Greetings knowledge seekers!

We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the rich, but often unknown, history that is hair art.There is, of course, much yet to discuss about years and eras, but I’ve not at all written about the many different techniques of hair art. Were I not to discuss this, I would be doing you all a great injustice. I think about how many people I encounter on a daily basis who have never heard of hair art, and I don’t always know exactly where to begin in describing it. Hair art is…well, MANY things!

There are so many techniques I’ve learned of and practiced in my studies that it would be difficult to discuss them all in one blog post, so I’ve made it a new mission (in my seemingly never ending list of missions) to dedicate one blog post to each of the techniques that are known. For today I’d like to discuss a technique referred to as flatwork.

Flatwork comes in a few different forms. One of the most common forms you will see flatwork in is in jewelry. Although flatwork is not found in every piece of hair jewelry, it is seen in many of them. Flatwork is exactly what it sounds like. Flat. For this reason, it’s very easy to use flatwork when you need something to place behind glass or in a locket. One thing that’s really fun and unique about flatwork is that flat hair can be arranged into a simple curl, an abstract design, or a very specific picture. Due to the prevalence of Catholicism in regions that were most known for making hair art, it was very common to see flatwork crosses.

Sherry This is an example of flatwork shown in a brooch that has recently been sold

In addition to jewelry, flatwork can simply be found on its own in a frame. Flatwork Cross 1Flatwork Cross 2 A Victorian Style cross made and owned by Courtney Lane

The final form I’ve seen flatwork take shape in is (stay with me here) in a three dimensional hair sculpture. Yes. 3-D and flat. Simultaneously. As nonsensical as it sounds, it is, in fact, a thing. How is it a thing? Well I’m glad you asked. Or rather, I’m glad that I asked on your behalf. This was done by making several flat petals. The petals would then be strung together to form a flower, given a stem, and arranged amongst other 3-dimenisional flowers.

Sherry An example of a single flatwork flower used in a hair wreathe made and owned by Courtney Lane

Hair flowers themselves are a whole separate set of unique and diverse techniques which I’ll be sure to touch on in an upcoming blog!

Until then,
Courtney Lane