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In the 1800s, when photography was a luxury, it was common to commemorate a loved one by keeping a lock of their hair. Hair could be woven and sculpted into art and used to memorialize the dead as well as to celebrate friendship, kinship, and romantic bonds between the living. Like a family portrait, the hair of many family members might even be woven together into a wreath, each branch and flower representing a loved one.
This workshop begins with a brief history of hairwork. Participants will see some historical hairwork and learn more about Victorian customs of death and commemoration. Following this, participants learn to make a five-petal hairworked flower in the wreathwork/wirework style, from start to finish. From preparing the hair and wire, to weaving it via the historic “gimping” technique, to putting it together with bead and button embellishments, attendees will come away with a complete understanding of how to create a simple hairwork flower that can stand alone as a piece of art, or be part of a larger hair wreath or bouquet.
We are pleased that the Seven Oaks House Museum is lending a hair wreath and a piece of hair jewelry to the Museum for the workshop so participants can see the beauty of this unusual art form.
Participants are welcome to bring hair they wish to work, but synthetic hair and all supplies will be provided.
For more information, please contact Alex Judge at [email protected]
Fee: General $45 + GST / Member $40 + GST
About the Artist: Sandra Klowak
Sandra Klowak is a Winnipeg (Treaty 1) artist who weaves and sculpts with human hair based on the historic craft of Victorian hairwork.
Sandra is fascinated by art and artifacts made from organic matter, like hairwork, which have survived as tangible chunks of history, connecting us to the past lives of real people. Hair’s power to immortalize and tell the stories of those long-passed makes it a very powerful medium with which to work.
Sandra is a strong supporter of historic museums and buildings. She’s a board member of the Seven Oaks House and Ross House museums and a past board member of Friends of Lower Fort Garry.
She lives with her husband, baby daughter, and two cats. Sandra and her family enjoy exploring rural Manitoba, camping and taking in the unique history displayed at local museums and historic houses. She’s made it a life goal to visit every history museum in the province.
Her work can be viewed at corporealcurios.com and on Instagram and Facebook at @corporealcurios.