Sunday, December 27, 2009

Laura's Volcano Hat

Just wanted to share a photo of the hat I made for Laura. She's such a fun person—this really suits her.

Friday, December 18, 2009

First in a line of commissions

I've been given a great assignment. I met a silly woman named Laura, and she wanted a silly hat. That's the story simplified.

A longer version would tell you about us meeting at Paradise City in Marlborough, and her telling me her sad tale of having a small head. We tried various hats on and she chose a style she liked, told me the colors she wanted, and we measured her head.

Imagine being the artist and being told, "Make me a 'volcano'* baseball cap, throw some green and purple in it and have it keep my ears warm. Other than that, it's up to you." Wow. It's so nice to be given room to be creative. It makes you want to do more, to put in the extra effort for their faith.

Now, I've already told you that she's silly. She really is. And I adore silly people. She sent me reference photos of herself in different hats. Describing them wouldn't do them justice. Suffice it to say that one of the photos was of her on a boat wearing a couple pairs of goggles, swim fins and something like a ducky pool float. But Laura is also lovely. She looks an awful lot like an old friend of mine who lives in Louisiana.

Having those photos of her really made a difference. I really had a sense of who I was making this hat for. I wish I could get this sort of thing from all the people who commission me for hats.

About a week after our first meeting she called to tell me that she found the perfect hair piece in blond and purple to be attached to her hat.

We met one more time for her to give me the hair and then I got to work. Oh, the fun I've had. I started with some sketches and in my mind I kept her practical needs rolling around in my brain while I worked. I began building her felt and trying to come up with some creative accents.

I'm looking forward to shipping it out. I know she's planning on wearing it on a trip to Canada in January. Hopefully she'll send me some pictures and I'll post them to the blog.

In the meantime, here's a picture of a Denishé *volcano hat. It's one of my best sellers. Most people pull their own hair through, but Laura doesn't have hair long enough for it, hence the hair piece.

I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Some things are just too cute

I couldn't miss the opportunity to share this video of a kid playing the ukulele.

Kids are just amazing.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

People Bought Hats

People came out to the Holiday Sale and bought hats. Hopefully they had a good time, too. Makes me feel like there isn't really a recession going on. I sold just about the average of what I can sell in that time frame.

This year we had more artist vendors than ever and hope to do the same thing next year. Think about coming—first weekend in December every year.

Let me know if you need something special commissioned for yourself. I've got a bunch of people on a waiting list, but I'd be happy to add your name to it.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

ArtSpace Maynard Holiday Sale

This is my last show for this year.

If you've been before, this year looks to be even better. We've got more artists than ever participating. Lots of new faces and art to be seen.

I've been working on more hats—stuff that people asked for—since Paradise City, Marlborough. Come the first day to get the best selection.

Here are the show dates and times:

Dec. 4th: 5 - 8pm
Dec. 5th: 12 - 5pm
Dec. 6th: 12 - 4pm

Here's a link to our Web site in case you need to get directions. It's easiest to park behind the building which is accessed via Concord St.

Hope to see you there!

Quick posting, my foot

This is just a quick posting. Some Denishé fans found out that I had a problem with an infection with my foot and asked that I post word of how I'm doing. We're at two months now. Still not healed, but working on it.

Thanks for all your concern. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Paradise City, Marlborough

Just one week until Paradise City, Marlborough. I still have so much to do and a stack of hats to finish. Last night I had the typical I-am-not-prepared dream. In it, everyone else was set and ready to go. The doors to the show were about to open. My booth was a wreck and I still had a pile of hats that I needed to finish. It's one of the recurrent dreams, like forgetting to go to class or not studying for a test, or even having to use a restroom in an open area.

I need to relax. No, I need to get my work done.

I'll be bringing a new and interesting hat with me to the show. It's called "Intestinal Fortitude." Come try it on.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dreaming of Hats

Open Studios at ArtSpace Maynard is coming up soon and I've been trying to get into the studio as much as possible. I'm working on my fall lineup of hats—there are just so many things that I want to make.

At night I can't decide if it's best to think about hats as I fall asleep or not. Sometimes the thoughts make me feel peaceful. Other times I end up itching to get back in the studio.

I'll try to post some pictures soon. I've been trying to make a lot of caps and "volcano" hats. I made a really cool hat I call "Intestinal Fortitude" that is on display in our gallery's display case. Come out to see the show of all the artists' work if you get a chance.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rain, Rain, Rain

It seems like we're never going to see the sun here in Massachusetts again. It ended up pouring on the Sunday of DeCordova's "Art in the Park," even still, people turned out—that's how good the event is. We had some times where the rain would let up a bit but it was a mostly soggy day. Still, I did well. It was so nice to be back helping people with hats. Next to making the hats it's my favorite part of the whole process. I like people. If the jury votes me in again, you'll find me at Art in the Park next year.

