This winter season, why not buy your nearest and dearest a pair of custom wool slippers? Or a patterned scarf? Or an iPad case soft, strong and durable enough to protect the famously fragile tablets from the clumsiest of hands?
For the past three years Cedarvale resident Brenda Redinger has brightened many a midtown holiday with her colourful felt creations, drawing inspiration from every contented customer who discovers her work.
“I really love it when people use my items,” she says. “Whenever somebody buys one of my products and loves it I’m always like, okay, when can I make the next one and who’s the next customer I’m going to make happy?”
Though relatively new to the process of felting, which involves laying strips of wool across a resistant surface, then bonding the pieces together with a mix of water and soap, Redinger learned the value of crafting at an early age.
“For most of my younger years, I lived in a small community in Israel,” she says. “It was very hard to go shopping, so I learned to make my own garments from a very young age.”
In addition to discovering the joys of knitting and sewing, Redinger developed a lifelong love of mosaics, which she designed and sold for many years until the fine motor skills required began causing her pain. Looking for a new hobby, she signed up for a felting course.
“From there I just ran with it,” she says with a grin. “I’ve learned a lot about the different processes on YouTube, and it’s a lot of fun experimenting, developing my own personal style.”
When she began crafting slippers, Redinger gave out a few out as gifts, and word of mouth spread from there.
“I haven’t had to advertise or really had to sell my product because it’s selling itself,” she says proudly.
In addition to slippers, scarves, tablet cases and mittens, which she sells for $75 to $95 depending on the size, intricacy of pattern, and materials used, Redinger offers wool-covered bars of soap that serve as a combination cleanser and washcloth for $10, and has all the materials needed to create an attractive gift basket or two.
“There aren’t a lot of people in Toronto that do felt,” she says. “But it’s a very warm, strong material… If it gets wet it might shrink a little, but it won’t get ruined, and you could wear it forever.”
See her work at obabe4.wix.com/creationsbybrenda.
About this article: