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!


  1. Wow, I am amazed by the results! These ladies look like they are professional milliners! Chapeau!

  2. Thank you, I think they did a fabulous job, too! Some have a little experience but most have never made a hat before. I think classes are definitely the very best way to learn the intricacies of millinery.