How many blokes, men, chaps, fellas take much notice of artistic and creative opportunities? Plenty no doubt. Change the demographics to the drought stricken north west NSW, how many men do you think will consider entering a hat or headpiece competition? Virtually none. This isn’t because they aren’t creative or have no skills, they have plenty of both of these, it’s more likely because they either don’t think they are creative or don’t think it has anything to do with them.
I believe that everyone is creative in their own way and as a member and supporter of Embassy Arts, encourage everyone to support local community initiatives and to have a go at something a little different.
I am positive that an injection of masculine insight, ingenuity and thinking outside the box from men’s sheds around the state would give all the gals a serious challenge and possibly take out the prizes!
The top hat above was made by one of my male students last year out of duct tape! So whether you google some tutorials for inspiration, use an existing hat as a base or look at what you have laying about in the shed, I’m sure most guys could come up with something amazing and original. As long as it can be worn it qualifies.
So fellas, we challenge you to the task!
Show us what you can do, we can’t wait to see what you come up with.
A few crazy hats from the 18th century.
One of my common problems is that I have too many ideas!
Why is this a problem you ask? Mostly because it is distracting and I find that I end up working on more than one project at a time. Often as I am working, even more ideas begin to form. I can also spend hours browsing inspiration in books or on Pinterest, before realising how much time has gone by. So it is good to jot ideas down, make a sketch and try to focus on the task at hand.
This week I have been considering what piece I will make, thinking it was all clear in my head, only to discover that I somehow had 3 or 4 ideas all mixed up, so I haven’t got very far. I was thinking of adding my own twist to the traditional pointy cone party hat 🥳. In fact, don’t be scared to use a paper or cardboard base or theme. It is a fantastic material that is stronger than you imagine and super versatile. Lots of people are making incredible things with paper.
Many of us have some kind of basic sewing kit at home and a box (or more) of stash. You don’t need much more to get started. Some leather, felt or other stiff fabrics can be used as a base. Experiment manipulating different fabrics to see what their sculptural qualities are like. Some iron on interfacing may help, netting, tulle, recycled bits. It is also possible to stiffen fabric with starch or glue or iron plastic bags together between sheets of baking paper to create a fused, melted fabric.
Below are some examples of how to create a base. Sorry to say I’ve forgotten what this material is called, it is a stiff white net or gauze. I cut a line halfway through my circle and have simply overlapped the cut edges however many centimetres depending on how high I want it to sit. I did the same with a teardrop shape. You can also use felt, leather or any other material with a bit of body. You may need to wire your edges depending on your design. Wire gives solidity and helps to keep shape. You may also need to encase the wire and cover your base with light padding before covering with decorative fabric.
Check out your stash and have a play!
For me, it seems there is not much difference between wondering and wandering. It has always helped me find inspiration. Creative dabbling is good for the soul, I couldn't imagine life without it and often surprise myself by what I come up with.