It's the hat season - not just for Spring Carnival but for art and a good cause too. The well-known and talented Melbourne milliner, Waltraud Reiner, is a busy lady indeed, not only with her work for theTalking Hats Collection Parade but also with this exciting and very worthwhile project.
Hats for Happiness Inc. runs an annual fundraiser called 'Little Hats project', which asks milliners and other artists to make a small wearable hat to fit within a theme and to donate this hat to be auctioned off. This year's theme is that of chaos.
Creative hat makers from all over the world have sent in their "little hats" which have been photographed and and can be bid on through the Hats for Happiness Facebook page. The starting price for each hat is $35 but the creativity, beauty and quality of the hat will surely inspire people to bid much higher.
The hats are all wearable of course but are also special pieces of art. There are hats with beads and jewels, hats with feathers brooches and coins, fun hats that will surely start a conversation, and hats shaped into light ethereal creations that defy description. Much hard work,creativity and skill goes into making them, something which Waltraud sees not just as an end product but a process which in itself is therapeutic for the well-being of the creators, as well as for the wearers and owners of the hats. The making of hats as wearable art connects people with others but also with themselves, an important step towards physical and mental well being.The hats tell their own story within the theme of chaos and add to the uniqueness of this art form.
As part of this project professional photographs of the hats and their stories will be published in a special book. There will be a hand-stitched limited edition and the standard edition. Both editions are published and bound by a Melbourne company that prides itself, not only on the high quality finished product, but also on the traditional methods of publishing and binding - a rare find among the fierce competition from elsewhere in the world. This book will be launched on October 13th at Firechief Pizzeria Hawthorn
The money raised from this project will go towards the development of a mobile app to help parents and children cope with the uncertainty, trauma and often chaos that can ensue through medical procedures and tests that many children undergo in hospitals and clinics. Dr Angela Mackenzie, pediatrician, researcher and author of Everybody Stay Calm is raising money for the app that will offer practical help and suggestions for parents when their children are undergoing medical tests and treatments. As she says "often parents feel helpless when confronted with the situation of having a child undergo a medical procedure or test. The app will help them to respond and deal with these situations in a more informed way and will make the experience more positive for them as well as for their children".
Bidding for one of these beautiful hats will bring multiple benefits to all concerned: the creative hat makers, the purchasers of the hats and importantly, the families who will benefit from the development of the app which will make their medical procedures less traumatic and unpleasant.