Tuesday, June 21, 2011

three new blocks!

And by NEW blocks, I mean "custom made by this awesome artisan in the shop at the Seattle Children's Theatre" kindof new. Newly come into the world - just for me -squeaky squawky new. Here they am:


From left to right we have:
  • A very "I made this up myself" experimental kind of block, which can be sized down by taking off the 5/8" layers at the bottom. These are basically a series of tapered headsize plates. When I remove plates, the hat gets shorter but this style tends to scale down pretty well that way anyway. Each 5/8" layer adds about 1/2" to the circumference. Using the various configurations of this block, I can get various sizes from 21"(Gwenneth size) to 24.5"(Giles size). We'll see if the use of plywood for these plates is workable or not. This multi-block is on a base with two dowels that hold the entire apparatus together - like a spinner with two spindles. I need to sand down the dowels so that the layers can come off more easily, but it is totally working.
  • A 23.5", slightly-taller-than-my-current-ones cavalier hat block. This is Thore'-and-everybody-else-who-has-ordered-this-year sized. My largest flat topped block before was 23". (Ok, I've also got this freakishly large 26" block that I made and used one time only for a theatre who needed a hat for this 18th century dude in a periwig, but that hardly counts.) Murphy's law says, of course, that now only people with 22" heads will want cavalier hats. But I'm prepared for that too :)
  • A 23.5" tall hat block. Again, I had a 23ish one and a 24ish one, and this has a slightly different profile. (more like one of the extant ones.) Under this block is a spinner with a small enough spindle for the blocks I have. My collection of spinners is now less pathetic, though still not robust.
I can't wait to try these out!

But I haz to to wait. :( Cause I'm preparing to teach a full-day millinery workshop in LA this weekend!)
If ever there was a good reason to have to wait....that's sounds like one to me.

The to-do list is long, but shrinking every day.

Wish me luck :)


  1. Truly, Morgyn (the straw hat guy at www.strawbendersltd.com; should be coming on Saturday!) mentioned to me that he makes blocks by pouring plaster of paris into existing hats with interesting exterior shapes, and then forming his straw over the hat for blocking...

  2. Truly,

    Where are you teaching?! How wonderful you'll be in LA!