What is a feltmakers convergence?

A Convergence is a gathering of felt makers, and the sharing of knowledge, experience and ideas is the underlying theme. The Southern Hemisphere Feltmakers Convergence has been happening bi-annually since 1990. Each convergence is a little different, reflecting the fact that a feltmaking group in a different location hosts it entirely voluntarily. A convergence is an amazing event and some feltmakers have been attending them over many years ensuring lifelong friendships. The convergence program differs from year to year as it is traditionally largely made up of feltmakers who volunteer their time to share their knowledge, ideas and experience of feltmaking. A convergence attendee can expect many inspiring tutorials, workshops, opportunities to display your work, a fashion parade, installations, community group projects, lectures, professional development, informal demonstrations, a place to felt to your hearts content, traders trading their supplies, many networking opportunities, and much laughter and camaraderie with other feltmakers. It is a whole week immersed in the wonderful stuff of felt. Eat, sleep, and drink felt if you are that keen! It covers every aspect of felt making and is suitable for all levels of experience, wherever you are at with your own feltmaking journey. The 12th Convergence will be held in The Illawarra Region of NSW Australia, 1st-6th September 2013. It will be hosted by The Illawarra Feltmakers inc. Come along, learn, share, felt and have fun.

Applications for enrollment are expected to go out October 2012. If you would like to be on the email list please let us know. 12thfeltconvergencesh@westnet.com.au

Friday, 21 December 2012

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

We wish you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

 We are getting close to a full house for Convergence 2013.

As of 21st Dec there are approx 21 places available.

If you are interested in attending our Convergence, please remember, it’s the paying of the deposit that will secure you a place.

When we reach the maximum number we will start a waiting list.

So if you know anyone who intends attending Convergence please let them know.

 Overseas applicants should first make contact via e-mail to


Monday, 8 October 2012

Information on Enrolment

12th Southern Hemisphere Feltmakers’ Convergence 1st – 6th September 2013

You are warmly invited to join us for the 12th Southern Hemisphere Feltmakers’ Convergence. Convergence is a biennial gathering of feltmakers and follows a long tradition of sharing knowledge, experience and ideas about felt. It is run entirely voluntarily for the benefit of feltmakers and feltmaking as a craft. It covers every aspect of feltmaking and is suitable for all levels of experience. Come along, learn, share, felt and have fun with other feltmakers.

VENUE             The Tops Conference Centre
                       51 Bendena Garden Rd, Stanwell Tops, NSW 2508

The Tops Conference Centre is located 1 hour’s drive south of Sydney. Offering a peaceful environment and magnificent views, The Tops is situated on 200 acres of pristine bushland overlooking Illawarra's northern coastline.


All attendance at Convergence 2013 will be residential.
There is no option for non-residential attendance.
Accommodation is modern with spacious rooms in a peaceful location. Each room is fully ensuited, offers heating and sleeps up to 6 people with a common kitchenette.
Pillows, pillowslips, towels, sheets and doona are provided with the rooms.
All meals from the evening of Sunday 1st September to the lunch of Friday 6th September are included. Special diets will be catered for on request.
This is a non-smoking venue and smoking is not permitted anywhere on the premises. This is also an alcohol free venue, by policy of the Tops conference centre.


The Convergence program is still being nutted out, but it will include felt demonstrations, lectures by industry experts, hands on activities, a felt fashion parade, a designated felting room to felt whenever you have the urge, as well as opportunities to relax. You might want to take a walk in the nearby Royal National park. The first ever Felt Games will take place at convergence -  who will take home the felt cup? There will also be an outing to Wollongong University for the opening of the felt exhibition.


Three guest feltmakers , Japanese feltmaker, Leiko Uchiyama, Martien van Zuilen from Perth and Anna Gunnarsdóttir from Iceland will be attending the convergence and sharing with each of you their techniques, knowledge and love of their craft. You can see some of their work at,





There will be a Traders’ Hall offering a range of textile and feltmaking supplies. It will be open daily, so bring some pocket money for that fibre that you simply can’t go home without.


