"There is Always the Next Thing To Do…"

from Diana Unterspan

Back from Hat Camp on Vashon Island, which was an amazing opportunity to learn new skills, meet my hat hero Louise Green, and network with other awesome milliners from mostly the west coast but some even from the east.

My mentor, Dayna Pinkham, had encouraged me to go and off I went. Well worth the travel time and money. Most importantly is that I now know to use the European hat blocks that do not have rope lines. Let me explain. Most hat forms…well ALL the blocks I have been buying have rope lines which allow you to size the crown, and tie off a creased area for turning under of the brim. You can see the strings in both areas in the hat below which will become a twist top skimmer.

But the European blocks have no rope line and so you have to tightly and without wrinkles turn the fabric under and pin it securely with stainless steel pins. This will create what will be a double-sided brim which – when finished – is gorgeous. The block below can serve as a crown or a turban/pillbox with waves. But either way there are those waves but no bottom rope line for tying down and stretching the fabric.

Well if this makes no sense to you, you have a great opportunity to visit my studio the second and third weekends of October and see hat making in action. Portland Open Studios tickets can be bought on the website or at various venues all over Portland. At my SW Portland studio there will not only be a chance to see couture millinery in action but some hands on activities for children and adults to understand how wool is made into felt.

Come by and say Hello and remember there are artist studios open all over the city and a ticket lets you visit as many studios as you can cram into two weekends.

Portland Open Studios is a great learning opportunity for all sorts of people:

1. Those who say “Oh I can do THAT!!”  – well trust me, you probably can’t 🙂
2. Art and artisan lovers who wonder how those awesome items get made
3. The emerging artist who can chat with someone who has a body of work and is actually successfully presenting and selling their work.

Come pick our brains, see our digs, have a treat – visual, of course.