Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Felt and Straw Blocking; Puzzle Blocks, Vintage Blocks, etc

Atlanta, Georgia!  I teach here, at the Spruill Arts Center, about twice a year.  This Fall I taught a class that is relatively new.  It was Open Studio Blocking:  Straw and Felt.  The premise is that I bring a whole bunch of blocks--new, vintage, puzzle, odd, interesting, unique, fabulous! Each person blocks as many hats as they can over the blocks OR they learn the basics of blocking in a broad atmosphere of other, more experienced milliners. This class was divided into two groups, a group that is very comfortable with blocking millinery materials...and a group that has little to no blocking experience.

I'm always intrigued by these buildings in the area of northern Atlanta where I teach--Perimeter Center.  These high-rise office buildings have what I think of as wonderful wire frame construction tops!  The first time I taught wire frames in Atlanta I stayed at the hotel next to these buildings. I was back at the hotel this time and caught them at sunrise.

I loaded up my car and took about 35 hatblocks for class.  That's a big load...and heavy!  But I wanted a huge array of hatblocks for everyone to choose from.

More blocks!  These are mostly crown and whole-hat blocks.

I had 6 ladies who had never blocked before.  We did a comprehensive study on capelines--blocking, sizing, cutting crown from brim (and why!), re-attaching crown and brim (plus the specialty stitching), adding petersham, adding wire, and some other skills and techniques too.

'Olive and Jane' working on some beautiful parisisal capelines.  Great work, ladies!

Long-time students, Judy and Diane block block block block block!  Gorgeous royal blue fur felt capeline Diane is working on! I had 4 students who blocked an incredible amount of hats over 2 be finished at home.  This was about taking advantage of the many blocks available for the weekend.  And they did!

Andre works on one of MANY hats he blocked over the weekend.  Most of the experienced blockers blocked on average 6 hats.  They were only interested in using the blocks over the weekend, as they know all the finishing and embellishing techniques from past classes.

Love the colors, love the styles!

 I'll be teaching this class again next year, somewhere around the country.  I think new and experienced milliners liked the opportunity to use blocks they may have never purchased or used if not for class.  Looking forward to seeing what others do with these blocks.

Happy hatting and I'll see you real soon for another post on my blog!

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