Louise Curnin | Education Officer

After a 17-year career in the cold, grey steel industry and desperate to find something creative to do, I enrolled on a feltmaking course with Sheila Smith. I had no idea what to expect but within minutes I fell in love with the softness, the colour and the gentleness of the process. I joined the IFA and discovered a whole new world. In 2018 I was invited to join the newly-forming Education team and have had 6 years of hard but very satisfying work, mainly concentrating on the creation and mentoring of the Discovering Feltmaking courses. I am so proud to have been asked to take on the role of Education Officer so I can see these projects through. My aim is to help the Education Team build on Mary Burkett’s legacy and continue spreading the word about the wonderful, diverse world of feltmaking.

Hélène Dooley Member of International Feltmakers Association Education Team

Hélène Dooley

My adventure into felting began in 2013. While largely self-taught, I have attended many Master Classes delivered by international felt tutors at home in Dublin, abroad and on-line. I enjoy working on flat and structured pieces, love experimentation and pushing textile boundaries and have exhibited locally and internationally. I am a member of an international collective of textile artists, tutors and bloggers; the Felting and Fibre Studio.
Looking back, I was always in my happiest place when tutoring, training or facilitating adults, whether in the financial services industry, as a researcher and development consultant or tutoring in literacy and technology. Drawing on these early experiences, I now enjoy working on felt making with both adults and young people, in person and online. I identify these moments as creative collaborations; each one is a multi-way learning process.
I am thrilled to be able to contribute my skills to the Education Team and excited to have taken on the role of DF Coordinator on the Discovering Feltmaking courses. Mentoring the courses has given me great satisfaction and insight and I am delighted to continue to do so.

Vivienne Morpeth member of the International Feltmakers Association Education Team

Vivienne Morpeth

Thirty years ago, whilst curating art galleries, I invited Lyn Jenkins to give a workshop and I was immediately hooked on felting. Joining the IFA I had the joy of a Sheila Smith workshop (she so kindly allowed me to bring my baby) later, mid 90s, I learnt Nuno felting directly from Polly Stirling in NSW bush. Combining incredible experiences of IFA conference workshops of top UK and international tutors with my own hours of ‘midnight felting’ at the kitchen table, teaching full time in a Steiner School, before up grading to day-light felting in my own studio.
I share my passion for felting through exhibitions and teaching in schools, colleges, specialist groups, in UK and Europe. I tutor in my North Lincolnshire workshop with students on line and individually in person. I continue striving through Nuno felting, to create wearable yet aesthetic seamless garments.
Heather Potten - member of the International Feltmakers Association Education Team

Heather Potten

I have been a teacher all my adult life. After graduating from university, I moved to Greece to teach English. Later, realising I had found my vocation, I returned to Scotland to study for my teaching diploma,
My background in teaching has helped me throughout my life. I taught computer skills for 8 years and, more recently, have transferred my skills to teaching feltmaking. I believe in collaborative teaching with an emphasis on group and pair work, and the value of students teaching each other. This method has helped reinforce learning in groups of feltmakers, too.
Whilst on the Committee as Communications Officer, I was able to work with others in the IFA to create an informative and attractive website for the Association. I believe that Education is at the heart of what we do and am delighted to be part of the team that promotes an appreciation of felt along with best practice and innovation.
Janna Turner Member of International Feltmakers Association Education Team

Janna Turner

Before moving to England, I worked in the fashion industry as a store designer completing all the technical drawings from display cabinets to floor layouts. Once in England I worked with architects designing interiors before becoming a stay-at-home mum.

My Granny was a seamstress and taught me to sew from a very young age and I have always had a keen interest in textiles. When I discovered felting, I was hooked immediately. Living on a farm, as I do, it wasn’t long before I started experimenting with our sheep’s fleeces. Soon I was washing and dyeing fleeces, which led to me starting up my own little business. The business was such a great success that it left me little time to create and teach.

I used lockdown to quieten things down as I wanted the opportunity to promote and encourage felting. I am Regional Coordinator of the IFA’s region 6, gave a presentation on Washing Wool for our 2023 AGM and am now delighted to be joining the Education Team.