Here's a picture of one of my new clients. I have her mother's permission to post her photos. She ended up with the pigtail hat, but was kind enough to model a couple of others for me. Thank you little Miss T.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Denishé at Art in the Park, Lincoln, Massachusetts

This weekend you can find me at the DeCordova Museum's Art-in-the-Park event in Lincoln, Massachusetts. It looks like the weather might cooperate this year. Last year it was a sunny, breeze-less, one-hundred degree day. This is a great event with live music, loads of artists, and lots of crafts for the kiddies—all within the setting of a sculpture park.

I always give a 10% discount if you come to a show wearing one of my hats. This year I'm going to give a 10% discount to people who have read this blog posting. The secret password/phrase will be: "Denise, I'll look good in one of your hats!" This should be said with great enthusiasm, so practice before you get to me. Be warned that if you say it with honest-to-goodness, genuine enthusiasm, I might just hug you.

I've been working like mad whenever my daughter is napping, and I have to say that the pressure of time has actually been really good for me—I don't have time to fool around. I've been more focused, I'm getting much better at working on multiple hats, and I'm figuring out where I'm spending too much time dawdling unnecessarily.

I do hope you'll come out to see me this weekend. Oh, and I promise that I'll get my Web site updated before the summer is through—I probably have more than a hundred hats that haven't been posted yet. What a slacker!

I'm including a couple of photos from the collection of hats I'll be taking with me. They're hardly representative of the breadth of styles of hats that I make, but at least you get a taste.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Mother's Day Commission: Part II

Here is the finished product. This is not the kind of hat I usually make, so it was an interesting project. I can already see the influence it's having on my other work. I love that.

I hope she loves the hat and I hope she has a wonderful Mother's Day. I wish the same to all you mothers out there.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Memere's Hat

My Mother-in-law needs a hat for an event that she's attending. We're sending her this hat along with a pair of vintage gloves. My daughter was willing to be a model.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Mother's Day Commission: part I

A past customer recently contacted me asking if I would make a hat for her mother. We had been talked about it in the past, but the time had finally come to make it happen. So here's another commission from the Denishé studio.

I was sent examples of the kind of hat Mom would want, and since she already owns a Denishé hat in a shape that she likes, we started from that point. This hat will be bucket-shaped natural/cream-colored parisisal straw and will be trimmed in light blue.

I'm including a sketch, though sketches are vague enough that it can be hard to get the idea. The embellishment is on the side of the hat, so the sketch is profile.

I find that I've been enjoying doing the commissions. I learn something new each time.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Hat in Bloom: Part II—the finished product

Well the hat is done and has been sent off to await its debut at the garden party. Sources tell me that my client "absolutely loves it." Somehow, positive feedback is more rewarding than the paycheck at the end of the day.

I've said it before and I'll say it again—she's a dream client. They tell me what she's wearing, sometimes send me the dress, and then ask me to make something I think would be appropriate. It is so nice to be given the freedom to create. For any of you fellow artists, I wish you similar clients.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Adelaide Blossom

I made this flower hat for Adelaide back in December. It's just fitting her now, but that's fine—it was a lot of hat for her when she was smaller. And though spring is here, there's still a bit of a chill, so she'll get some good use out of it. Hopefully she'll love hats as much as I do.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Hat in Bloom: Part I

I know that my postings have been spotty. Being a new mother is amazingly difficult. I guess I knew that before, but there's a difference between knowing and understanding, it and feeling it.

Getting to the studio has been difficult—I've already mentioned that in an older posting. But I have been getting in once in a while. Not as often as I'd like, but at least it's something.

These past few weeks I've been working on a commissioned hat for a Boston garden party. I was shown the dress and asked to come up with something appropriate for it. I'm including the sketch. Hopefully it will be just what my client wants.

So far the hat is in pieces at my studio. It has a buckram foundation, covered in straw, with parisisol and sinamay embellishments.

I'll post again with the finished hat. Let me know what you think—even criticism and suggestions are welcome.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Such a Slacker

I am such a slacker. It's true. I was just looking through the archives of my hats and came across three folders of hats that haven't been posted to my Web site. It's important to keep the site up to date—I know that, but I've discovered that it's just so easy to let them build up. I'm going to try to be better about it. First I have to get these images ready to go to my Web guy.

In the meantime, here are a few of the hats that I found.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Saudades is a Portuguese word that people say is difficult to translate. It's like "longing" and at the same time remembering fondly. That's what I'm feeling these past few days. A couple of days ago I was showing some photographs of hats to a relative, and as I went through each photo I remembered each hat with the fondness one reserves for old friends.

It's been more than three months since I've been able to get into the studio. Having a daughter seems to be the greatest joy of my life, but I do miss all that silly little headwear that I was making. Hopefully I'll get back to work soon. Once I can figure out my daughter's sleep schedule I'm sure it will get a lot easier.

I leave you with a few of the pictures that had me paining for my needles and thread.