Hats Off! And On! at the February Meeting
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!