Sequoia Buck’s love of all things Halloween inspired her to create unique witch hats that can only be found at Blackbird of Calistoga this time of year.
The hats—there are 32 of them this year – are made from repurposed vintage fabrics, lace, belt buckles, with the odd bat, spider and crow for good measure.
New this year are elegant face masks with feathers and sequins and bird-like noses.
“I absolutely love Halloween,” said Buck.
The artist said her hat making was inspired by Calistoga’s annual Halloween Parade.
“I have been in the habit of dressing up and being in the parade.”
While dressing up as a witch one year, “I decided to make a really cool witch hat for myself. A really unique one.”
About five years ago, after the owner of Blackbird of Calistoga saw her hat, she asked Buck to make some for the shop.
“We’ve been doing it ever since.”
“It’s fun,” she said. Each hat takes at least three hours, said Buck.
Starting with a standard witch hat made from acetate fabric and wire, “I totally cover it on the outside and put reinforcement on the inside of the cone so it doesn’t flop over.”
From there the embellishments are added.
“I do a lot of hand sewing. They are not just glued together,” she said. “I try to make them as far from ‘made in China’ as I can.”
“They look like this could be a real witch’s hat.”
Buck estimated she’s made about 150 of the witch hats over the years. “And every one is different.”
She also signs and numbers her hats.
Buck said the hats are sold at Blackbird of Calistoga for $110 each.
They’ve become quite popular, she noted. Some people even collect her hats. They’re owned by both locals and those that live across the country.
“I think that’s cool,” she said.
This year Buck was also inspired to create a cancer survivor hat, sewn with a dozen or more pink ribbons.
“It will find its way to the right home,” she said.
Buck and her husband, Thomas Atkins, make all kinds of creations in their studio on Sharp Road. They like to repurpose items if they can into bird feeders, glass garden art, mushroom lights and flower planters.
They will also host ‘Sequoia’s Christmas Fantasia’ Dec. 3 to 24, at her studio at 5140 Sharp Rd. in Calistoga, with handmade jewelry, ornaments, cards, fairy’s magic wands, stockings and more. Call 707-260-5195 for more information.
Blackbird of Calistoga is located at 1347 Lincoln Ave. in Calistoga.
Register business editor Jennifer Huffman contributed to this story.