Thought for a lifetime

Einstein made the very important observation that " Imagination is more important than knowledge ".

Friday, January 31, 2014

Wayne Wichern; Milliner Extraordinaire


Wayne sharing his knowledge and supplies during hat workshop

After my fabulous experience at Hat Camp 
( see blog entry dated 10/3 2013 Destination: Hat Camp )
I was determined to attend one of Wayne Wichern's Hat Workshops in Burlingame. 

Wayne Wichern Millinery is at 1777 California Drive, Studio 7 & 8, Burlingame, CA 94010

Lucky for me Wayne's studio at the Peninsula Museum of Art was just a bus and BART ride away from my girlie's apartment in San Francisco.

Since the goal of the workshop is to learn how to block hats
 on wooden forms ( called hat blocks )

and the fact that there are probably 200+ ( 300+ ? ) hat blocks in Wayne's studio

I knew immediately the workshop was going to be incredibly informative.
And I wasn't disappointed.

The first demonstration was a straw hood ( or blank ) blocked on this hat block.

Wayne explained all the different types of straw, the good and not so good, the weave, and the preparation of the straw, etc.

It takes a lot of  strength to block a hat and 
agility to slip a string around the stretched straw to hold it in place.

After the hat dried the excess was cut away

The brim was clean finished on the sewing machine

and then Wayne shared his method for creating a headband and sewing it in place.

Then the steps were repeated with a wool felt that was blocked,

left to dry,

and some subtle variations in the finishing steps.
I am being extremely brief! 
Eight pages of hand written notes attest to
 the knowledge and impressive skills Wayne so very generously shared with us.

All around Wayne's studio were wonderful hats in all shapes, colors and trims that were so inspiring!

Wayne has been a milliner for 27 years and is a true master of his trade.
As I begin my millinery journey with no clear destination 
it truly humbles me to have someone so unselfishly share decades of experience.

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