Meet the members of the International Feltmakers Association Committee

We are all volunteers whose job it is to continue the work of our founder, the late Mary Burkett, OBE. Each officer has a role to play in promoting an interest in felt and connecting feltmakers around the world. If you want to get in touch with any of us individually, we can be contacted here.

Chris Liszak, IF Chair

Chris Liszak | Chair

My name is Chris Liszak. I am a feltmaker in Niagara Falls, Canada. I discovered handmade felt in 2010 and began creating Nunofelt coats and scarves selling through local shops and artisan shows. I eventually moved to teaching feltmaking as well as creating wearable art, and also started making more complicated one-of-a-kind art that has been curated into galleries, shows and permanent collections.
During Covid I discovered the benefits of online communities of feltmakers and artists. I was completely emerged in felt::feutre canada for the last two years. I hope that my experience as President of felt::feutre canada can be a benefit to the committees and membership of the IFA. I look forward to being a part of this international team.
Androulla Jeffries, IFA Vice Chair

Androulla Jeffries | Vice Chair

I grew up in a household surrounded by textiles. My mother and aunts all worked in the textile industry. They were fine needlewomen and together they were determined that I should be taught all that they knew. The ‘apprenticeship’ has served me well and today, I thank them for it.
However, I chose teaching as a career, training in London before gaining an M.A. in Education at York University. I have been fortunate and privileged to have taught all age groups from 3 – 18 years before taking on headships during the last 20 years of my career…yes, I do have an ‘Education’ background!
My introduction to feltmaking was an unexpected, happy accident. I was not in a good place and I enrolled onto a feltmaking workshop with a lady called Sheila Smith. Encouraged to undertake the City & Guilds Level 2 and 3 in Feltmaking, another apprenticeship had started until the quality of my felt could pass the ‘Sheila Test’! The rest, as they say, is history….
Belinda Delany Secretary of the International Feltmakers Association

Belinda Delany | Secretary

I have loved textiles for as long as I can remember – knitting and sewing my own clothes as a teenager. I discovered feltmaking at a textiles show about 8 years ago and I was intrigued by the possibilities it offered. I learnt more about it at my local FE college where I also discovered the IFA. I haven’t stopped feltmaking since, and I continue to be inspired by and to learn from feltmakers from around the world.
As secretary, my role involves preparing agendas and minutes of committee meetings, acting as a link between our membership and the committee, and assisting with the redevelopment of the website. During my working life I wrote court reports and this has prepared me well for the role of secretary.

Margaret Chalmers Treasurer of the International Feltmakers Association

Margaret Chalmers | Treasurer

I have been a maker as far back as I can remember; some of my dolly’s clothes offerings still come to mind. I have taken up all sorts of textile activities along the way and I think my “stash” must have started very early on, too!
At school, my arithmetical skills being “OK”, I was streamed into the science route, when I would have been much happier in Home Ed, and Textiles. After University, a professional life, and three children, I landed a fantastic job in the newly created Leeds University International Textiles Archive, which confirmed my preference for behind-the-scenes, rather than front-of-house, activities.
So, in 2014 I joined the IFA committee, first as Membership Secretary (in the days of the new upgraded website), and now my arithmetical skills are being put to use as Treasurer. This keeps me in touch with members, and with all the activities that the committee are involved in to reach and inform the felting world at large, as well as projects specifically for our members. There are a lot of exciting developments going on.

Natalie Lyons Membership Secretary International Feltmakers Association

Natalie Lyons | Membership Secretary

Art and needlework were my favourite subjects at school, so doing a degree in Fashion & Textile design seemed appropriate. My working life took me into the world of retail.
My first job was working as a junior designer for Mary Quant. I then worked as a fashion buyer with Jeff Banks and went on to being the print co-ordinator of the graphics department for Terence Conran. After having my two children, I worked part time as a market researcher. Before I retired in 2018, I worked for 20 years in a primary school.
I knitted, crocheted, and sewed from a very young age but didn’t discover felt making until 2005. My first workshop was with Lizzie Houghton, and I became an IFA member in 2008. More recently, I have taken up spindle spinning and joined the WSD Guild. I am also interested in Basketry and am a member of the Basket Makers Association.
I love to travel and the world of textiles has taken me to some wonderful places. Hopefully, I’ll get more opportunities in the future.
As I’ve always been good with numbers, I became IFA Treasurer in 2013. Six years on, I became IFA Membership Secretary.

