One form of hairwork is created on a special table using a weaving or braiding type method and weighted bobbins similar to bobbin lace. This produces either a hollow tube or solid length (depending on the method used) of woven hair which was used to make necklaces, bracelets, and watch fobs. Decorative brooches, earrings and other jewelry could also be created.
Hair painting is done by using finely ground hair as the “paint”. This technique is combined with the palette work technique to create painting of a unique nature. Sometimes, but not always a pastel color was added to create the sky, water, or a flesh tone, otherwise the only color used is the actual color of the hair. These pictures are sometimes called “Sepia Paintings”.
Another form of hairwork is hair flowers. These are formed by wrapping the hair around a rod and then “stitching” the hair loop with a fine wire forming a series of loops which are then shaped into different flower forms, by combining an assortment of the different sized loops.
Most of the large hair wreaths were formed into a horseshoe shaped wreath that was placed on a silk or velvet background inside a frame.
|When memorial wreaths were made, the hair was collected from the deceased and added to the wreath whenever any one died. The top of the wreath was always kept open at the top……..ascending heavenward. It was said that the newest addition would be placed in the center, and then moved to the side to become part of the body of wreath when the next person passed away|
Not all flower wreaths are memorials, some contain the hair from an entire church, a school, family, etc. These wreaths could get really enormous in size. They were made at a time when there were no photos, or they
were not readily available.
Cutwork or palette work is created by laying the hair flat and up against one other, and gluing them onto a base similar to tissue paper. When dried, shapes are cut out, formed into patterns and glued into place. This produces a very delicate type of art which is usually placed inside a brooch or pendant type setting.
Hair pictures are made to hang on the wall, or if they are of a smaller size, to sit on a table. They are
made entirely of hair, and may have embellishments of pearls, seeds, beads, or something similar.
Many pictures were made to commemorate
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