I had the opportunity to document my blocking process a few years ago with the photographer, Amelia Burns. She photographed me while making my Montaña Hat in fur felt. Here you can the steps from free form blocking, sculpting and hand sewing the grosgrain ribbon which go into making the finished hat. I have made this style in a variety of crown heights for men and women over the years. I have designed a mid-height version that is available in standard and custom sizes and a variety of colors in my shop. Below is the story of the my inspiration, research and design process for this style.
The original idea for this style came after I made an over-sized hat with an tall, slouchy crown for a custom client. I researched other men's and women's tall or deep crowned felt hats and found two 'slouch' hats that pulled my attention. One was from images of WW1 Australian Horse Infantry solders in their slouch hats which were made of heavy felt and had a sturdy brim to withstand battle and the elements. I liked the idea that these hats took on the the wear and stories of the soldiers. The other hat style that has the same name is the slouch hat popularized by Greta Garbo in the 1930's which she wore with masculine styled suits. My idea was to interpret both hat styles and make a slightly refined, softer version of the military hat with added sculptural forms. I wanted to experiment with sculpting forms that were intentionally geometric yet retained an organic and asymmetrical spontaneity. This style is the product of those experimentation. I named the hat Montaña because the outline of the top of the crown remind me of the San Gabriel Mountains I have grown up next to. I have made Montaña in a variety of crown heights for men and women over the years. I have a mid-height version available in standard and custom sizes in my shop.