November 22, 2007

Making a brim block out of cork – The edge

Filed under: Making a cork block,millinery techniques and cheats — Cristina de Prada @ 7:39 pm

I thought I’d show you the latest progress on the brim block…

Brim block with the edge

I don’t know how I manage but lately I end up working on the block late in the afternoon until the light is almost gone and I can see close to nothing (guessing my way around), so I will wait until this weekend to check up the block with good light and give it a final shape and polish. The edge is pretty much done, first I’ve traced it with a pen and then I’ve used the metal file to make the indentation and shaping.

I must say I’m pretty happy with the result so far… I can’t wait to block the felt and I hope that a proper hat comes out of it, but it’s really hard to visualize the final hat just from the block, even if it’s me who has made it.


Front view of the brim block

And I want to say thanks to Jill for keeping an eye on me and the block/blog!


  1. Looking really, really good. Can’t wait to see a hat made on this thing.
    Question: After all this, would you be more or less inclined to spend the money on a block, as opposed to making your own?

    Comment by jill — November 24, 2007 @ 9:45 pm

  2. Answer: I would spend (and have spent) the money on standard or catalogue blocks, no doubt. BUT, when you make your own block to your own specs… well, your making something special that is not for sale, even if you wanted to buy that block you wouldn’t be able. And having a wooden block made to specs must be really expensive.
    The 40mm cork sheet cost me 30 euro and I’ve made the crown, the brim and I believe I can still make another small block. True I made an investment in tools, but those should last many years.
    A simple wood crown block can cost you 100 euros in Europe…

    Comment by cristinadeprada — November 25, 2007 @ 1:07 am

  3. Yeah..that’s what I kind of thought…the “beginning to end” of the design of the hat being uniquely your own is priceless.
    I guess the ultimate creative expression would be to start breeding the sheep for the wool, and growning plants to use to dye the wool to hand felt.
    It would be quite an accomplishment. Then you could truely say “I made this hat from scratch.”

    I love what you did Cristina. What an amazing and fearless project. I hope you will consider submitting to some craft magazine for publication, talk to Kate about how she got her work into Bella Amoire.

    Comment by jill — November 25, 2007 @ 8:50 pm

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