Check out this custom aluminum hard hat made by chasing and repoussé artist Debra Montgomery.
Hats like these were popular in the 70s when the oil field workers liked to hammer or engrave their hard hats to make them unique. They’ve been showing up on eBay lately through auction houses, etc. as well. Here’s what Debra had to say about this unique piece of art:
“This piece was all chased and worked 100% from the outside. I was commissioned by an iron worker’s daughter to make this hat for him. He’s an iron worker at the Diavik Diamond Mine up in Alberta, Canada. The polar bear paw prints represent the polar bears that live up in the Northwest Territories, but also, each diamond that comes out of the Diavik mine has a polar bear engraved on it. The maple leaf is for Canada and the wild roses and thorny rose vines represent Alberta itself. The wild rose is the Alberta Province flower and Alberta license plates say, “Wild Rose Country”. The design on the top is a construction crane with the Local 720 patch. The mountain range all around the hat represents the rugged mountains in the Alberta/Northwest Territory area. The Caribou antlers are representative of Mr. Aitkens’ love of hunting. Since I’m a welder by trade and also have relatives from my mom’s side who live up in Canada – it was a real treat to do this hard hat!
In this application, I chose not to anneal the aluminum. I just filled the hat with the pitch and went to work – the pitch held up wonderfully!”