San Diego Book Arts longtime project is finally coming to fruition. Buffalo contributed a painting to the book. If you are in the San Diego vicinity, please come to the reception! More info here.
Many years ago, Buffalo and a friend were having a conversation about home ownership. Buffalo said, I'll never be able to afford a house. The friend said, why don't you crochet one? Thus was born perhaps the most elaborate hat that Buffalo has ever created: the House Hat. I took photos of the House Hat back in the early days of this website but I was never really happy with the results. I finally revisited that hat today and took new photos.
The House Hat is Buffalo's Winchester Mystery House. She frequently adds to it and it may never be complete. It has roof shingles and dormer windows and a chimney. There's a crow on the roof and a gopher in the yard. And a sprinkler attached to a hose attached to a faucet. There are weeds in the garden and a raccoon in the trashcan. Buffalo even decorated the interior of the house with wallpaper and lace curtains. I love the climbing roses on the front porch pillars.
This is all well and good, but can you actually wear it as a hat? Yes you can! Because of the flexible resiliency of raffia, you can mold it into a variety of shapes on your head.
Buffalo made a hat this week that was meant to be an Out of Africa hat, but because every hat she makes is unique and sometimes the same patterns produce radically different results, she ended up with something that looks more like Heisenberg's hat from BREAKING BAD. The Out of Africa Hat is tall and wide, meant to be worn either as a top hat or pulled down low over one's hair. A pork pie hat is entirely different. Wikipedia has a nice history of the hat style, which was worn by women in the 19th century and by men in the 20th. It's iconic. Everybody from Buster Keaton to Fozzie Bear has worn this hat. Frank Lloyd Wright wore one. So did J. Robert Oppenheimer. Art Carney wore one on THE HONEYMOONERS and Duckie (Jon Cryer) in PRETTY IN PINK. Lots of ska bands wore them (Madness, The Specials) and the hepcat from Hanna-Barbera cartoons, Top Cat.
Buffalo's new hat isn't quite a pork pie. The sides angle in and the crown isn't flat. The brim is a bit wider than a traditional pork pie. But it isn't quite a fedora either. She struggled to come up with a name for it. She settled on the Cartwright hat, for Adam Cartwright on BONANZA. Or maybe Little Joe. Definitely not Hoss though. For sale on Etsy.
Graphic artist Bob Thomas is probably best known for his work for the Grateful Dead -- he designed both their trademark lightning bolt skull logo and the ubiquitous dancing bears. What you might not know of is his long association with the Renaissance Faire. Thomas was an accomplished piper and he and his band, the Golden Toad, played at the Marin Renaissance Faire for years. They also opened for the Dead on a number of occasions. What came as a surprise to me was that Buffalo's ex, Don Brown (of the famed Teahouse of the Mullah Nasrudin's Donkey at the renfaire), was their drummer. It wasn't until I googled last week and stumbled upon old photos of the band that I realized this. Here's a bit of lost Dead lore about the Golden Toad.
The reason I bring up Bob Thomas here is because Buffalo commissioned a sign from him years ago. She still uses it as her fair sign. It's a bit weathered now, but I think that gives it character. Bob was supposed to paint both sides of the sign but he never finished the back. As a result, people would approach Buffalo at the fair to ask "what's an uffalo at?" Here's what remains of the art on the backside: