Talented yarn wrangler Jina Voyce of White Noise Maker (known on Felt as Houseshoes) produces gorgeous made-to-measure crochet slippers for men and women, as well as very snuggly mittens. Her robust construction techniques, combined with interesting ornamentation and vibrant colour schemes mean her creations are practical and attractive – just the thing for these chilly winter days!
What do you make?
I make crocheted slippers, hand-knitted mittens and accessories. I also felt.
How did you get into your craft?
I started knitting at an early age – a skill I was taught by my mother. More recently, I taught myself to crochet.
Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I have no formal training in knitting or crocheting, but I come from a very artistic family; making things with our hands is commonplace. I’m also an architectural graduate. I find my work with architecture really feeds in to many aspects of White Noise Maker, from design to business and marketing.
Your favourite tools, materials and processes?
I make my own patterns, so a big part of my process is developing new designs. Otherwise my process is fairly simple, I use a pair of crochet hooks and a variety of different yarns.
What inspires you?
A lot of things inspire me. For instance, I love classic footware designs; sneakers, loafers, Mary Janes etc. I like to incorporate aspects of these classic looks into my own designs.
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I like products that look clean and simple, which is not easy to achieve. I spend a great deal of time making patterns that eliminate and simplify seams, as opposed to adding elaborate decorative ornaments. Comfort is also important, so my designs always progress with this key concern in mind.
Describe your work space:
I work anywhere I can get a minute – usually in my lounge or at the dining room table.
Your favourite feedback from a customer:
I love it when customers report that my slippers stay on their feet most of the time – they ‘live in them”. One customer wrote “Quyana Cakneq”, which I understand to mean “thank you” in Native American – I love that my slippers reach the far corners of the world, from Alaska to Dubai, and I really appreciate it when customers send a piece of that place back to me.
What are you currently listening to?
Little Son: “Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches” is a current favourite. I usually shuffle songs on my phone on the way to work – Beastie Boys, Beck and The Pixies always feature at some point.
Recommend an album: Bass Player by Rhombus.
Who is your hero/heroine? My Mother – she lives for arts and crafts
Do you have any pets? No.
What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Like any endeavour, enjoy what you do, but take your work and your business seriously. Expect to succeed and more importantly, be prepared to succeed. You never know just how much business will come your way when trading online.
What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
So many things. I own The Kobuk scarf, made by Ozetta. I bought a personalised child’s story book from Lostmyname for my daughter which is brilliant. The handmade item I cherish the most is the Booming Root Crochet Necklace made by Uloni.
Most recently I bought a superhero cape, cuffs and mask from Minka from here on felt. It was for my daughter’s superhero birthday party. The quality is excellent (so was the packaging). Kari kindly worked with me for customisation of her handmade products. I am a true believer of buying handmade directly from the makers.
What’s in store for the coming year?
I’m developing some new items at the moment – as David Bowie said: I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.
You can see more of Jina’s cosy winter slippers and accessories in her Felt shop.
Jina has kindly offered this winter-warming prize for one lucky Felt blog reader: the Mushroom Hat, a lovely crocheted beanie hat worth $50 (pictured below). With no flappy bits or dangly parts, this is a straight-up, no-nonsense beanie hat that offers clean lines, quality detailing with a comfortable fit. To win this excellent prize, leave a comment telling us what you like about Jina’s philosophy and her creations. The draw will be made on Friday 31 July and is open to New Zealand residents only.