The Team

Thelma Cluning


Thelma has been Chairperson for WAFTA since the October AGM in 2018.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO WAFTA? The opportunity to join a professional organisation where my creative interests would be stimulated by others who love working with fibre and textiles.

WHAT MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES DO YOU USE? Fabric weaving as a structure, surface layering with fibre/fabric embellishment and using free-hand machine embroidery as a ‘drawing tool’. I also draw and paint complex designs.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON? Just samplers at this time, building to the next major work as opportunity permits. I just finished a large drawing.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Nature, Ernst Haeckel, Byzantine decoration, Lou Gardiner and Susan Lenz. See more of Thelma’s work at Instagram- thelmacluning

Elsie Payne


Elsie has been our treasurer since 2017.

She completed a national diploma in Fashion Design and then worked in the garment industry for 7 years. She tutored design, garment construction and pattern making for over 5 years. She entered the New Zealand Benson & Hedges (so named at that time) twice and made it through to the Highlight Parade. 

Elsie has since dabbled in: Oil painted portraits, Pencil colour portraits, Acrylic painting. Water colour painting, Lino cut and other forms of printing, Quilt making, Hand and free hand machine embroidery, Doll making, Jewellery making, Polymer clay sculpting

She has also done a certificate IV in bookkeeping and currently runs her own business with a few clients.

Julia Andrijasevich


Julia has been Membership Secretary since 2018.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO WAFTA? My boundless love for fabric and textiles and the wish to expand my skills and techniques.

WHAT TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS DO YOU USE? I recently introduced myself to the ancient art of felting. I began with wearable felt and am now exploring and developing skills in both wet and needle felting as an art practice.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON? I am thrilled to be creating my granddaughters wedding gown and several other outfits for this special family celebration in April.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU? I am particularly drawn to social justice issues and have been producing pieces under the overarching statement of ‘The Tenuous Threads Of Humanity’.

Julia's gorgeous website can be seen here!

Liz Arnold

Workshop CoOrdinator

Liz has been Workshop CoOrdinator since 2018.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO WAFTA? Kinship - the opportunity to network and socialise with other artists.

Heaps of obsessive hand stitching, embroidery and crochet because I really enjoy the meditative aspect of repetitive mark-making. I prefer to work with cottons, wool and silks.

I have a natural tendency to work small and currently I am making lots of textile jewellery-without the gems 😊.

Just about everything, but especially coral reefs, the structure of seeds and pods, microscopic life, and the work of other artists. See more about Liz

Iris Whitelock

Speakers CoOrdinator

Iris has been organising our speakers since late 2018.

She is business owner at Art of Life - life coaching with a difference, which helps women identify their higher purpose in life, and bring it into existence through exploring and extending their creativity. Iris’ purpose is to catalyse the development of creative, actualising women, and together to participate in dynamic change on a personal and professional level.

I was attracted by the creative energy of the group. It’s fantastic to be in amongst such a diversity of art expression by different women, and I love the broader perspectives I have gained through being a WAFTA member.

I was a late developer, re-discovering my creativity at the age of 42, and inspired by my kids who just DID art without needing to know how. I started off with machine embroidery – a lovely way to scribble and create layers of shape and colour. I also love Mola technique, with lots of raw edges and imperfections! Since 2005 I have been more into slow stitching – problem is, I find it takes ages to complete anything, as I have to fit it around business and family! I love incorporating recycling and upcycling materials – my family has a strong conservation and environmental focus – and I use acrylic paints, intuitive drawing, and tissue collage with my clients.

Currently I am fired up about upcycling clothing. I have boxes of op-shop finds, and clothes that “have potential”, and a huge fabric stash that I enjoy making into long dresses which have become my signature clothing. I can’t resist visiting op-shops, so have bought several doonas which provide the basis for these dresses, with buttons, doilies, cut-out tea-towels and napkins, and other bits of fabric as embellishments.

I am inspired by makers like Jane Milburn because of the underlying ethical principles of re-cycling and re-purposing materials to transform them into new-for-me clothing. I like to use what I have, and hopefully reduce the stuff that would otherwise go to landfill. A flow-on from that has been more care in how I choose what I make, and being okay about having clothes that last for years rather than just a fashion season.

Emma Seaton


Emma has been our webmaster since 2013.

By day I am immersed in the railway signalling technology environment, but return to my roots as a maker in my time off!

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO WAFTA? I happened to come across the organisation’s website and liked the textile art aspect, not just about one medium, but about everything textile, traditional and innovative.

After flitting from one technique to another I seem to have settled down to slow stitching and natural dyeing, which covers a broad spectrum of making and creating, from small layered pieces to clothing.

I’m madly finishing my Hacked Jacket for the Midland Junction Arts Centre Worn Out Worn Art exhibition at the end of this month, along with an entry for India Flint’s ‘Gardens of the Heart’ stitched poetry exhibition. As well as trying to add a few much needed ‘new’ items of clothing made from recycled cloth to my wardrobe!

Wild and unruly rebel stitching, unusual clothing, graffiti, music album artwork, pods and leaves, hand built ceramics, old and rustic houses, interesting gardens, medieval everything, the smell of eucalyptus, ancient citadels, and hand made spoons, bowls and baskets...

Jo Franco


Jo has been our librarian since 2010.

I’ve always been a “maker” – making clothes for myself and family. Like many of my generation I was taught by mother and grandmother to knit and sew the proper way. In later years I discovered rug making and again was taught the "proper" traditional way and became an accredited instructor. Then, I discovered WAFTA and am learning all over again!

Interested in textiles, I was looking for a source of inspiration from like-minded people. 

Mostly up-cycled fabrics and various rug making techniques- not necessarily to make rugs. 

My rug hooking time has given way to the computer and administrative work as we set the wheels in motion for a second online virtual exhibition- this time open to artists world-wide. See Facebook links for info. 

Colour and ‘design ‘ from my garden and the world around me and also seeing images of the work of artists who speak at WAFTA meetings. Jo is editor of Australian Rugmakers Guild blog 

Pauline White

Committee Member

Pauline has held various roles on and off the committee for a number of years.

Pauline graduated from Curtin University with BA Visual Arts, BA Fine Arts, BA Hons Visual Arts, MA Visual Arts. Since then she has been a lecturer at Curtin University in the Aboriginal Contemporary Art Course and in the BA Visual Arts Course.

She has also worked as a curator for the City of Stirling for 6 years, City of Bayswater for 2 years and in many schools and community centres. She taught at Central Tafe helping develop the Public Art course and curriculum for Aboriginal students.

Pauline collaborated with Charmaine Cole and were shortlisted for the Metrorail Esplanade Railway Station Public Art project and the Maylands foreshore Project in Perth and
coordinated 7 Public Art projects in the Perth metro area (Beechboro, Leederville Youth HQ(3), Leederville TAFE, Banks Reserve and Bardon Park.

She also worked at being artist and coordinator on many community art projects in the Perth metro area and Bathurst Island the most recent being Swan Song at the WA
museum in the Perth CBD. Pauline has been Artist-in-Residence at Karratha College, Tresillian Community Centre, Remida and many schools in the Perth CBD.

She also spent many years designing the stand for the Gascoyne region at the Perth Agricultural show. Pauline has had 4 solo exhibitions and participated in many group shows the most recent being Altered States with WAFTA and Eco Echo with Fibrant in 2017.