Open Studio at Hatnip Hats 11/9 & 11/10/19

The Orange County Artists Guild is hosting open studios these first two weekends of November, and I had the excellent pleasure of touring the Hatnip studio yesterday in Chapel Hill. Hatnip is the name under which milliner Kim Fraser produces her elegant hats. Contemporary and timeless at once, Kim's hats hearken back to the sophisticated shapes of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. A former student of mine, Kim is the only milliner to be accepted to the Orange County Artists Guild.

Kim audited my class through the continuing education center on campus. She'd taken a number of short workshops but wanted to spend several months focused on her craft and learning techniques on how we make hats for theatre (although Kim makes hats for contemporary hat wearers).

Long-time followers of this blog may recall Kim's collection of 1930s-inspired trims/ornaments made from felt hatbody trimmings. You may also recall her generous loan of an antique 1940s felt hat for Athene Wright's independent study in which she 3D-scanned Kim's hat and then digitally reverse engineered its block to be carved in foam and wood on a ShopBot CDC router. Kim, Athene, and I all wound up with new "antique" blocks at the end of it!

But, this post is largely a photoessay of some of the sights to be seen in Kim's new studio:

A small selection of Kim's extensive hat block collection

Still life with spools and plumes.

Lovely hat on a cabinet card for Hatnip/Kim Fraser on display in the workroom/salon

Vistors enter through the double doors beyond this hat rack, and the little nook I stood in to take this shot contained fabric storage and the mirror you see at left for trying on hats.

Kim's sewing area with a gorgeous view of the back pasture. 
This studio is the entire first floor of a restored farmhouse from the 1800s!

Love these puzzle blocks! The studio features two walls full of shelving for block storage like this.

Still thinking about this fabulous hat I tried on.
Should I go back this weekend and buy it?

There are two more open studio days this coming weekend. If you live in or near the Chapel Hill area, the Hatnip studio tour is well worth your time! Find out more info on Kim's OCAG profile page.


  1. Thanks for coming by Kim's studio this weekend! It was nice to see you again.


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