Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday's Millinery Musings - Travelling between worlds

By guest blogger Jennifer  
Jennifer's Etsy Store

The title of Ruth's blog, "Inside the Artisan", has always given me pause.  So the other day I asked myself what in the world was inside of me when I made this beret and why do I like it so much and wear it more than any of my other winter hats? What's going on "Inside the Artisan"?

It got me to thinking about the famous British milliner, Stephen Jones,, who when asked where he gets the inspiration for his astonishing hats, replied simply, "I live my life and make a hat out of it." With this in mind, I wondered about the source of my own inspiration for the kelly green beret. I discovered it is exactly as Stephen  Jones said. It comes directly from daily life, as you will see.

I haven't always been a milliner. I was at one time a professional baker and baking is still very much a part of my life. Without meaning to, I made of fulled strips of wool jersey something akin to flakey pie crust around the edges of the beret.

When I make ginger scones the batter is patted into a round and cut out in sections exactly like the top of the beret, then baked on a stone until they are golden and irresistible.

It came as a delightful surprise when the connections were made between baking and hat making - the unconscious freedom of creativity to move between worlds without our intervention but definitely for our benefit. I wear this hat often because it so perfectly reflects a meaningful aspect of my life, not to mention that it is warm and comfortable and soon it will be Saint Patrick's day and I will be safe from pinches.

What is something you do normally that finds its way into your art and expresses itself in a fresh, new way? How does your creativity travel between worlds?

To celebrate the happy marriage of baking and millinery I'd like to share with you my favorite ginger scone recipe:


Turn oven to 425 degrees

2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tb baking powder
1 Tb sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter (1 cube)
1/2 to 1 c crystallized ginger, chopped (being a fan of ginger I always use 1 c and it's the perfect amount)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c  milk ( a little more if the dough seems dry)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients together. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the pieces are about pea size or smaller. Add the chopped ginger. In another bowl mix together the egg, milk and vanilla. Stir everything together until it is just mixed and avoid over-mixing. Flour your hands and the counter. Shape the dough into a ball. Pat the ball with your hands until you have a round disk about 1 inch high. Using the beret top as the example, cut the dough into wedges - in half, quarters, eights. If you like, you can brush the tops of the scones with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the scones are lovely, golden and you want to eat them.

Note: These scones are so good with a pile of fresh, ripe strawberries. And cream if you like it.

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