The program includes a range of tutors covering different methods of felting work, design, and history. Some tutors and demonstrations have already been organised, but, in the tradition of convergence we invite YOU to share your knowledge and expertise in a 1.5 hour time slot. Please e-mail 12thfeltconvergencesh@westnet.com.au for a tutor’s expression of interest form.
Don’t be shy – your generosity with your knowledge and your particular way of making felt furthers the development of feltmaking. The topic is entirely up to you. It is envisaged that there will be 6 different lectures/demonstrations running concurrently each day for attendees to choose from. Please indicate on this enrolment form if you are interested in being a tutor.


Bring your beautiful garments and wearable art for this fashion event. This is a chance to see your own felt work on display.  You will be asked to model your garments (or find a friend at convergence who will do this for you) with the maximum being 3 items per person.
We encourage you to bring your creations to Convergence and be part of this colourful night of fashion. Please indicate on this enrolment form if you are interested in being part of this event.


We will be having a display of participants’ work so bring a piece(s) of your felt to have on display for everyone to see. Please label piece(s) with your name, price (if for sale) and your phone number. These will be handed in upon registration and displayed at the venue site.


It is a tradition that each convergence raises some funds for the next convergence to get a financial start. Thank you to The Bunbury Feltmakers who gave us our seed funds with the sale of felt banners at the 11th Convergence in Bunbury W.A 2011.
For this convergence, all attendees are asked to make one 3-dimensional felted item of your own choice with a maximum size of 20 x 20 x 20cm. These items will be displayed as centre decorations for the dining tables during the week. Each attendee will be asked to purchase a $15 ticket number that will correspond to a particular felted object that will be yours to keep at the close of convergence. In this way we will be able to ensure that the tradition of convergence will continue in 2 years’ time. Where will the next one be?


This is an all - inclusive residential program with the fees covering accommodation, all meals, tutorials, workshops, entertainment, excursions and the fashion parade. All fees are quoted in Australian Dollars and payments can only be accepted in this currency.
The cost is $650 AUD per person.
To secure your place a deposit of $300.00 is due by 28th February 2013.
The balance of $350 is payable by 30 April 2013

More Information?

If you would you like an enrolment form please send us an email.
Further details will be provided in a following newsletter that will be sent out in 2013 after finalizing numbers for this event. This will include more detailed information on the program outline, what to bring with you etc.
If you have any ideas you would like to offer to the committee about Convergence please address these to 12thfeltconvergencesh@westnet.com.au



Saturday, 29 September 2012

Guest tutors

Each  convergence attendee will have time with the three guest tutors

The Illawarra feltmakers are pleased to announce three guest feltmakers for the 12th Convergence. They are Japanese feltmaker, Leiko Uchiyama, Martien van Zuilen from Perth, and Anna Gunnarsdottir from Iceland

Anna Gunnarsdottir
Anna Gunnarsdottir is a Textile Artist living in Iceland. Anna studied arts in Akureyri, Iceland and took various courses in three-dimensional textile work in Denmark, Norway, UK and USA. She works mainly with wool, silk, leather and fish-skin. Her inspiration comes from the unique Icelandic nature, which is ghostly beautiful and pure. She has learnt many things about traditional Icelandic art from her grandmother and her mother. Being bought up in a coastal atmosphere, many of her sculptures have themes of the animal world of sea shore. Anna has taught felt making in UK, USA, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Germany and Greenland.

She is the member of the Artists Association of Iceland as well as the Textile Association of Iceland.

Anna has taken part in many single as well as collective exhibitions around the world. She has captured a lot of appreciation and prizes for her work. The latest being Cheongju International Craft Biennale 2011 in Korea where she got a prize for her felted and embroidered lamp. It is now being exhibited in “Sculpture Inside” in Cottesloe Australia. Anna has her own studio and gallery ”Svartfugl and Hvitspoi” in the town centre of Akureyri.

