|Project by RGtools||posted 06-21-2014 05:01 PM||1539 views||0 times favorited||13 comments|
This was a collaborative project between my wife, who makes and sells high end hats, and myself. Our aim was to create something that fit in the the 1930s & 1940s theme of hats but was not a reproduction of any hat we could find. This block underwent a LOT of modification along the way, but I think we achieved something quite serviceable and my next set of blocks should come out more quickly and a lot better looking as a result.
For some reason that I simply won’t understand, milliners and people associated with them seem to be the most closed mouthed, secretive craftspeople I have ever come across. So most of what I learned here was through trial and error (and believe me I made a lot…fortunately wool felt is a very forgiving medium).
Work-holding is definitely one of the biggest challenges for this type of thing. Nothing is flat or symmetrical or uniform about this design, but the curves look good from all directions and are meant to flow well with the line of a persons head from any angle. As a result, most of the work on this was done by hand (though, by band saw and orbital sander got a workout too). A few features of the block are:
A. We can swap crown blocks to change the overall design of the hat.
B. The block is shaped to be able to use only a single piece of felt for construction. This saves both time and money.
C. The design seems to accept variation of decoration well as you can see by two hats shown here.
P.S. The purple truck is hers…and I am a wee bit jealous.
-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan