Welcome to The Phoenix Files!

This blog is a collection of papers and how-to articles I have written over the past 25+ years, as well as my travel journals and announcements.  Scholarly works from "The Library" on my old website, are labeled here as "Historica Tractatu." 

My travels have had heavy influence on my work and are the 'back story' behind many of my designs. Some of my older journals are revised from the original, and most link to photo albums on Facebook.  

It's not about the Hats

(Originally posted to Facebook, January 12, 2017)

I have always tried to keep my art and politics separate. I am now failing at that. A failure for which I will not apologize for.

Those who follow my business page on Facebook have seen the hats I'm making for the Women's Marches on January 21 as part of the PussyHats Project. Each hat is made from entirely recycled materials, and each has a link of chain in the ear, to symbolize that we are all linked in the ongoing struggle for equality.  The seven people I selected for this project are marching in events on both coasts, and are receiving hats as a gift ... one to wear and one to share... (the sharable version at left is based off the original knit pattern from Ravelry).  

I have seen in the news recently some dissenting opinions regarding that project, from women who are concerned that we are focusing on silly hats instead of real women's issues. It's not about the hats... the hats are a tool to further the dialog. That's what art does. It prompts people to ask what you are doing, and why. It can bring issues to the forefront in a palatable format, and bring people together on common causes. Women are now joining knitting circles, making signs and puppets, finding allies, furthering the discussion and developing strategies. And its not just women. 

My art is my voice. It has convinced at least one person to march who hadn't planned to, and has alerted others who weren't even aware of the marches until they asked about my hats. I sent them information about a march in their area, which they forwarded to friends. The dialog continues. A hat did that. Art did that. 

For those of you who are searching my website for these hats, these are not for sale. I have in fact, been refusing money for them. Marchers who have offered to pay for their hats are being directed to make a donation to Planned Parenthood instead.  I will apologize for the current lack of hats on my website, and beg your indulgence as I make other things a priority... I will get back to 'hats for sale' as soon as i can...

UPDATE:  The hat at left has garnered so much positive comment that I plan to add it to my Custom Catalog for availability after January 25, with 50% of your purchase price being donated to Planned Parenthood.  

The first 10 orders I receive by January 30 will ship by February 14. 


Date 1/15/2017
Rachel Biel
It's absolutely wonderful what you are doing, Heather! And, these hats will continue to spur conversations as they are so lovely that they will be worn and worn and the story will be told. Kudos to you!!!
Date 4/15/2017
Heather Daveno
Thank you Rachel! I continued to sell them after the march, with funds continuing to benefit Planned Parenthood. The hat I wore in the Seattle March will be arriving soon at the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge Ontario, where it will be added to their permanent collection.

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