Since Christmas is very nearly upon us, it seems timely to talk a bit about the best Christmas present I got. I haven’t opened any of the rest of them, but I’m pretty confident this one isn’t going to be eclipsed. The State of Minnesota through an entity called The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council gave me a grant to go and study millinery with Lina Stein in Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland next October.
Lina is a fantastic milliner in her own right with collections that have won her most of the millinery awards out there including the Hatty Award and several “Best Dressed” at the Galway Races.
She has, however, put the preponderance of her energy into teaching. She has built a beautiful studio with a busy class schedule that has brought her a parade of students of all abilities from all over the world. I couldn’t possibly be more excited about the opportunity to go and learn from her.
I am anxious to pick her brain. Her students have such a solid sense of design, and often find their voice in her studio. Contrast this piece…..
…. with this one. Both are stunning. Both are highly imaginative. And both were born in Lina Stein’s classes.
I love the sense of whimsy in both of them, and the movement. Millinery work has the monopoly on movement. All of those little stripped feathers will bounce as she speaks and flutter as she moves.
Lina is also a master of felt. Shortly she will be a guest lecturer for the second time at the International Millinery Forum in Wagga Wagga Australia. Her class for this prestigious event involves manipulating millinery felt into a pleated spiral. Registration for this class is already full.
“I can’t wait” is sort of the feeling I’ve got, except I’ve got to wait. I scheduled the grant in October so that I could have time to earn funds that I could use to extend my trip. But that’s another story with fewer pictures. In any case, “Thank you State of Minnesota!”
If anyone would like some basic assistance finding grant opportunities in your area, please let me know. I can help a bit.
Emily Moe is a milliner who, since 2007, has slowly been taking over the world of Millinery and captains the Milliners of Etsy, a collective of artistan hat-makers from around the world. She lives with her husband in Minnesota and gets up to all kinds of creative mischief.
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