As a visual artist, in 1995, I was working on an installation called “Refugees”. For this work, I’ve created hats as a symbol for human dignity, even in the most unhuman circumstances. These hats were the reason to decide to learn the skills of the millener. It was also the starting point to make three theme-collections, each inspired by an existing work of art. The hats tell a story.
“The Cremaster V” by Matthew Barney ( 2001)
“Love Sonnets” by Thierry De Mey ( 2002)
“The Pillow Book” by Peter Greenaway ( 2003)
With these collections, I won a price for Art Craft West-Flanders in 2005. In that same year, I was selected as a designer for “Design Flanders” and ever since, my creations got their “Quality Label”.
Recently (2016) I received the certified craft label from FOD Belgium.
The hats that are based on a work of art are often quite wearable and sometimes very conceptual .They are as well the basic and inspiration for the wearable hats. For example :“Happy Ears” is the name of the hat with the earmuffs and was based on a model from “Cremaster V” . A very new variation is the “Hamster” hat. This hat is made of 100 % wool and has cherry-stones. So this hat can be warmed up in the micro wave!
I want to make hats for people with guts, for people who wants to make a statement. Therefor I spend also a lot of time, looking for unique materials. I don’t confine myself to traditional hat-making materials. New materials offer new perspectives.
In 2008 I’ve created my first hat collection for men and in 2013 I presented my first children’s collection.
I guarantee that every hat is hand-made by myself. You can wear your exclusive – or even unique – hat as a statement, as an extention of your personality or as a personal accent, a jewel.
I hope to continue to tell lots of stories by my hats! I enjoy people smile when they first see my hats .
I have my shop in combination with my studio in Heule- Kortrijk.
I give “one day workshops “ as well as courses in my studio.
People can first try hats to see what fits the best and then they make the hat themselves under my guidance.
A studio visit is also possible with maximum 15 persons. During this 2,5 hours during visit, I give a presentation on all possible materials and a I show how to make a hat.
All models, courses and workshops are listed on www.nicolebaert.be