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Skiing foxes and Santa in the sauna
Sanni Kallonen kurkkaa puun takaa.

Skiing foxes and Santa in the sauna

  • Sanni Kallonen developed an interest in needle felting and decided to give it a try. Since then, Sanni's skilled hands have created dozens of felted figures, ranging from the Mielensäpahoittaja to the folk of Korvatunturi.

Little, adorable snowmen spin slowly on their platform. The music box, begrudging the harsh frost, stretches its tune like a languid cat, yet the snowmen seem cheerful all the same.

“At home, this worked just fine,” muses Sanni Kallonen, followed by a hearty laugh.

The felted snowmen were recently crafted by Sanni. She found and repurposed the music box from a flea market. Her handmade snowmen fit better in a craftsperson’s cottage than the original elves that adorned the box.

There was a long break in felting before this. A broken hand in the fall needed rest, and managing daily life tends to consume much of the time.


Sanni ja huovutetut lumiukot.


Ketut hiihtämässä.

–Doing generally fuels enthusiasm. Making these snowmen, I noticed that a cautious flame of excitement might be flickering somewhere again,” says Sanni.

Handcrafting has always been a strong part of Sanni’s identity. Since her youth, she has been drawing, painting, crocheting, and carving. In her hands, wood, yarn, craft clay, and even ice, all become malleable materials.

-Most recently, I’ve been learning to knit a sock. I’ve been postponing learning the heel, but now, with the help of YouTube videos, I’ve managed it and finished the socks. It’s the kind of light work I’ve dared to do with a recovering hand.”

Sanni has no formal education in this field – she has always progressed by experimenting, following her current interests. When she started learning needle felting about six years ago, she was instantly captivated. Soon, her living room shelf was populated with dozens of characters, including Freddie Mercury, Antti Tuisku, and the Mielensäpahoittaja.

Sanni’s felted lookalikes have also made appearances in national media over the years.

-Choosing a favorite is tough, but Edward Scissorhands, often misunderstood yet warm-hearted character, holds a special place. Sanni feels a kinship with this character, reflecting her own ability to transform diverse materials into something new and unique.”


Joulupukki puistossa.

Of course, her collection also includes characters from Korvatunturi. Vilppu the elf has featured in Sanni’s social media Christmas calendar in past years, as has a charming skiing fox duo. Santa Claus naturally has a gift package under his arm. What it contains, he does not reveal.

At home, both Vilppu and the Mielensäpahoittaja also celebrate Christmas. Sanni crafts a full holiday scene for them, complete with festive meals and a Christmas tree.

The next Christmas-themed felting project might be a snowman from a classic animation.

-I’ve thought about making it fly from the ceiling.”

The felted artworks continue to delight people. However, Sanni’s pocket holds a new, fun surprise: a walnut shell containing a sauna-bathing Santa Claus. This tiny figure, made from craft clay, is polished down to the last detail.

Sanni dreams of someday creating similar characters and their worlds on a larger scale – perhaps in a children’s hospital or similar place, where children can immerse themselves in the fairy-tale world of the artworks.

-I find joy in bringing happiness to others. The ultimate satisfaction comes from witnessing someone’s amazement. That’s when you feel you’ve done something right,” says Sanni.

You can find more of Sanni’s magical characters on social media at @madebysannik on Uudenkaupungin kaupungin elinkeinopalveluiden julkaisu, jossa tuodaan esiin uusikaupunkilaista asumista ja elämäntapaa.
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