Our workshops are not just about millinery.

Hats can be seen as a metaphor for the different roles we play in our lives. Through making hats we are expressing our aesthetic and personal values and strengths. We connect to others through the creative act, and we witness their strengths, challenges and personal expression.

Sometimes we can identify so strongly with one role or metaphorical hat in life that our identities can become unbalanced. We get overwhelmed and loose sight of where we are going. Waltraud draws in the workshops on her skills of her Gestalt psychotherapy training, science of positive psychology and most of all her own personal heart ships she freely shares with others and how she overcome them. The wellbeing workshops explore the connections between ourselves, our roles and our relationships with others with the help of weaving, paint, collage and off course hats.

The science of positive psychology has shown that when we engage our top five strengths, we are more motivated, productive and creative. In our wellbeing workshops we make hats that express our best strengths; our source of resilience and mental wellbeing

Expected Outcomes

  • Greater connection to self and others, sharing and bonding

  • Potential for positive change

  • Recognition of own strengths and those of others

  • Opportunity for self-expression and artistic play with materials

  • Take home a unique, wearable piece of art


Positive Psychology and the Art of the Hat

Waltraud has a passsion for connecting people through creative work. She has discovered that the principles of positive psychology are inbuilt into the way she approaches her workshops.

Positive psychology, the study of human wellbeing and happiness, uses a model of wellbeing called the PERMA model. This identifies five areas crucial to a holistic sense of psychological wellbeing.

Waltraud's workshops are designed to engage all of these areas. Through learning the creative skill of hat-making, her students are encouraged to connect with one another and engage fully in the project they have chosen.

Positive Emotion
First and foremost, our workshops are fun. They are a chance to learn a new skill, meet new people, use your hands and play. The creative process is a chance to make mistakes and laugh at them.

Our mental wellbeing workshops have seen many students who have become bogged down in the day-to-day routine of their work. Our workshops provide a valuable change of pace. Different parts of our brains are engaged when working with physical materials, colour, texture and shape. Doing something different and creative is a valuable way to recharge and reconnect with what we love.

Students are also encouraged to help one another explore the possibilities of the craft, form or nurture friendships, and laugh together during the creative process.

Hats are shown to have meaning beyond their face value, as objects of personal expression and pride.

Students complete the workshops with a sense of accomplishment at having learned something of the trade of millinery, and with a physical reward - a beautifully-finished designer headpiece - as a lasting reminder of their experience and the skills they have gained.


The 24 Character Strengths and Virtues

Before our corporate workshops, we ask students to complete the VIA Survey of Strengths to get an idea of their best personal strengths and identify areas they would like to work on.