|An close up example of Hair Art|
|ABOVE: An example of a hair wreath done in a style that is quite|
thin and wiry. It does however feature the typical horseshoe.
I have seen very few examples like the hair work that came to the studio recently (see below). This type of work is in the French style, and has been referred to as "French Palette work" or "hair feather design" perhaps because it does bear resemblance to still-life works created with bird feathers.
|ABOVE: Here is the French-style Victorian hair art after treatment.|
What makes this French-based art work so different than the typical hair work from the United States in that it has absolutely no wires. Instead it is composed mainly of full, large, locks as the focal point, with smaller pieces cut and glued into a design, with a feature of leaves or flower petals, which are pieces of hair laid flat, glued to a paper surface, then cut into the shape desired. The entire work is then glued to glass.
|ABOVE: Up-close of the French hair work when it arrived in our studio. You can see the loose pieces as|
well as the loss from the cut leaves and flower petals. Also obvious is the glue that has yellowed over time.
|The swab shows the dirt that has built up. Also obvious is the faded initials "E. O."|
which were obscured by a loose tendril of hair.
|After the paper board was removed from the back of the frame,|
pages of a book, written in French were found.
Hair is still a way to express yourself artistically. Not only are some brave souls trying to figure out the way Victorian hair art was created, there are plenty of modern artists who use hair as their creative medium, like the example below.
|Amazingly these leaves are made of hair by artist Jenine Shereos.|
See more of this and other amazing work at www.jenineshereos.com
To see some other ways hair is currently used in art, visit this fabulous blog: http://www.artisaway.com/blog/hair-as-a-fascinating-theme-in-art-fashion-and-design/ it shows several examples of some absolutely amazing modern hair art.
If you would like to know a little more about Victorian Hair Art, visit these sites:http://textilecollection.wisc.edu/featured_textile_articles/hair_wreath.html
Gwen Spicer is a textile conservator in private practice. Spicer Art Conservation specializes in textile conservation, object conservation, and the conservation of works on paper. Gwen's innovative treatment and mounting of flags and textiles is unrivaled. To contact her, please visit her website.