Sunday, August 18, 2013

Millinery Supplier JudithM--Flower Making Class

 In the United States we have three millinery suppliers.  One, located in the center of the country, is JudithM Millinery Supply, located in LaGrange, Indiana. It was my very great pleasure to have been asked by Judith to come teach a French flowermaking class in her teaching studio, in July.  JudithM offers a wide range of millinery supplies and you can peruse those on their website by clicking here.

JudithM is located in this beautiful historic building. 

As Lilly Dache is one of my favorite milliners from the heyday of hats, I found this quote quite amusing. It is painted on a door leading into the studio. If you are not familiar with Dache you need to research her hats and then read her autobiography, Talking Through My Hats.

JudithM's is in Amish country.  I have never been around the Amish and therefore was mesmerized by their mode of transportation (buggy and bicycle), their dress (what's called Plain Dress), and their simple way of life. I wanted to be very respectful so didn't make pictures of the people, but I did get a few shots of the buggies and sites around Shipshewana, where I stayed.

First day of the flower making class we spent the morning preparing the fabrics for the two flowers to be made in class--a rose and a bachelor's button.

 Note all the hat blocks on the back wall!

Funny shot below.  She brought a silk animal print blouse to cut up for petals.  This piece got plenty of sizing and after drying it looked too much like 'road kill'!   Stiff!

This was a VERY full class!  Flower making, obviously, struck a cord. We had students from Virginia, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana.

 Pretty petals all in a pile...ready to be tooled into shape for the rose.


 Nearing completion!

Bachlor's Button being assembled.

Final group of roses--colors, combinations...all beautiful!

Group shot of bachelor's buttons.

Close up.

Final couple of shots I really like showing the buggies.


I'll be back at JudithM's in 2015, to teach another few flowermaking classes.  Very pleased to be asked back!

Next post is allll about the classes I taught in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Spring Millinery Classes in Atlanta (Buckram) and Virginia (Straw & Felt Hats)

So many things to tell you and report to you.

FIRST!  I am so honored and pleased to have been asked back for the 4th time to teach in Australia at the International Millinery Forum.  If you are not aware of this awesome event, get to their website and start saving those dollars.  You don't want to miss this event of a full week of millinery workshops taught by 19 tutors (instructors).  This year the special international milliner is Jane Taylor, from London, who makes fabulous hats for many clients, including many of the young Royals.  Cannot wait to meet her!

Secondly, this blog post is about two classes taught earlier this Spring/Summer.  Hope you enjoy the pictures and are inspired to make some hats, join a class, or at least wear a hat....

 Atlanta--May 2013--Hat Shapes Using Wet Buckram

Very full class and above are a few of the wet blocked pieces.  Students will be creating their own unique shapes from these larger pieces.

Starting to cover the buckram with lovely silk fabrics they brought to class.  Below.

I was very pleased with the outcome of the students' pieces.  Sorry I don't have pictures of everyone's hats.

Be sure to check out upcoming millinery classes at the Spruill Center for Arts in Atlanta here>> .

Next class I'd like to share with you was at a new venue for me...the Jacksonville Center for the Arts, in Floyd, Virgina.  Hatmaking:  Blocking Straws and Felts

Now.  If you are wondering why I was teaching in a place most of you have never heard of, let me tell you, when I go back there next year to teach...YOU NEED TO BE THERE.  This is THE most incredible little mountain town in southwestern Virginia, right of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

I was in heaven!  This is a very small town of about 500 people.  And an amazing 1 in 6 is an artist of some sort--musician, potter, photographer, painter, weaver, fiber artist, name it.  And this is not 'mom and pop' craft but very high end stuff.  Seriously, you need to go there.

Friday night everyone gathers on the street for an informal music festival.  I love bluegrass music and that was what everyone was playing--fiddle, bango, upright bass, guitar, and one pretty little lady who probably 80 who stole the show with her singing. I wasn't even in class yet and I was in love with this place!

Downtown. If you've been following my blog for awhile, you know I like to showcase the great places I teach.  Hope you enjoy and appreciate this place.

The center of the music scene is shown below.  Music, craft, restaurant, fabulous,.

Locals below.  This is real, it is fun and it is magical!

Above is the Jacksonville Center of the Arts, a remodeled dairy farm, which was donated to the Center for classes.  Totally remodeled and a great space.

Class begins.  We had a class of 6, all who loved Floyd as much as I.

We started with very basic blocking of parisisal straw capelines and progressed through cutting crown from brim (and why), adding petersham, and wiring brim edges.  All very important techniques in created straw brimmed hats.

Students then free-form blocked fur felt hoods using basic blocks as initial shapes, then hand-shaping for individual hats.

A few pictures of a few of the students with their straw hats on heads, holding the felt hats.

And another shot wearing the felt hats.

I can't wait to get back to Floyd next year!  Hope you will be there too!!!

Just for grins, here are a few pictures of the trip from my host family's home to class each morning.  Oh, yeah!  Beautiful country roads.

On the way home I traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I left very early and encountered some amazing scenery.

Upcoming blog posts will feature a teaching trip to millinery supplier JudithM Millinery Supply in Indiana and San Francisco Bay area classes.  Stay tuned!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Spring 2013 Hats--North Carolina and Kentucky Derby Hatwearing

Long time...nothing from me.  Sorry!  Wow was it a busy Spring and early Summer.  Spring is my very busiest time of year.  This post will be showing some of the hats I made for Spring hatwearing events and the photoshoots that were able to capture, beautifully, some of those hats.  While most of the hats I make are custom-made, to coordinate with a client's ensemble, these were made specifically for my shop--aMuse: artisanal finery, here in coastal North Carolina.

In the next few weeks I'll be posting quite a bit--hats, classes, tutorials.  Please stay tuned.  In the meantime, please enjoy these handmade hats, all hand sewn using couture millinery techniques.

All the above pictures were made during Kentucky Derby Week.  These were made at Keeneland Race Track, in Lexington, KY.  For those of you around the world, the Kentucky Derby is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY; Keeneland is about 60 miles away and is a sister race track.

What you don't see in this album is that is was pouring (pouring!) rain during the shoot!  Pleased the hats withstood the humidity as most of these sold to racegoers in Louisville within the next few days.

BELOW are hats from an earlier shoot here in Wilmington, before our biggest hat wearing events...during the North Carolina Azalea Festival.

I'll be back soon with a tutorial on adding bias edgings, two new teaching venues, and info about some upcoming classes around the country.  Annnnnnddd...and big announcement!!!  :-)

Thanks for reading!!!