I was researching Vermont wood products today and discovered these custom made wood hats, handcrafted by Johannes Michelsen of Manchester Center, Vermont. Incredible! Although they are found in museums around the world (including the Smithsonian) you can wear them and they’re very comfy. Johannes customizes wood hats to exactly fit your head. He also offers classes, workshops and videos to people interested in crafting their own wooden hats. It turns out Johannes is a leading authority on wood sculpture and has written many articles and books about the art of wood turning. His work has been celebrated in dozens of prestigious public and private collections around the world. Here’s a quick look at Johannes’ hand-turned wooden hats.
Johannes’ turned wood hats can be created in many styles including classic cowboy hat, old fashioned top hats, crusher hats that look like you could fold them and stuff them in a pocket, sun hats with an extra wide, down swooping brim, bowler hats and a number of other styles. Although they’re intended as sculpture, when custom fitted they’re light weight and comfortable to wear.
Johannes outlines the basic process for handcrafting wooden hats on his website, starting with wood selection. Sustainably harvested burls and blocks of wood are carefully chosen and prepped with a chainsaw and band saw. From there, rough and fine turning techniques and equipment are used to generate the basic shape of the hat, followed by precise bending and finishing.
Johannes welcomes students of all levels and abilities to his woodworking classes and I’m happy to report there are four more classes scheduled in Manchester Center between now and the end of the year. Tuition is $650 and it includes wood for your hats, breakfast and lunch all three days.
Christmas, Hanukkah and Holiday Gifts
Christmas is coming! If you’re looking for a special gift, how could you possibly come up with anything more unique, personal and customized than a wooden hat?
We're celebrating the Made in America awakening started by Diane Sawyer and ABC news with a storewide SALE on our 100% American made furniture. This doesn't happen very often. We do try to offer a great sale each week, but it all depends on the current price of wood and the status of our independent furniture makers. For example sometimes they'll be willing to offer a discount on a certain furniture collection because if they limit their production to a small number of items they can achieve an economy of scale that they'll pass on to our customers.
But once or twice a year we'll put the whole store on sale! Now is one of those times. It's a risk for us because we need to get enough orders to fill up our trucks, thus compensating for the furniture sale discounts by achieving big savings on shipping. So if you've been thinking about purchasing high quality, handmade, solid wood furniture for awhile, now is the time to make your move! Check out this American Furniture sale and contact us with your questions. We'll look forward to hearing from you.