My name is Wendy Bailye and I have recently become the IFA Co-ordinator for Australasia covering Australia, New Zealand and Asia. This is a huge area to co-ordinate but we are doing our best to get to know each other. We have increased from 34 to 43 members since the beginning of the year and hope to reach 50 members soon!
Our new Facebook page – International Feltmakers Australasia Region helps brings us together – it is a private group, but open for everybody to seek membership. We also send out a newsletter to our members. We’re delighted that IFA has grown internationally over the last year and taken steps to become truly global with more membership benefits available for non-UK members.
How has felting developed in Australia?
We have an active, talented community of feltmakers and tutors in each state of Australia who share their experiences on Facebook. We have beautiful fleece here including our famous Australian Merino wool which you will all know!
At the end of this article, I have included links to two historical articles that explain a little of the foundings of organised feltmaking in Australia. It is wonderful to be able to share these on the IFA website as it is part of felt history.
This group has existed since the early ’90s to support and encourage all those interested in this versatile and exceptionally creative activity. Although based in Canberra, membership spans not only the local region, but Sydney and the rest of NSW. It also includes a number of interstate and international members.
Based in Menora they promote the making of quality felt in Western Australia. To help facilitate the sharing of feltmaking information and skills they publish a newsletter for members and organise meetings, workshops, public demonstrations and exhibitions. They meet at Craft House Alexander Park, Clyde Street, Menora, WA on the third Saturday every month February to November each year.
They are an active and innovative group of wool fibre artisans from all over the South West corner of Western Australia. The group enjoys meeting in Bunbury every month to learn, share, felt and have fun.
Meet regularly to share the latest feltmaking techniques and keep up to date with happenings in the world of felt. They work with both natural and synthetic fibres. Their organisation is all about sharing and supporting the development of the feltmaking community.
Queensland Spinners Weavers and Fibre Artists
Founded in 1969 and originally The Queensland Spinners, Weavers and Dyers Group they changed their name in 2006 to reflect the enormous variety of crafts their members are involved in. This group includes an active Felters group. Most spinners and weavers groups in Queensland have designated felting groups (Gold Coast Spinners and Weavers, Hervey Bay Spinners and Weavers, Redlands Spinners and Weavers, Redcliffe Spinners and Weavers and Toowoomba Spinners and Weavers).
We are aware of this group but need to make a stronger connection!
New Zealand Felters is a group of feltmakers with members from all over the country, both South and North Island, who share a passion for creating with wool and fibre. They are affiliated with (New Zealand) Creative Fibre, the NZ Spinning, Weaving & Woolcrafts Society Inc.
Articles about felting in Australia
By Judith Shaw – reprinted with permission, thank you Christine & FeltWest
By Christine Sloan – reprinted with permission, thank you Christine