Separate Yet Connected Coronavirus Inspired Felted Cloche Hat
The Year 2020 certainly has been challenging for people all over the world. As part of experiencing this unusual year, I created a Coronavirus Inspired Felted Cloche Hat.
The impetus came from Fiona Duthie, artist and tutor, who I have been fortunate to study with online. Back in March, Fiona proposed that we (her students) create felted work from our individual experiences of living through Covid-19 times. Then, she created an online gallery space with an accompanying printed catalog of our submissions.
So while I typically created whimsical-ish felted headwear, this Coronavirus Cloche is anything but. It features multiple sets of high-contrast, frightened eyes peering out - each of us separate in our own worlds, yet connected by experiencing the Global Pandemic together - the hat is symbolic of the Earth. If you are curious, there is an additional artist's statement over at the exhibit. While I have yet to make a Hats 360 video, you can see what the hat looks like on me, over on my Instagram.
• Inspired by microscope photos of the virus, the hat is a soft baby blue and powder puff pink, with pops of hot pink and scarlet red. I suppose that the soft pastel colors of the virus in the media (and the hat) are to soothe and make us worry less. Or not. Scattered around the continents on the crown and along the brim and tentacles, I have hand sewn large, red glass beads on to make the parts of the hat more cohesive.
• The hat has a wide-brimmed, cloche shape that is quite graceful. However, coming out of the crown there are lots of tentacle-like arms tipped in red. These are bendable! Unlike most of my felted hats, which are quite robust, you may need to arrange the tentacles so that they dance together in an organized manner. Due to their having pipe cleaners (yes!) surrounding felted cords, they are not always well behaved. Or at least not as well behaved as I would like.
• The hat is entirely handcrafted and created from superfine, soft Merino wool fibers using the technique of wet felting. This ancient and simple craft takes patience and lots of kneading to shrink the fibers into a strong, flexible, and warm felt.
• The hat measures 10" / 25.5 cm in height and 13" / 33 cm in width.
• It's a mediumweight thickness of felt and weighs 6.6 oz. / 186 gm.
• Size MEDIUM: it fits a medium to large headsize - 22.5" / 57 cm to 23.5 / 59 cm.
I have ~not~ included my usual grosgrain ribbon band on this hat because I wanted the 'lines' on the inside to look more flowing when the hat is sitting on a display stand. After all, you may want to show this one-of-a-kind statement hat off on a pedestal. I have stitched in a FeltHappiness label at the very inside tip because it is my 'signature'.
• Care instructions: felt is an eco-friendly, fiber that is water and stain-resistant. Dust isn't a problem - just give it a shake. .
Due to the delicate nature of the tentacles of this hat, please avoid the rain, if you can. The felted base of the hat can be spot cleaned with a damp cloth. After all, it was made with hot soapy water and my hands!
Every head has its own unique size and shape which can be measured with a flexible tape measure, or even a piece of string.
Take the tape measure and encircle your head, just above the top of your ears. Make sure that the tape measure goes over that small bump at the back of your head. Please don't pull it tightly. Leave a little 'ease' so that one finger can fit under the tape. An ear to ear measure can be helpful too.
Measure three times: it is surprising how it can vary!
If you have any questions, please contact me.