Today, we introduce another Fall into Fine Craft guest artist, Master Artisan* Jennifer Berger.
What about your medium drew you to it initially and what’s kept you working at it?
My mother bought me a knitting machine in 1993. Even though I wanted it to knit sweaters for myself and for family, instead I learned to knit stockings with it. (And to this day have never knitted a sweater for me…for family, yes, just not for me!) A friend introduced me to wet felting and I decided to make felted Christmas Stockings. I started making ornaments soon after and started to felt those as well. I started with just a few Christmas ornaments (mini stockings, snowmen, gingerbread men, mice and a few others). These were the only things I made to sell the first few years. The I started to experiment and I developed an efficient way to make 3-D ornaments of all sorts. Once I had the method down, my design mind went crazy!
I like the challenge of developing new techniques to make new creatures. My monster ornaments originally were made as the experimental creatures to try new techniques to make other things. Now they are one of my most popular items I sell and now some of my other critters influence new monster designs!
If you had to choose a medium, other than your current one, what would you like to try and why?
I have worked in a variety of mediums throughout my life. These include macrame snowflakes and ornaments, pom pom magnets, furry fellows (my first money making craft made at age 10), woodworking, and basketry, of which I am a state juried member of the PGC. There really aren’t any other mediums I would like to try, however, I would like to explore other forms of felting (3-D needle felting) and spinning wool with a drop spindle.
What are you most looking forward to at FIFC?
What I am most looking forward to at the FIFC show is to once again exhibit my creations in Central Pennsylvania where I grew up and to share my whimsical creatures with a new audience. Even though I have had ornaments for sale at the PCCA Gallery in Newport and currently have a tree of them at the 42 West Gallery in Waynesboro, I haven’t done a show myself in the area in 3 years. I have added a LOT of new things since the last time I personally did a show there.
What a wonderful addition to our Fall into Fine Craft exhibitor roster! We know you’ll be excited by Jennifer’s playful approach and originality.
*Master Artisan is a status awarded by the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen to artisans whose work is judged exceptional by these three key benchmarks: Excellence in Craftsmanship, Resolved Design, and Unique Voice.