• Karen Christie, Milliner

An Artist's Hat

I am often asked where the inspiration for my hat designs comes from. It is true to say my quirky sometimes eccentric brain runs riot with ideas and I reply that I will need another two or three lifetimes to create the hats that are already in my head. Of course that just accounts for the Ready to Wear hats that I craft for the Shop. The bespoke or Tailor Made designs are specific to the customer. In their case I endeavour to capture a little essence of the wearer in the completed hat so each design is approached from a completely different angle....the challenge that any designer thrives on.

On this occasion, along comes an artist, one that I recognise as confident and outgoing. A gregarious character, Lyn instructs me to "go large". Now we know the beauty of a Ratty Tat Hat is that it isn't created for just one day....the nature of these hats allows them to be worn with many different types of outfits, casual or dressy but as with any good plan there will usually be a striking off point. In this instance there is an upcoming family wedding. So with a dress and shoes chosen for the event, the basic parameters were set. From that point though there was the joy of producing a very personalised design that would thrill, measure up to and flatter Lyn, making it a go to accessory that she will want to wear frequently for many years.

In a brief initial discussion with Lyn, I suggested including some of her favourite materials and tools amongst the proposed hat's embellishment. I was pleasantly surprised and delighted at the elements Lyn had gathered together when she appeared at my studio some weeks later. Besides paints and brushes she had produced a miniature canvas and a little representation of her spare time activities....does wine really go well with knitting? Many dropped stitches?

Thinking about an artist's approach to a creative work, I am conscious that there isn't actually much spare or switch off time. A current or forthcoming work will invariably occupy the mind, 24/7.. Indeed artists and designers speak of the 3am creative hour when inspiration, challenge solving and eureka moments dawn. With these thoughts in my mind I set about representing this circle of the creative process on Lyn's hat and the outcome....a hat called All About a Canvas.

For details and inspiration for a Tailor Made Ratty Tat Hat please visit our Galleries section.

In my opinion Lyn's joie de vivre clearly shines in her artworks as local street scenes, landscapes and depictions of nature are recorded with a colourful and joyful energy.

Artwork images courtesy of Lyn E F Waddell

Contact: lynefwaddell@gmail.com

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 Ratty Tat Hats

 by Karen Christie Design

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Steampunk Creations


Steampunk is a Neo-Victorian style which includes science fiction and fantasy references. It conjures up thoughts of steampowered machinery, airships, pioneers and swashbuckling adventures whilst often embracing the romance of Victorian glamour.


There are many examples of Steampunk influences within films such as Alice in Wonderland, Around the World in 80 Days, Sherlock Holmes and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Ratty Tat Hats | Ballynahinch, Northern Ireland | karenchristiedesign@gmail.com

© 2016 created by Karen Christie Design. Site content & images subject to copyright

© 2018 Gibson Girl with a Ratty Tat Hat, image is a derivative of work by American graphic artist Charles Dana Gibson