South Deerfield, Massachusetts
Owner, designer and creator, Alison Johnson began Craft Alternative as an exploration of natural fibers and felt making as an artistic medium….
“I wanted to see what I could accomplish with fiber. Bead making was where I started. Beads were fun but I knew there was so much more I could do with the material. I attended New England ‘s largest sheep and wool festival looking for inspiration and knowledge. While touring the endless rows of fiber vendors it became apparent to me there was a huge community of fiber enthusiasts out there making, dying and manipulating fiber in every way imaginable. This world was completely new to me and I became totally hooked. I found the inspiration I needed that day at the festival to return to my studio and get busy.
My children became my accomplices and motivation. They too were playing around with fiber, color and form. One day my oldest son drew a picture of a monster and asked me to make him a 3D, felted wool representation of his drawing. So, I eagerly made the monster for him and delighted him with the finished product. There was just one problem…one monster was clearly not enough. We needed an entire family of wacky, fun monsters to play with. That’s how it all began, and now Craft Alternative Felt Monsters are being shipped all over the world!”
Sometimes you just never know what you're going to stumble upon when browsing online. I wasn't in the market for felt monsters, not at all. But when one of these little guys showed up on my screen, I was hooked! I explored Alison's shop and fell in love with her monsters — and I think you will, too.
Alison uses all natural, non-synthetic fibers, and crafts her monsters with a variety of wool felting techniques. She dreams them up and designs them herself, and adds features to them during the felting process that make each creature unique. From the whimsically disturbing, to the cuddly and cute, each little monster has its own look and personality. These little guys (and gals!) make great gifts for kids who like to walk on the wild side, and are perfect for starting a collection — or herd… or menagerie!
(Images: Alison Johnson, Craft Alternative)