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Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Felt cornish miner's helmets UK theatre production any advice?

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  • K Murphy
    Jude: Not too sure what these puppies looked like, but if I were in your spot, I d try to find an inexpensive hat (of any material) that resembles the shape
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 31, 2004
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      Jude:

      Not too sure what these puppies looked like, but if I were in your spot, I'd try to find an inexpensive hat (of any material) that resembles the shape you need, then add pieces or cut/trim/decorate/distress to get the right look. What about a couple of those inexpensive pressed felt "costume" derbies, sewn together for strength, with the brim altered or trimmed down? (If your theater is anything like mine, you've probably got some used ones lying around already!)

      If you have some time to play around, you could try making an approximate shape in flat pattern, cutting it of a heavy fabric (or even layers of fabric) and sizing it heavily over a block. Or (again, if you have some time) you could probably "recycle" some wool felt hats, if you have enough. Just wet with your sizing and stretch over a block. It's really easy, nothing to be afraid of. Heck, you should try one just for fun. (There was a discussion on here a while back about sizing hats...I think it was originally about stiffening a very wide brim.)

      If their headlamp wicks need to be lit with a flame or an electric, I'd go with and inexpensive plastic "costume" helmet product and gussy it up.


      Any mention of figgie hobbin in the play? It's the best pastry I've ever had...discovered it here in the states on a weekend in Mineral Springs, Wisconsin, where there was quite an influx of Cornish miners at one time.

      Kate Murphy

      judemunden <judemunden@...> wrote:
      I am working on the production of a new D M Thomas play in Cornwall
      UK and need to make some authentic looking miners helmets of the
      period 1900 .I have seen some of the real things, the were made
      cheaply in one piece felt, stiffened with resin (?) and had a lump of
      clay on the front with a candle stuck in.

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    • Bell
      wrote: I have seen some of the real things, the were made ... of ... I believe the origin of the hardhat is from the making of the errr
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 1, 2004
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        <judemunden@y...> wrote:
        I have seen some of the real things, the were made
        > cheaply in one piece felt, stiffened with resin (?) and had a lump
        of
        > clay on the front with a candle stuck in.

        I believe the origin of the hardhat is from the making of the errr
        Hoover dam in the year errrr. They was baseball caps and I know they
        was stiffened with resin. No idea if you was thinkling of stiffening
        in the same way but anyway thats how it was done.
        Good luck with which ever way you decide to make the hats
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