I received an email from Art Fawcett last week with some photos of my in-process beaver fedora, asking that I choose the ribbon color for it. The initial choices were varieties of medium gray, which I thought had too much contrast. The next possibility was black, above, which was too dark.
Notice that Art has given the hat a simple center dent and side pinches in his studio. It has a high crown - I'd asked for a hat that could have been made in the 1930's, and men wore crowns that were about 3/4" higher than most of the hats made today.
The charcoal ribbon seemed ideal to me. It offers just a bit of textural contrast, like my Lock hats. I resisted an offer to add a colored stripe to the ribbon.
And then the hat arrived, beautifully packaged in a large hat box. During the journey, the crease and pinches had come out, leaving what appeared to be an enormous felt dome, nearly six inches high and looking rather like a turban with a brim. At least it did until after I spoke to Art, who reminded me that a crease would lower the height of the crown significantly.
The call with Art gave me the courage to bash a deep crease into the crown. And now my hat looks ready for September.