Hats Off! And On! at the February Meeting

Photo Lydia in Hat

Flax and Fleecers met February 12th at the Swinney Homestead. We were delighted to welcome our guest speaker, Lydia Gerbig-Fast, and her marvelous and extensive collection of hand-made hats. Lydia is a gifted and passionate ambassador for the world of millinery. She originally became a “mad hatter” as a War of 1812 reenactor, although she is fond of the history of all hats, particularly those of the 30s through the 50s.

A metal worker by training, she combined vintage hats and metalwork for her first solo hat show. She has since expanded her knowledge of hat materials; rabbit fur felt is “a dream to work with,” while wool “is a tug of war and gets you cussing.”

She displayed a variety of hat blocks; antique blocks are very rate and expensive, so she generally blocks on found objects, such as flower pots and aluminum bowls–anything plausibly head- or hat-shaped.

She also gave us memorable fashion advice on wearing one’s hat: “You don’t want to plunk a hat in the middle of your head–put some attitude in it!” And with that advice, she gave her hat a jaunty cock and showed us what it means to wear a hat with flair.

Thank you, Lydia, for the great demonstration and inspiration!


~ by flaxandfleecers on March 11, 2013.

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