Louise Curnin

Louise Curnin | Education Officer

I have always enjoyed textiles and made most of my own clothes in my teens. After a long career in the steel industry working with cold, hard steel and often being the only female in the works, I decided to revisit textiles but I was hungry for learning something new so I treated myself and my mum to a feltmaking workshop being held locally with Sheila Smith. Within the first few minutes I was hooked. I booked another and another, and found myself absorbed by the craft and the friendly community that went with it. I went on to do a City and Guilds Course in Feltmaking and am now starting a degree! That first course was over 10 years ago and I am happy to say both making and teaching feltmaking, are now my business, my hobby and my social life. I now teach at the same venue where I originally learned my feltmaking skills from Sheila.

Nadia Rein | Publicity Officer

Hi there, Nadia is here. One can say I am a cosmopolitan who loves people, cultures, nature and what people make. My absolute favourite material in expressing myself is wool. 
I have lived and worked in different countries and I love to tell stories of people and places I came across and things I have seen. That hopefully will be handy in my role of Publicity Officer. But I would not be able to make a good job without you. My door is always open and I am waiting for your ideas and more important images and stories about what you do in your regions, in your DF classes and your studios. I will be working in close partnership with our Communication Officer and educational and editorial teams and hope to encourage more people to join our warm and inspiring association, to learn more about felting and to utilize our great website to its great potentials.

Julia Royzrakh | Communications Officer

My life journey spans 3 continents. It started 30 years ago in Russia, then Israel, Canada, and now my home is Southern California. Even though I was trained as an engineer and worked in Informational Technology all my career, I always embraced the opportunity to design – by sewing and knitting exclusive fashion clothing pieces in my youth, building websites for my friends later in life, and now creating memory books for the family.
A few years ago, I was introduced to the art of felting and fell in love with this oldest art form creating elegant, unique, and beautiful clothing, accessories, and décor.
My goal as IFA Communication Officer would be to continue support and develop the IFA website. I see my mission in finding new ways to bring more people to the community, expanding the knowledge of the wonderful world of textile art via website to everyone who is interested, provide them with all the necessary tools to learn, find any support they need, and enjoy this amazing art of felting together!

Therese Groeneweg

Therese Groeneweg | Exhibitions Officer

I am Therese Groeneweg (short for Tessa), born in The Netherlands. I studied Art and Interior Architecture and worked in that profession in the Netherlands. I worked also for an adoption agency.
Since 2019, I have lived in France and focus on my needlefelt wool art. The nature where we live inspires me and I make my art with a lot of passion.
Also I exhibit my art in Italy, Belgium and France and am featured in an international art magazine.
For the IFA I would like to use that experience as the exhibition officer, and therefore I look forward to have that as a goal.
I am also the Region 15 Coordinator and will combine that with being the exhibition officer with lots of joy, and look forward to see all those beautiful felting artworks from members in future exhibitions!

Ariane Mariane

Ariane Mariane | International Officer

Hi, I‘m Ariane Mariane, a German mixed media textile artist, living and working in France, near Paris, for nearly 30 years.
Trained as an architect and graphic designer I found my way into self expression through wet felting 20 years ago.
What first started as a way of self healing, became a passion and finale a fulltime job. While I started with wearable art, I’m more into free expression today. More an artist than a crafter, my aim is to see where inspiration takes me. I mix felt with many other techniques, always looking to enhance the felted surface.
What I love most about my job as a feltmaker is the international contact. I’ve taught in France and abroad for many years and since COVID do a lot of online teaching.
I’m standing for the role as international officier to extend the wonderful worldwide connections feltmaking engenders and hope to be able to play a role to deepen the international connections in our beautiful association.