Part of the Process

May 5, 2014

By Cheryl Katz

As described in the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, process is defined as “a series of actions that produce something or that lead to a particular result.”

Process is what design is all about. It can be overwhelming; at each turn there are many decisions to be made.

I first saw Lisa Ventre’s hats three years ago in a now defunct shop in Provincetown. Designed from toyo, a raw plant material from Asia, Ventre’s unique hat designs were the result of stitching rows of toyo together. Where the stitches should be placed, how many stitches should be made, when did a hat have enough stitches, determined the final design.

Her hats, little works of art, were sculptural and soulful.

I loved them. But not being a hat wearer – hats can make one feel a bit pretentious – I didn’t buy one. Yet every time it rained or was very sunny or when I was in desperate need of a haircut, I thought about Ventre’s hats. With a recent Caribbean vacation on the horizon, I decided to email her.

Her Provincetown studio, tucked in the rear of her house, overlooks a horse paddock. The walls are covered with drawings and small wire sculptures.

Photos by Jeffrey Katz

The drawings and the sculptures look just like her hats.

I hemmed. I hawed. I tried on a dozen. I bought one. It was all part of the process