HUeS OF THE HIGH DESERT
ABOUT THE COLLECTION
For the last 9 years I have developing a one-of-a-kind collection of hats that are dyed naturally using wildcrafted plants from this high desert region. I call the collection “Hues of the High Desert” and it is my passion and a labor of love. Since moving to Central Oregon almost 10 years ago from Coastal Northern California, I have been enamored with the high desert landscape and the resiliency of the plants that exist in these conditions.
Hues of the high desert
A one of a kind collection made of 100x Premium Beaver felts dyed with wildcrafted plants
harvested from the high deserts of Eastern Oregon.
A rich warm brown.
A soft camel tan.
A glowing soft gold.
An earthy red/ brown.
A soft High Desert green.
individual color variations will naturally occur in each HUes of the high desert hat due to the natural dye process
As life has its way of twisting and turning, taking me over the mountains and into the valleys, I find myself seeking to surround myself in the landscape. A walk through the Oregon Badlands is a tangible reminder of the resilience of all living things, no matter the oppressive heat, the frigid winters or the years of drought. The sage, juniper, rabbitbrush and curly dock all persevere and thrive. These high desert plants are the foundation of my Hues of the High Desert hat collection. The hues of the hats reflect the soft desert palate. When the hats are steamed, they fill my workshop with the smells of the plants they have been dyed with and within them they carry the story of the land. They embody my quest for resilience and deeper connection to the land. I hope that this collection inspires onlookers to consider how their lives can sink deeper into connection with the land.
Through my Hues of the High Desert collection I am seeking to take the concept of regionally influenced style a step further and a step closer to the land. I playfully refer to the concept I am working on as “hat terroir.” Terroir refers to the way in which the land on which something is produced on imparts qualities that give it its unique characteristics. This place that I now call home on a biodynamic farm in Madras, Oregon is certainly inspiring the direction of my work and life, not only in design but also in my approach to balancing running a business, honoring my trade, and sinking deeper into this agricultural life I have chosen. I hope to be a hatter, a steward of the land, and a storyteller in a fluid, symbiotic way.
HAVSTAD HAT CO.
The natural dye process utilizes plants to create unique colors unlike anything found via a chemical dye process. I harvest the plant matter and create a dye bath with the selected plants I work with from our region. Sagebrush, Willow, Black Walnuts, Juniper, Dock and Rabbitbrush are some of the plants I use most. The resulting colors are soft and textured, a direct reflection of the plants and the land on which they grow. In my quest to capture the terroir of my High Desert home, this collection is a labor of love.
The felts soak for days in the dye baths and as such, the hats created this way often smell like the plants used to create their hues. When I wear my sagebrush hat in the rain, I can smell the sage in which the hat is dyed in. Please keep in mind that these hues all have unique variations and textures to them. If you are seeking perfect uniformity in color, you will want to stick with a standard color found on the swatch. If you like unique hues, color stories and texture, this collection of colors will stop people in their tracks with inquiry.
Once the felts have been dyed, they are taken to my Airstream Workshop. Both the dye station and hat making workshop are located on the farm I live on. Each hat is hand-blocked and taken through the century old process of building hats by hand.
Many of my blocks and pieces of equipment date back to the late 1800s/ early 1900s. Each hat within the collection will be custom fitted to the customer’s head and personalized with the customer’s name or a quote on the sheepskin leather sweatband.
hues of the high desert
“FIND YOUR PLACE ON THE PLANET. DIG IN, AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FROM THERE.”
Today I write to you, briefly, spontaneously, and excitedly. It's been some months of personal and creative manifestation of a profound new chapter for Havstad Hat Co. I'll start with how I end, and you decide if you want to read the in between; Custom Orders will reopen this month, November 2021. Newsletter subscribers will be the first notified when the limited commission spots are restocked here on the website.
We all know, marketing can be used for good and bad, the difference now is that marketing doesn’t just come in obvious forms of magazines, television ads, billboards and product labels. Our lives are permeated by marketing tools every single day for as many minutes or hours as you spend looking at social media, in addition to the magazines, television ads, billboards, product labels etc. I start to wonder, how many minutes or hours in a day are our minds free from targeted marketing anymore?