Hat-burning workshops offer a channel for creativity in Lewis and Thurston counties


What we wear can sometimes say who we are, so why not make a bold statement?

Pacific Northwest artist Ashlee Price of Divine Concepts has been hosting a series of art classes around Lewis County, focusing primarily on the art of hat burning.

“Burning art designs into hats is a unique and creative way to customize and personalize headwear,” Price said. “This process, known as pyrography, involves using a heated tool to burn designs, patterns, or images onto the surface of the hat.”

The next hat-burning class will occur on March 17 at the Longmire Springs Brewhouse and Taproom in Packwood. There will then be a workshop at Stone City Farm in Tenino on March 24. Price has already hosted several of these workshops in other areas of Lewis County. 

“The community's feedback on the workshop about burning art designs into hats has been overwhelmingly positive,” Price said. “Participants have expressed how much they enjoyed the hands-on experience and learning a new skill. They leave excited to repurpose and create art with other accessories that they may not have thought of before.”

Price said that those attending would be provided with all the materials required to have a masterpiece at the end. Materials include hats, stencils and burning tools. Other items such as trinkets, feathers, flowers, leather, lace, belts and more will be provided.

“You will be guided through the process with helpful tips and tricks to take your design to the next level,” Price said. “Once you are satisfied with your hat’s one-of-a-kind custom pyrography, you will have the chance to craft a unique hat band.”

Price added that people can repurpose their own items if they wish, giving them new life.

“Feel free to bring along any unused pieces such as broaches, earrings, necklaces, belts, scarves and fabrics to incorporate into your hat,” Price said. “These cherished items can add a beautiful touch to your hat's story.”

Price’s own passion in art has been in taking forgotten items and repurposing them for new use. She especially likes transforming old crystal prisms into “whimsical” pieces that play with light and color.

“Beyond their visual appeal, these creations have a therapeutic effect on those who view them,” Price said.

Price’s journey into hat-making began because she also enjoys creating unique designs by hand-painting images on repurposed denim jackets.

“I later delved into hat design, experimenting with different materials and techniques,” Price said. “During this exploration, I stumbled upon the pyrography technique. As I refined my skills, many people showed interest in learning this blend of contemporary fashion and artistic expression.”

Price said that when making a hat, she draws inspiration from her surroundings and tries to innovate and captivate with each new design. Her craftsmanship and originality are poured into every hat she produces.

“My goal is to motivate individuals to think outside the box and explore new territories,” Price said. “By fostering creative thinking and finding fresh ways to repurpose everyday items often seen as disposable or for donation, we can breathe new life into them, whether it's hats, jackets, old accessories or trinkets. These items can be rejuvenated with a fresh perspective, encouraging creativity and self-expression.”

Price said the process of hat-burning requires patience, precision and creativity. The end result, however, is a hat that is a work of art and reflects your own style and personality. To burn your own hat, people take a pyrography pen or tool with various tips for different effects. People will select their design and carefully burn it into the hat, ensuring the temperature and pressure of the tool are controlled to get the desired effect.

Price said some people who have attended the workshops have shared pictures of their hats on social media.

“Some have even mentioned how therapeutic and relaxing the process was, allowing them to unwind and express themselves through art,” Price said. “Overall, the workshops have been a hit, and participants say they are looking forward to more creative and engaging events in the future.”

Price said that she organizes these workshops at various small businesses in Thurston and East Lewis counties and beyond to establish an enjoyable and interactive environment for those who attend.

“These workshops draw in people looking to gain a new skill, and they might find a new local favorite hangout too,” Price said. “By promoting creativity and teamwork, we aspire to cultivate a community spirit and spark innovation in everyone participating in these gatherings.”

Price said she is excited to see a positive impact on the community from these workshops.

“As I continue to expand our reach to different areas, I look forward to meeting new faces and sharing the joy of creating something beautiful together,” Price said. “The workshops serve as a platform for creativity to flourish and for individuals to explore their talents in a supportive and encouraging setting.”

Those looking for additional information about the workshops and their locations can go to Price’s website at https://www.adivineconcept.com/art-classes. Those interested can also email Adivineconcept@outlook.com or engage in discussions on social media events found at www.facebook.com/DivineConceptsbyashlee