Weird and Wonderful

I love experimenting. Not all the hats I make end up with a client; some are made to test a new material or a new technique – and some are made for pleasure.

This first piece was made a while ago – I have always loved fibre optics (must be my seventies childhood). The photo quality is not great here but I do love the impact this makes when lit – and of course you cannot see it in a still photo but the fibres sway beautifully.

Next up a slightly fiercer piece – an experiment with materials again. This time with metal mesh – similar in some ways to the woven sinamay that is a milliner’s staple. This woven metal sheeting will be familiar to sculptors who sometimes use it to form armatures to support clay. The skewer “hat pin” seemed to fit the theme.

joanna-zara-mesh-headpiece

 

Any milliner will tell you that they can be inspired by the oddest things – in my case at one point it was hubcaps. This piece is based loosely around the theme of “re-use” – the small crown is covered in a piece of white leather that was a swatch sample from a sofa shop. The “scarf” is a white bin bag.

Sometimes it is people, not materials, that are the inspiration. None more so than the Queen of unusual headgear Sara Cutting. Sara has raised over £22.000 for Macmillan wearing creations either of her own design or made by some of the most famous milliners in the world. I have had the honour of lending her some of my hats, and also of making some especially for her:

 

What is the strangest headgear you have ever seen? And what is the oddest thing you have ever worn on your own head?!

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