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Sculptural Hat Project at Stratford Library

In the Autumn, the Mary Ward Centre ran a course with Stratford Library for local Newham residents to learn about hat making techniques. Taking inspiration from the architecture and wildlife of Newham and other areas of London, participants worked with a local teacher and milliner using a variety of materials and techniques to create their own personal head pieces. They learnt about sculpting and blocking sinamay, beadwork and embellishment, as well as creating and realizing their ideas through their designs. The final session involved an exciting visit to a milliner’s studio to celebrate their achievements.

The participants wearing their hats, have been photographed and can be seen exhibited at Stratford Library, where they also recently attended a tea party in the finery of their sculptural headpieces.Sculptural Hat Project at Stratford Library

“I loved the overall experience. It got my creative juices flowing. Everyone is an artist amongst us. The Mary Ward Centre have very good tutors who bring this out in people.” 


“I’d never done any sewing before. I couldn’t even thread a needle. But I’ve learnt a lot and so many new skills. This course has given me so much confidence” 

“I was so surprised with my hat. The teacher was lovely, and I hadn’t worked with these sorts of materials before. It was nice to meet new people.”

“The portrait pictures in the exhibition, of us wearing our hats, look brilliant. They show off the hats really well. The course was so lovely, working with new and interesting materials.” 

Sculptural Hat Project at Stratford Library

Sculptural Hat Project at Stratford Library