Interview by Nancy Walker
Tomoko Tahara grew in Tokyo, Japan and now lives in Vancouver. She is a woman of many talents. For the West of Main Art Walk she will be featuring her hand made felted hats. Tomoko’s favourite at the moment is a beige, fedora inspired hat that she has deliberately distressed. The well placed holes in the hat make a thoughtful artistic statement. My favourite, aside from the Beautiful felted Berets (and yes, I had to buy one) was her dark green hat donning a subtle but strong wild animal pattern. A personal power hat.
Tomoko will show felted hats and will also show her splendid freshly made straw hats. She will be lovely collaborating with the flower shop The Wild Bunch http://thewildbunch.ca/ These will be festive wedding and summer hats beautifully decorated with plants and flowers, fresh and dried. You will have to come see them as they are freshly made.
She begins by steaming felted wool then she places different forms over it to get just the right shape. Next comes the fun part of imagining who the hat is, what to add or take away to make it unique. Every hat has a story and every one is a lovely mix of charm and creativity. They look great on. She sells her hats here and also in galleries and department stores in Japan. Her website is a must see, www.tomokotahara.com. Aside from creating hats she is a chef specializing the most innovative and exquisitely beautiful vegetarian/vegan delicacies. You will be surprised. Have a look at www.cookhatter.com, she even offers recipes for some of these treasures.