Once the preserve of doilies, baby booties and blankets, the craft of crochet is having a revival. Maker-creator Monica Johnson is giving crocheted lace its time in the sun. Or more specifically, it’s time in the stone age.
For Monica encases stones in intricate crocheted covers, fusing nature with finely crafted lace, and turns them into works of art and jewellery. It seems there is nothing she can’t crochet.
Please introduce yourself – tell us a bit about your background and how you’ve ended up where you are today.
My name is Monica Johnson and I am an artist with a deep love for creating one-of-a-kind works of art. I mostly create crocheted lace stones, crocheted lace stone necklaces, dream catcher necklaces and jewellery with a bohemian vibe. I also love to create handmade beads, draw, paint and sew. I have had an Etsy shop since 2007 – monicaj.etsy.com. I am excited and thankful to have my work featured in Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine, Autumn 2015, Jewelry Affaire magazine, Autumn 2015, Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine, Summer 2015, Oncewed (online), and Better Homes and Gardens. I’ve also had a few of my original patterns featured in Interweave Crochet Magazine, Summer 2015.
What’s the appeal of both stones and lace?
I am drawn to nature and love the beauty of smooth stones. The shapes and shades of the stones usually inspire the patterns I design. It was my mom who had the patience to teach me to crochet when I was very young. I love the creation process and the intricate designs of lace. I’ve challenged myself to design patterns and use tiny thread, so there is a lot of design featured in a small space.
Where do you source the stones from?
I collect stones and my daughters hunt for them too. My oldest daughter, Jordan, recently brought me some beautiful smooth pebbles from her recent trip to the beach. Mostly, I find them at a nursery a few hours away. I enjoy searching through the big bins of stones to find those that are perfect for my projects.
Who or what inspires you?
Lots of things inspire me – nature in general, patterns, colours and shapes. My other daughter, Sydney, showed me a mirroring app for my phone recently and I’ve been a bit obsessed with it. I enjoy mirroring photos of my work and a lot of these photos are on Instagram @ lacestonesbymonicaj. This has inspired me to create more original patterns similar to the new designs the app creates. My husband inspires me also, he is the love of my life.
Do you have any other ideas for your crochet work?
I have an endless supply of new ideas for crochet work. Lately, I’ve been creating a unique window collage made from crocheted lace doilies and metal rings. I’ve also been creating wall hangings made from driftwood and lace and crocheted lace cuffs with tiny vintage buttons and glass beads.
What are some of your important tools of trade?
Lots and lots of crochet thread in many sizes and shades, tiny crochet hooks, clay and paint.
It’s not very cool, but I really like…
Uni-brows (not that I have one, lol, but I think they are cool looking).
Have you ever had a ‘who’d have thought’ moment?
I have moments like this quite frequently when designing crochet patterns. When I create and write part of the pattern, then take part of it out and revise it because I find a better way of creating it.
Images courtesy Monica via Instagram and Etsy.