This page was last updated on: December 7, 2013
Kay' s Art Of Millinery Index page
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Those new to the site and wanting more information about my experience may click this link and please take a few minutes more to check out all the links. Your visit has enabled you to tap into a part of me because I truly love fashion and the Art of Millinery. As an African American woman who loves fashion it's easy to be creative when designing hats, and I like the idea of creating wearable fashions that others also like. Many of my designs are created with fabric, which can be used with feathers and fur or flowers and bows; I also use other mediums such as felt, straw, sinamay, ricenet, and leather.
Being fashion conscience I believe it's important to look not only presentable, but good when stepping out; be it to the corner store, church, or any other event. I also believe most women are fashion conscience and keep this in mind when designing my hats, which I consider art pieces. These pieces of art have ranged from simple to flamboyant depending on the season.
Many call millinery a craft, but it's a lot more than that. For me each hat is piece of art, a part of me and is designed and created methodically. All my hats are made from scratch and every piece of trim (decoration) on each is thought out before being stitched on. Most people having an opportunity to observe hats being made call it hard work because they never realized how much went into the design of one little hat. I call it creating extensions of myself and for those looking for hats I hope you find some you feel are extensions of who you are as well.
Those of us who are milliners know the "Art of Millinery" is an art many consider lost, but the fact is the Art of Millinery is not lost and many milliners are still making and selling hats. Others wishing to become milliners are taking and seeking classes to perfect this art.... to keep it alive. Women are wearing more hats than ever before with the advent of the "Red Hat Society" a national organization, and the past wedding of Prince William and his now wife Kate who is a hat wearer. As many of you know, I initially started making hats decades ago while following what I considered the Cinderella story of Dianna who was Prince William's mother.
I've heard some refer to the art of millinery as a craft, which Webster's dictionary defines a craft as a trade needing special skills. That definition is without doubt true; especially for artisans with the visions, skills, and tools to skillfully craft blocks of wood into the beautiful wooden shapes we call hat blocks.
We, the millinery artist take those skillfully crafted shapes, which themselves are works of art steps further and duplicate them using various mediums making them soft blocks. Those soft blocks would be nothing more than softer forms of the originals without the artfully applied feathers, flowers, horsehair, ribbons, jewels, and such, and thus the "Art of Millinery" would not be achieved.
I choose to use the word "art" when referring to my millinery designs because like any artist painting a beautiful image, he or she always starts with a blank canvas. In this case the canvas happens to be a wooden block that sheds its frame and later becomes a piece of wearable art. Like any artist painting on a new canvas no two images are exactly alike. Nor can they be because each stroke is always different, as is each designed hat no matter how closely the artist attempts to duplicate it. Have a great day, and please come again soon.
Hello everyone, I am Kay and thank you for visiting my website. To new and past visitors my wish for each of you is a Merry Christmas and Happy New year. There have been numerous changes to the site including the buckram frame links, which have been consolidated and may be reached through the one buckram frames link above. Other changes include my new Lace Hats for Sale page along with Hat Blocks 4 Sale,and Student Designers Work. To those looking for hatmaking workshops please check back, the 2014 schedule should be completed by December 31, 2013. As always, those requesting class information via e-mails will be notified as soon as the schedule has been completed.