Monday, 23 July 2012

Chocolate hat

Ok, so it's not [I]actually [/I]chocolate....

....and as usual, a just finished, rather than current project (never have time while am actually making).

But made for a college competition being run by the Chocolate museum in York.  The brief was to make a hat that represents chocolate and sweets that originated in York.  So Rowntree's, Terry's, etc.

I decided to use sinamay (despite my dislike), because you can do big shapes with it, with minimal structure.  I also decided to cover the whole gamut of sweets, rather than focusing on one or two.  Others in my class went for classic simplicity, and elegance - I went for explosion in a sweet shop!

The big swoop at the right of the picture represents a Chocolate Orange, and the swirl at the side represents a Smarties tube.  I had wanted to use a real Smarties tube, only to find that Smarties no longer come in tubes.  (Very dull.)

Forgive the poor pictures - my camera died, and I was photographing just before leaving to hand it in, so didn't have time to charge the battery.  And it was raining outside, hence the 'living room' backgrounds!!

I decided to experiment with trapping sweet labels between the layers of the sinamay (extra bonus - legitimate excuse to buy sweeties :o)  ).  I wanted to stress the long history of sweetmaking in York, so I also printed out the 'years of origin' of the sweets - so 1935 for Kit Kat, an 1882 for Smarties, etc, etc.

Across the hat is a scattering of assorted beads - first fimo Fruit Polos, then brown Goldstone beads, which represent the bubbles in an Aero bar, then Jelly Tots, Fruit Pastilles, and finally, Smarties.

I bought most of the beads ready made, but I couldn't find Fruit pastille or Jelly Tot beads, so I made them from air-drying clay, which I painted in acrylics, and then rolled in glass glitter while the paint was still wet. 

My second proper sinamay hat, and I'm quite happy with it - although it's notable that I've once again done it as a variation on a cut and sew hat, not a blocked one.  That's partly because I couldn't go to college for the workshop days, so didn't have access to the blocks, but I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, because I probably wouldn't have been as open to letting the sinamay do its own thing (to an extent) had I had the blocks to fall back on.  I love blocking, but I do think it can sometimes be quite limiting.

Definitely need more sinamay practise though.  Might even get round to using it on a block that's bigger than a button base at some point!!!

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