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Sandra Barrett and Chantal Cardinal :: in Sea & Sky, IFA Members Exhibition (2017)

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

The International Feltmakers’ Association (IFA) fosters worldwide interest in felt. It works to promote their member’s art and to create an exchange of knowledge and ideas between felt artists. It is open to felt makers of all levels.

The organisation is divided into regions that cover the UK, Europe and the rest of the world, making it easy for members to meet like-minded individuals and to attend events near them. felt :: feutre canada‘s member coordinator, Sandra Barrett, is the Americas representative for the IFA.

The IFA website: is an excellent source of  inspiration. It features information about upcoming events, news from the world of fibre, workshops and details about their excellent journal Felt Matters. It also has a wonderful gallery.

Currently the IFA is hosting a touring exhibit in the UK, entitled Sea & Sky: A Members Exhibition.  The show exhibits 22 pieces of original work by IFA members which were selected from the 50 entries shown at the AGM in April.

Two Canadian artists, both felt :: feutre canada members, are featured in the exhibit: Sandra Barrett and Chantal Cardinal. Recently we talked to these artists about their work.

My Vancouver Light by Chantal Cardinal is a soft sculptural wall hanging created using local (Abbotsford, BC) Romney raw fleeces, hand washed, dyed and carded, pre-felt, cut, wet felted with resist and shaped with a touch of hand dyed silk.

She says this of the piece, “I live on the Canadian West (Pacific) Coast where the Sea meets the Sky, bordered my a chain of high mountains. With many grey days the lighting likes to play through the clouds especially when the sun is setting and gets just below the clouds. At this time of day, the light comes through as if someone just opened the door to the day light that had kept hidden until then. This piece is my interpretation of that breath of light moment with a sea foreground revealing a sky background.”

Sea to Sky Highway#1 by Chantal Cardinal is a soft, sculptural wall hanging that can be displayed alternatively. It was made using local (Abbotsford, BC) Romney raw fleeces, hand washed, dyed and carded, and wet felted with resist.

She says this about her second piece, “I live on the Canadian West (Pacific) Coast where the Sea meets the Sky bordered by a chain of high mountains. To travel around these majestic mountains we have a highway called “Sea to Sky” that bends and turns from the Vancouver sea level to the peaks of Whistler. This 3D shaped felted piece is to bring you on a ride with me through my Sea to Sky Highway #1.”

Sandra Barrett is a blacksmith who incorporates feltmaking into her practice. She says this about her piece, True North,  “Mirrors in the sea represent the number of provinces and territories in Canada, northern lights evoke the natural beauty and polar bears symbolize family values. The title is taken from the national anthem.  Sharing our identity is especially important as we proudly celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada this year.  I’m delighted that “True North” has been selected to be part of the IFA Sea and Sky touring exhibition of Britain.

To learn more about these IFA and felt :: feutre canada members visit their websites:

Chantal Cardinal :

Sandra Barrett :

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