Collaborative Art-to-Wear: CCM Felt Hat with Jane Kaufmann Raku Button

One of the things I love about being a member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen is getting to know so many talented artists in every media: not just fiber, but wood, metal, leather, photography, paper, glass, and clay.

Jane Kaufmann raku landscape button adorns an orange knit felt hat by Carrie Cahill Mulligan, of Canaan, New Hampshire.

Detail of Jane Kaufmann Raku Button on CCM felt hat #153 of 2008.

I met Jane Kaufmann while volunteering during NHPTV’s Spring Auction some years ago. Jane is a cheerful, easy-going potter, with a great sense of humor.

We got along like a house afire! Jane admired my ability to knit without looking while we answered the pledge phones. I told her all about my felt hats.

Jane Kaufmann Raku Button on Carrie Cahill Mulligan felt hat #153 of 2008.

I love the texture of Jane's work and how her sense of humor shines through the clay.

“I make raku pottery,” Jane told me. “Sometimes, when I’m firing, if I have a bit of extra clay, I’ll make some buttons. Just for fun, you know. I’ll send you some! Maybe you could use them on your hats…”

And so she did:

Jane Kaufmann Raku Buttons

Jane Kaufmann Raku Buttons.

And so I did!

CCM Felt Hat #153 of 2008, with Jane Kaufmann raku landscape button.

CCM Felt Hat #153 of 2008, with Jane Kaufmann raku landscape button.

I’m delighted to have Jane’s button adorning this felt hat. It’s a miniature work of art on my fiber art-to-wear, a one-of-a-kind collaboration between craftsmen in the League that I’m so proud to belong to.

(Contact me if you’re interested in owning this hat. I’ve got gift certificates available, too!)

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Latest Freehand Embroidery: Red-Hot Denim Blues Mandala

Recently, I was contacted by Gayle in Portland, Oregon, who’s ready for a new hat.

She loved the original Red-Hot Blues French-knot Mandala I embroidered last summer. But that hat found a new home with Gwen at the 2011 League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair:

Gwen's New Felt Hat

Although not generally a “hat person”, Gwen’s blue eyes perfectly match her new felt hat.

I strive to create felt hats as unique as the wearer, so I didn’t want to re-create the exact same hat. Instead, Gayle selected several yarn colors she liked, and gave me her head-size measurements.

As luck would have it, I had a suitable hat, felted & ready for embroidering just waiting in my studio. And in between games at my 1st-ever coed hockey tournament this weekend, I was able to embroider it:

Red-Hot Denim Blues French-knot Mandala Felt Hat

Red-Hot Denim Blues French-knot Mandala Felt Hat (#114 of 2011).

Freehand French-knot Mandala Embroidery Detail

Macro detail of the 100+ french-knots in my new freehand mandala embroidery.

I’m so pleased with how this latest embroidery turned out. Now just cross your fingers that it fits Gayle, since she helped design it!

Louisa’s Embroidered Felt Hat

One of my hockey buddies, Louisa, visited my booth at the League of New Hampshire Craftmen’s Annual Fair two summers ago.

My felt hat booth in Tent 7 at the 2011 League of NH Craftsmen's Fair at Mt. Sunapee.

She’s been so supportive of me at the rink, and was equally enthusiastic about my work.

Louisa immediately fell in love with the absolute fanciest hat in the booth, and when she tried it on, it fit perfectly!

However, for most folks, my hats are not impulse purchases.

Louisa's chose mossy-green & rust with full embroidery for her custom felt hat.

It took nearly 2 years of thinking about it before Louisa decided to treat herself.

We found a hat that fit her just right, and she gave me license to embroider it as I chose.

She definitely wanted the works, though: all-around freehand embroidery with hand-cut antler buttons.

My husband, Andy, hand-cuts all the antler buttons I use in my embroidery designs.

I asked Louisa what she would tell others considering a hat. She replied without hesitation:

“My hat is beautiful, warm, comfortable & practical. It’s a work of art. Best of all, it makes me smile every time I put it on! How many things do you own that make you that happy? My hat is just ‘so me.’ I love it!”

Thank you, Louisa, for all your encouragement, and for helping support my hockey habit!