For our inaugural Meet the Makers blog post, we are thrilled to highlight Alison Comfort Bay of House of Moss. Alison creates the most wonderful needle felted creations, many inspired by the forests of Oregon. With the Holiday Season in full swing, add a bit of Oregon spirit to your house today with some House of Moss holiday decorations.
Tell me a bit about yourself
I’m Alison Comfort Bay, the maker and biz-lady here at the one-woman show that is House of Moss. I’m an introvert, a feminist, and an animal lover. I live with my husband in the outer suburbs of the Portland (Oregon) area, on what I like to call a “mini farm,” which just means we have a big garden and four chickens. I’ve been running House of Moss for over 6 years, and it’s been my full-time gig for almost 3 1/2 years now.
Tell us a bit about your process and/or your workspace
When I started House of Moss, I was a live-in nanny in a lavender-colored Victorian house in Portland. House of Moss was one corner of my tiny room. These days, I’m lucky enough to have a room of our home dedicated as my work studio. My craft may be miniature and portable, but all the wool and inventory takes up more space than you’d expect!
Describe a typical day at work
I spend the workday needle-felting, answering emails, packing orders, and making trips to the post office. I often make hundreds of felted wool acorns or hearts in a day, so Netflix and podcasts keep me motivated and happy during the long production hours.
When and how did you learn the tools of your trade?
I’m a self-taught felter. I’ve always enjoyed doing a variety of different crafts and art media, from paper collage to painting to knitting. When I first heard of the needle-felting, I was surprised I hadn’t heard of it before, and I wanted to try it right away. I went immediately to my local yarn shop, found a book and basic materials, experimented a bit, and practiced until I was proficient. This craft stuck with me, and now I get to do it every day!
Do you find that the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest influences your work?
My aesthetic is very much shaped by the beautiful Pacific Northwest surroundings here in NW Oregon: Our damp climate creates a gorgeous forest environment, full of moss, trees, and mushrooms. I was exposed to Waldorf education during the year I spent as a nanny, and the Waldorf sensibilities of natural materials and simplicity have stayed with me in my work. Add to that my lifelong love of tiny things, and you get House of Moss: a miniature world of woodland-themed felted wool.
What's your favorite material to work with and why?
I love to work with any kind of natural fiber, from needle-felting, to crochet, to sewing.
If you were magically given an extra 2 hours each day, how would you use it?
I would love an extra 2 hours each day! I would use one of them for yoga and reading, and the other for sleep!
Cascadian Dry Goods stocks a variety of House of Moss products including an assortment of Christmas ornaments and holiday decorations, but you can see Alison's full lineup of wooly creations over at www.houseofmoss.com. If you enjoyed the photos in this post, don't forget to follow @house.of.moss on Instagram. Don't you just want to sink your hand into a bowl filled with her wonderful felt acorns?