Thought for a lifetime

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

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Jill Courtemanche + Heidi Paul = Hats !

Found an amazing milliner that has set up shop 
in beautiful Solano Beach in San Diego, CA

The good news is that the very experienced, professional trained
milliner; Jill Courtemanche 
offers occasional 2 day workshops at
her small jewel of a store.

Jill demonstrating blocking a felt hat
The best news is that in January I had the opportunity to attend
her two day workshop on blocking a hat.

Jill only has a fraction of the hat blocks ( the wooden forms that the hats are stretched onto )
compared to my most favorite milliner; Wayne Wichern.
Wayne easily has at least 200+ blocks.
But, Jill has the basics and great suggestions for manipulating the shapes.

I think it is important to learn from multiple instructors.
Jill has the education and has worked for a New York milliner
but, I would describe her approach to blocking hats 
more laid back and relaxed.
She also has a fantastic sense of humor.

All the students in the workshop left extremely happy
with their final product.

This is my final happy hat :)


Another weekend in January,
another workshop
another hat,
but, what a different journey!

Heidi Paul is an amazing felt artist 
that also makes hats

Heidi has a gallery in Stinson Beach, which is just north of San Francisco.
She taught this workshop at the San Francisco studio
of my favorite milliner, Wayne Wichern.

I have never felted anything before so 
it was a long strange trip…
with some wool
a ball

some special tricks and tips,

soap, water and lots of agitation ( of the wool  ),
a few more techniques and 
in about 2 hours you've made a hat!

This is the actual hat Heidi made right in front of the students

This method of felting a hat on a ball was developed by Beth Beede,
and Heidi is very, very good at it.

After Heidi made her hat then it was the student's turn :)
These are the two wool colors I chose for my hat.

And two hours later I was actually wearing my hat!
Not a big fan of the shape on my head so 
I will be steaming my hat and re-blocking it into a different shape.

But, what is so exciting to me is the possibility of 
creating my own hat blanks that I can then shape 
however I wish.

I am currently hunting down all the necessary supplies
to try this hat on a ball at home.

I will definitely blog about the results.

Okay, so I got ambitious and DID re-block my Heidi Paul felted hat.

The finished hat is more structured and not so organic.

I really, really like it :) and am so excited
that I made it from raw wool.

Talk about one of a kind!!

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