Pam Villé was inspired to embark on the CiFT (the IFA’s Certificate in Feltmaking Techniques) in 2015, following an exhibition of the coursework samples presented by Nicki Parsons and Hilly Edwards at a regional meeting. The local Fibre East show provided most of the native breed fibres needed for Module 1, so she was able to start straightaway.
Working through the first two modules, she realised that it was important not to become too focused on how creative the pieces were, but on technique. As the flat felt samples were to be a finished 20cms, she completed Modules 1 and 2 quite quickly and with comparatively little stress. An experienced feltmaker, (Pam had been felting since 2008) she still found herself worrying about the finish of her samples. Had she done it right? At the time, she felt quite isolated working on her own. Excellent feedback from CiFT coordinator, Nicki Parsons, helped to keep her on track.
For Pam, the most challenging part of the CiFT was Module 3, which focuses on ethnic felts from Central Asia. Information on techniques was somewhat limited and she spent a lot of time doing research. However, after much trial and error, she achieved a sample mat, and the module was signed off in February 2020.
Module 4, despite being a great deal of work, built on all of the commitment and dedication to technique put in over the first three modules. Pam was able to express her creativity and have fun. By this point, she was determined to get the CiFT finished. Module 4 was signed off in June 2020.
When Pam started the CiFT, it was long before the CiFT Facebook Group was set up. She feels that this very useful group has made quite a difference to the isolation that you can feel when working by yourself. In the end, the CiFT proved to be a tough challenge but one that Pam proved equal to.
Congratulations, Pam! What a tremendous achievement.
If you are interested in learning more about the CiFT, why not have a look at our Education pages.