Anna was elected City Artist of Akureyri in the year 2008.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Guest feltmakers for the 12th Convergence

The Illawarra feltmakers are pleased to announce three guest feltmakers for the 12th Convergence. They are Japanese feltmaker, Leiko Uchiyama, Martien van Zuilen from Perth, and Anna Gunnarsdottir from Iceland.

Martien van Zuilen
Martien van ZuilenMartien is the founder of the Victorian Feltmakers Inc. and the coordinator of the Australian National Yurt Project. She holds an Associate Diploma in Art Textiles and an Honours degree in Anthropology. Martien’s creative art work has appeared in a number of publications, including Yurts, Tipis and Benders, Textile Fibre Forum, Felt/Filt, Felt Matters and Fiber Art Now. Her website is www.martienvanzuilen.com
About her arts practice Martien says the following:
“Throughout the years, my sense of excitement when making felt is undiminished. It is an ‘open’ process; there is nothing between me and the fibres, we connect ‘face-to-face’ and in a ‘hands-on’ fashion in the creation of meaningful objects. What matters is the intentional engagement with making, and the interplay of materials, experience, design, and ideas. Making felt engages my whole being; it truly suits my fold. Sharing the magic of felt through teaching is something that continues to give me great enjoyment. I feel fortunate to be part of a vibrant community of makers; the social networks and spirit of generosity mean the world to me.’

Friday, 7 September 2012

Convergence info

If you know anyone interested in attending the convergence, please pass on our email address so they can get onto the list for enrolment information.
We are planning on making this available by early October 2012.

The Illawarra feltmakers are pleased to announce three guest feltmakers for the 12th Convergence. They are Japanese feltmaker, Leiko Uchiyama, Martien van Zuilen from Perth, and Anna Gunnarsdottir from Iceland

Other highlights will be a Story telling evening, fashion parade & the Felt Games.

Leiko Uchiyama

Leiko Uchiyama says of herself:

It’s been almost 20 years since I discovered feltmaking. I was an agricultural student and verged into textiles. I’ve been thrilled with what comes out of myself, a part of me which I wouldn’t even know if I wasn’t making felt. Feltmaking creates the path I’ve been passing through and it’s been connecting me with many wonderful people. It makes me travel. Felt making itself is like a travelling journey for me. Making felt is a journey through myself, different people and through culture. I’ll see where my felt takes me to and at the same time I’m the one who navigates…

You can see some of Leiko’s feltwork at http://leikofelt.com

What Leiko Uchiyama will share at convergence.

“Matsuba” means Pine Needles in Japanese. This is Leiko Uchiyama’s innovative version of lacy felt. She was inspired by pine needles on the snow. Leiko will share how she prepares the wool and lays the wool differently from the way many of us normally do, to achieve her intriguing felt surfaces. This felting technique is very beautiful and useful. Leiko says she would like to share the magic only our hands can do!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

How to find us and places of interest in and around Wollongong

These two links provide an overview of travel options to our Convergence venue The Tops, in the northern suburb of Stanwell Tops. This is about 35 kms north of Wollongong's CBD; approximately a half hour drive. There is much to see and do in this coastal region so the second link is a good starting point.

In the coming months a more detailed page will be devoted to travel information.

 For travel information visit www.wollongong.com/travel-info/getting-here.aspx and, for the overview on the region, check out http://wikitravel.org/en/Wollongong

Friday, 13 January 2012

Venue Booked for 12th Southern Hemisphere Felt Convergence

The venue is booked for convergence 2013.
The Tops Conference Centre Stanwell Tops NSW Australia.

The Tops Conference Centre is located 1 hour south of Sydney. Offering a peaceful environment and magnificent views, The Tops is situated on 200 acres of pristine bushland overlooking Illawarra's northern coastline.

Please look at there web page it has lots of info.

Link to web site