I took up the Post as Education Officer in May 2018 and soon realised I needed help. My previous working experience in Education as a headteacher only confirmed what I already knew…to move forward quickly, a collaborative team was needed. Hence the
Education Team. We now have a regular Educational News page in our quarterly journal, Felt Matters. We have implemented a revised CiFT Syllabus with assessment criteria, and created a new online course – Discovering Feltmaking (Part 1) to name but a few of the things the Team has achieved. But what’s next? Well, there’s…
- Part 2 of Discovering Feltmaking, to be launched Spring 2021…with
- Part 3 to follow
- There are plans for CiFT too… and
- A key focus on Schools, Colleges, Community and Social Groups.
I leave you with this thought: Education is a critical part of the IFA and is fundamental to its ethos and principles. It has far reaching implications to the Association’s well-being, development and growth for the future.
Nicki Parsons | CiFT Coordinator
I discovered feltmaking whilst studying textiles in the early 80s, combining it with knitting to create quite batty outfits, several of which were exhibited at Bury Art Museum in 1984.
Felt then disappeared out of my life only to return 27 years later when I heard about the Campaign for Wool. I’d known for years about the wonderful properties of wool and discovered that because wool wasn’t being used as much as in the past, fleeces had become worth very little. I wanted to play a part in helping to promote warm, cosy, natural wool, perfect for our eco times. Felt sprang to mind.
I joined the IFA at a time when it was launching CiFT. I spent 3 years working on the syllabus, exploring and developing my felting skills and learning from the best tutors around. I am now the CiFT Coordinator, helping students to develop their feltmaking skills.
Louise Curnin | Discovering Feltmaking Coordinator
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.
With its range of use and diversity, feltmaking continues to thrill and I cannot see it diminishing anytime soon! I joined the IFA probably about eight years ago and am now a part of this exciting journey the Education committee is on.
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.
In my current role as Communications Officer, I have been able to work with others in the IFA, including the Education Team, in order 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.