Corporeal Curios Victorian Hairwork

Welcome new vendor Sandy Klowak of Corporeal Curios Victorian Hairwork

My business name is Corporeal Curios Victorian Hairwork  (first word pronounced core-POUR-ee-all). I handcraft custom keepsakes from human hair in the historic style of Victorian hairwork. I make commissions for clients who would like memorial pieces (usually framed) made from the hair of loved ones who have passed on, or keepsakes of hair from their children, and even hairpiece embellishments made out of their own hair that they can clip in to enhance their hairdos.

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How did you get started in your craft? — I’ve loved history my whole life and have worked and volunteered in museums and was always especially fascinated with artifacts made from hair and other body parts, which allow us to see the actual body of a historical person long gone. I found the hairwork I saw to be beautiful and was inspired to learn it myself to continue the tradition and provide a ways for people to memorialize their loved ones in a very personal and unique way.

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What inspires your work? — I’m honoured to be able to work with hair, a very special and unique material, to create very meaningful pieces of art for my clients and my own loved ones. Working with hair is challenging and rewarding at the same time, and I love experimenting, learning from the historic styles, and creating my own modern twists.

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Favourite pieces? — I created a mask made from hair, as well as a piece featuring hairwork roses that also has discarded cat claw sheaths included as the ‘thorns’.

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A bit of history on this crafting tradition: Hairwork and wearing hair of loved ones was a tradition that reached the height of its popularity in the Victorian times. There are several different styles of hairwork, and it was very popular to have hair wreaths with hair from multiple family members, acting as a family tree, as well as wearing woven hair as jewelry (necklaces, earrings, watch fobs) made from the hair of loved ones, as well as in brooches and pendants. It was used both for memorializing those who had passed away, and celebrating bonds between living loved ones, somewhat as we would use friendship bracelets today.

Find Sandy on the Manitoba Fibre Trail at Seven Oaks House Museum, Saturday Sept 12, 12-5

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