They say you get a chance when you’re not thinking about it. That’s what happened to me once at the great festival of the black scene in Leipzig, the Wave Gotik Treffen. As it happened, I met my favourite mead seller (my favourite place to go for years has been a stall at the Moritzbastei) on the way from one festival location to the next on the tram. Without knowing that I make hats, he told me he needed a big ship’s hat but didn’t know where to find something special like that. I offered to make him his very own custom ship’s hat. We met again later at the Sixtina, an absintheria in Leipzig’s city centre, to discuss all the details. I immediately set to work!
First construction phase
I prepared these materials and tools: in addition to a sharp knife, a saw and a drill, I needed cold wood glue, various pliers, sandpaper and varnish. I sharpened the mast, put on some sails and painted them black.
Putting up the sails
To put the wooden mast on the felt ship’s hat, I attached a metal bracket to the crown of the hat. The sails were sewn to the masts and attached to the brim of the hat with many seams. The seams were also used for decoration as ship’s ropes. The stiffened sails make it look as if the wind was blowing really hard.
The figurehead of the ship’s hat
Since I couldn’t find a suitable figurehead in any bead shop, I carved one myself. A really strenuous affair. Unfortunately, my fingers were not completely spared. I pressed Fimo onto the wooden body and shaped the figurehead. I gave it a morbid appearance with metal leaf and acrylic varnish.
Bye-bye, you giant ship! Ahoy! Once the ship’s hat came sailing back to me. I repaired a small cracked spot, my customer was waiting right away, I finished quickly. As we talked during the repair, it turned out that he and his girlfriend wanted to go to a party possibly in the “ship partner look”. But the party was very soon. I happened to still have the little white hat from a theatrical fashion show. So now the white “Flying Dutchman” and the black “Big Revenger”, as I called my hats, are sailing through the world together!