Jo Ramsay is the Designer and Owner of Tirra Lirra Atelier. She began work as a milliner in 1991 and completed her studies in Fashion in 1998.
Jo has worked with Eugenie Van Oirschott, Neil Grigg, Carole Maher, Lina Stein and Rosie Boylan. She continues to explore the art of millinery, by attending Masterclasses, collaborating with clients and exhibiting her work.
The Tirra Lirra Atelier/Studio is full of all the things we need to make beautiful headwear. This includes hat blocks, feathers, shaping materials, embellishments and tools.
Hat Blocks are wooden shapes that are used to mould hat crowns and brims. We have inherited some blocks that have been used by other milliners for years and are very old. Hat block-making is actually an art in itself because each block is essentially a wooden sculpture – every curve, corner and dip is recreated in the hats moulded on that block. Hat Block makers have have a great knowledge of wood and take pride in their craft.
Feathers are exquisite to work with and we continue to explore their potential and discover new ways to work with them. In our studio we use sustainably-sourced feathers from geese, ducks, pheasants, guinea fowl, emu, ostrich and chickens.
Shaping Materials vary a great deal. When we design our head pieces, we take into consideration the properties of each shaping material to decide what will work best and give the desired look. Winter materials include wool, felt and faux fur. In Summer we create with Sinamay mesh, straw and other lightweight fabrics.
Our Embellishment drawers are crammed full of tiny treasures – vintage buckles and buttons, sparkly trims, velvet and silk ribbons, lace, berries, flowers and other fine things that we gather together.
There are many tools used by milliners, and our studio has it’s fair share. From pins and needles to pliers, awls and heating tools, there’s a good mix of modern and old-world tools that we use daily.