Jennifer Berger Designs Unique Felted Creations
Writer / Julie Young
Jennifer Berger has been making and selling handicrafts since she was 10 years old. What began with macramé snowflakes, furry fellows and pom-pom magnets eventually gave way to an interest in basket making — thanks in part to her mother, who always wanted to learn the art form.
“We bought a kit and worked together on a single basket. We both enjoyed it so after we were finished, we each made one of our own,” she says. “I really liked doing it, but she decided that one was enough for her.”
Berger continued to design and make her own baskets, selling several thousand through her Woven Dimensions business over the next 15 years. However, in the early 2000s, the baskets went by the wayside and she turned to knitting, crocheting and felting — a process of turning wool into delightfully decorative items by shaping and shrinking them. Her first products were Christmas stockings, but after realizing that those tend to be a one-time purchase, she knew she had to diversify her wares.
“I figured out how to make some Christmas ornaments and decided that when I got a bunch of things made, then I would start selling again,” Berger says. “The more time I had to work on it, the more time I had to develop my technique. Now I make a lot of different things and take them to different shows.”
Berger’s inventory includes farm animals, zoo animals, favorite characters, one-of-a-kind monsters and more. The time it takes to craft an individual piece varies from an hour to several hours, not including the actual felting process, but she has perfected a system of working in stages so that she can maximize her production time. Her creations are sold at a few galleries in Central Indiana, at a variety of craft shows and bazaars as well as online. She does not sell through Etsy however, because she feels it is important for customers to see a Woven Dimensions item so that they know exactly what they are getting.
“Don’t get me wrong, I take the best pictures that I can of my creations and I don’t doctor them in any way, but sometimes people can be confused about an item,” she says. “For example, a cow may be three inches by three inches by two inches, but in a photo, it might look bigger to someone.”
Berger says it’s hard to determine which items will be trending at any given moment because it varies from year to year. When she created hat-wearing alpacas and llamas using alpaca yarn, they sold like hotcakes, while at other times, it’s her monsters that excite customers more than anything else.
“My ‘Wooley Warblers,’ which are a mash-up of Dickens’ carolers and Whoville singers have been very popular,” she adds. “However, other people like my snowmen that stand up and can be lit with one of those little electric tea lights. It just depends.”
To learn more about Woven Dimensions or to learn about upcoming appearances, call 317-733-0476 or visit Berger online at wovendimensions.blogspot.com.