked – pulled-stretched and sculpted onto the wooden block and tightly held in place with strings or elastics. The hats are then left to dry overnight.
This process conforms and molds the materials into the basic shape of the hat. Students are often surprised to discover hat blocking is such a tactile and physical experience. You will be shown how to maximize your physical strength and leverage to control the blocking process. While the hats dry you will learn methods for finishing the hat brim edge; finishes such as hand-sewn or machine-sewn welts, rolled edge brims, bias binding or petersham ribbon finished edges. You will learn a range of traditional embellishment and trim techniques to complete your millinery creations using ribbon, fabric, straw braid, veiling and millinery flowers. You will also investigate vintage inspired trims using felt and straw remainders from the hat making process.
During the workshop we will discuss "the business of millinery". You will receive information and handouts for millinery suppliers for felt, straw, and other purveyors of the millinery trade. Your workshop goal is to complete a minimum of 3 hats from start to finish. To accomplish the workshop objective, work is done in stages on several hats at the same time - while one of your hats is drying on the block, you will be finishing a brim on a second and deciding on the trim style for your third hats.
Class size is limited to insure personal attention.