Saturday, August 10, 2013

Meet the Maker - Nomad Hatter

Hi friends, thanks for tuning in to another instalment of our 'Meet the Maker' series.  This week we're chatting with Fiona Woodhouse from Nomad Hatter.

How would you describe your work?
I create handmade, unique, vintage inspired art for your head. I love using old, found objects that can evolve into something new and beautiful.
How did your Etsy shop come into being?
I have only just started my etsy shop and I’m currently adding my first items for sale. I decided to start an etsy shop to help in getting my headwear seen by the world and hopefully make some money in the process. (I definitely have the dream of being able to leave my day job and become a full-time artist)

Who or what inspires you?
Living on the edge of Toohey Forest I am very inspired by my environmental surrounds. From the colourful and ever present singing birds to beetles and caterpillars and the varying hues of green and brown that envelope my home. Surrealist art, friend’s art, art Nouveau. I have always had a great love and respect for the bygone eras and the pieces that get passed down from generations before me. I find the old very intriguing. My garden, with the distant sound of frogs and my partner playing guitar on the deck and of course my dog who hangs out and offers support when things start to become stagnant. My life is forever fenced in music. Music allows creation to run free.

Do you reduce, reuse, recycle?
Wherever possible I use materials that at some stage of their life have had another purpose. From making flowers out of old scarfs, vintage suits become Ivy caps, old buttons, tiny watch parts and bits and pieces collected from op shops and garage sales. I believe that whenever you are able to re-use something that would otherwise be adding to the giant holes in the earth we call landfill it is being eco-friendly.

Describe your studio/workspace?
There used to be a room in my house we called the junk room. Now it is my craft room. It has a view of my front garden. It is small, well cozy and has a good vibe for creation.

What is your favourite thing to make?
At the moment it is hats. Any kind of thing you put on your head from the logical to the inquisitive.

How did you decide on your business name?
Ha ha. I actually didn’t. I knew that I wanted to incorporate something about the nomadic societies that made felt a long time ago as I was spending much of my time dying wool and felting winter hats. It had been days of trying to come up with something until I ran it past my partner. He said immediately ‘Nomad Hatter’. He still says I owe him big time for it. I agree.

Where do you hope to see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?
I would love to have my art seen by many different people and would be especially happy to see people wearing my products. I would really enjoy if the world could see my art and appreciate it.

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought for yourself?
Wow! What a hard question. I have much adoration of handmade effects and try to support the people who create them as much as I can. I love travelling to countries like Thailand and Nepal where you are able to watch people hand-sewing bags and hand-carving jewelry from the dirt at the side of the road. When you purchase these things you always feel like you’ve really brought back a piece of the place and the person who put their time into making it. (I refuse to haggle for handmade treasures.) I think though my favourite is a sterling silver bird of paradise pendant that I bought from The Rocks markets in Sydney years ago. It was one of those times that I said “I’ll have to think about it” and every step I took further away from it the more anxious I became. I ran back and bought it and have never regretted it.

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