Friday, July 10, 2009

Spooky History and Examples of: The Witch's Hat!

When you say the word ‘witch’ a whole host of images come to mind… cauldrons, brooms, and HATS! In fact, anyone at Halloween can claim to be dressed as a Witch as long as they put on a pointy wide brimmed hat. You can’t just carry a cauldron or a broom and pull that off. It is the HAT! Whether you see it on the vamp Elvira or a fairy tale hag, the hat says it all.

Shadow Play Magazine offers several historical origins for the pointy witch hat in this article:

Conical medieval hats, often pictured worn by a princess with a veil attached, were called Hennins. I have heard the theory that the rural populations who were slow to give up their folk ways were also wearing outdated fashions like this hat style. Both the hat and these beliefs became associated by the Church with witchcraft. Further negative connotations were added to the style when the pointy cap was used by the medieval Church to humiliate Jews and heretics during Inquisition trials. Remnants of this practice can be seen in the dunce hat today. Strangely, the stereotypical Birthday hat is also conical which may be related to ancient European revelry and festival practices.
- on a witch doll or even on an animal familiar
- hanging on a coat rack or within a witch’s wardrobe
- sitting amidst other magical items on a witch’s desk or bookcase
- on top of a jack-o-lantern or on a scarecrow
- sitting on a scenic wooden or stone fence
- on top of a hay bale, a basket of apples, or on a broom
- on a little mannequin head with jewelry

Here are my own sculpted clay hats.

First, check out Kat the Hat’s amazingly cool BlogSpot. I already did the search for ‘witch hats’ for ya! Her work is outstandingly creative with high craftsmanship. Her hats look to be made of wound straw braids and are very whimsical. The artist resides in the UK and sells on eBay.

Next, you have to look at Richard and Jodi Creager’s collaborative dolls and miniatures! They work in a wide range of themes but their witches and ghosts are to die for… Their elegant hats are made of a variety of rich fabrics and doodads like feathers and gems. (the Halloween gallery)
Here's a darker example of their work... so very nice.
Harry Potter. Enough said! Between this guy and Gandolph, it’s a wonder that pointy hats aren’t being seen on fashion runways… then again, you are supposed to be wise to wear one. Well, I found 2 equally fantastic examples of miniature Sorting Hats!

Once again, the Creager’s came through beautifully, with this cloth example.

Then, one of Etsy’s own artists, NJDMiniatures produced this fantastically sculpted clay version! Even the stool it rests upon is superbly detailed.

Although the Country and Primitive Crafts crowd may not rub shoulders that often with the spooky Goth and Dark Art crowd, they have witches and Halloween motifs in common! I love rustic and autumn harvest inspired witchy crafts and dolls. Here are a few fine examples of hats from this genre:
Gotta love Halloween time when all the sexy costumes come out… Our moment in dark paradise for all my fashion conscious sisters! It’s the only time of year I can walk around in public and not be stared at like a… dare I say it… freak. I manage to celebrate Halloween every day in some capacity. Woops, my striped stocking are showing… Here are a wide range of witchypoo hats to inspire you!

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