TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List | Felted Mini-Hats by Ariane Mariane

Felted Mini-Hats by Ariane Mariane

Author:  on 
May 23, 2014
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Do you wonder where artists and artisans get their inspiration from? Ariane from Ariane Mariane/ Paris has a leitmotif (recurrent theme) that finds ground in a sentence from Picasso : “Inspiration exists but it has to find you working”. Most of her ideas “find her” when she lays out wool fibers or rubs the felt work. The eternal repetition of the same actions over a long period of time gets her into meditation mode, a kind of daydream where her thoughts follow their own reasoning.

Ariane shares her creative process

I can give you a concrete example of how I came up with the ideas for the fancy, artsy top hat fascinators that I am making now. I think of them as “mini hats”. This story started when one of my charming New York clients asked me to bring some of my felt hats on the trip I had been planning there. I live in Paris and many of my hats are large sculptural works. As spring and summer were approaching, she also asked for “summer hats”. This great request had two problems for me:

1. The sculptural hats take a lot of space in a suitcase
2. In order to make them stand on their own, these hats are thick, more suited for winter than summer accessories.

Ariane Mariane Sculptural Hats

Ariane Mariane Sculptural Hats

Always willing to make my clients happy, I started thinking about a solution, day and night. Weeks went by and no idea came up (even while working hard). Ten days before departure, I was sure I couldn’t find a solution in time. Suddenly the answer landed in my hands!

Ariane Mariane felt necklaces.

Ariane Mariane felt necklaces.

I was preparing samplers for my summer master class felt workshop. To teach how to make three-dimensional high quality felt work, I developed a necklace which allowed my students to learn and improve this technique on a small scale. While working on a sampler I just happened to put it on my head. (No, please! Don’t ask why! 😉 ). Watching myself in the mirror with this kind of crown, there was a big – WARROUM – and something pressed the shutter button.

Ariane Mariane with felted mini hat.

Ariane Mariane with felted mini hat.

The idea of the mini hat was born!

Easy to take in my luggage and a fancy accessory even for spring and summer. Of course the client was enchanted – and so are more and more unique beings!

These head sculptures now come in many shapes, forms and colors. They are meant for trendsetters and those who like a bit of fun and art in everyday life. And if you don’t find the perfect one for you, it will be my pleasure to create a very special one for you!


How about you?

Have you ever had a WARROUM moment? How does inspiration happen in your brain, your spirit, your muse? Please share in the comments! We would love to hear from you.

Ariane Mariane Red Felt Mini Hat

Ariane Mariane Red Felt Mini Hat

Ariane has created a “Wall of Fame” on her Facebook page where she has started to post customer photos that are sent in. You too can get seen there if you buy one of her hats! They are so much fun!

One of our pioneer members, Ariane joined TAFA back in September of 2010 and has been active from day one. Her Member Profile. She has shared her joys and struggles openly (See The Price We Pay) and has always made herself approachable. Her fun, warm spirit is contagious and delightful!

Ariane Mariane Felted Hat Mask

Ariane Mariane Felted Hat Mask


Shop Ariane Mariane!



I've been working with the arts and craft world in many capacities since 1988. Handmade textiles have been my core focus since launching TAFA in 2010.

My hope is to contribute to the economic development potential the arts bring to the world, along with the intrinsic beauty shown in the work. May the world become a friendlier place for artists and nature!

Arrived in Kentucky after a childhood in Brazil, college in Minnesota and 20 years in Chicago. It's been a ride!

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