TAFTA Geelong

TAFTA? 'Forum'?

TAFTA 'Forum', in its 'original' incarnation, takes place in Mittagong, NSW, in April every year.

Forum 2003 was the 22nd

Huge congratulations are due to Janet De Boer, under whose creative driving vision 'Forum' has become famous worldwide as the most fabulous feast of textile fare in the southern hemisphere

Forum became so popular that, in 2000, Janet was finally forced to create a complementary sister event in the other half of the year, which takes place in Geelong, Victoria, around the first week of October

In 2003 there was yet another innovation:
'Scrumblers Unite!'
– a forum within the Geelong Forum for creative crochet fanatics

and this format is to be repeated in 2004 with


'Forum KnitFEST'

– again with four tutors:

Liz Gemmell
'Biased Thinking'

Lynne Johnson
'Feral 'n' Odd Ball Knitting – With a Twist'

Tom Moore
'Looking at the Back – Designing Multi-Coloured Hand-Knitted Fabric'

Karen Searle
'As You Like It – Sculptural Knit and Crochet'

But, hey, booking has been open for some time already, so if you are at all interested, you need to contact TAFTA immediately!

"A week of sheer bliss, pursuing your fibre obsession … "

The Forum formula in both resorts is simple enough:

• you arrive (along with 300 or so like-minded textile obsessives)
• you devote the next seven days and nights to an orgy of textile involvement
• you go home – inspired to the point of mind-blow
and, of course, completely shattered … !

Mostly you concentrate fiendishly all week on your own chosen workshop, which could be about anything from:

• basketry to beads
• patchwork to polymer
• machine embroidery to Maori flax-weaving
… mmm …

in every tiny crevice of the main schedule,
there are:

slide presentations and talks by tutors

Trades Hall

• a trades hall rich in pickings
• a tutors' selling night
• a 'Heathen Bazaar'
(at which students sell their own work)
• a party (or two!)
… which takes place when any last vestige of inhibition you may have brought with you has been thoroughly composted and recycled into something suspiciously resembling festive spirit

"Students and tutors from all over the world … wonderful 'giving' people … "

'La Party' warms up

Meanwhile there are often:

special exhibitions and
mysterious 'installations'
which are liable to crop up all over the campus and amaze you

… oh,
and for those who have the time,
there's plenty of eating and drinking to be done throughout

Dining Hall


• you can request a single room
• there are some double-share rooms available
• and there are a few excellent rooms, ideal for 3-share or 4-share
(you can indicate a choice in roommate(s), if any, on the enrolment form)

or you can go for a dormitory:

• expect from 3-7 roommates in a dorm, depending on spaces used
• dorms are quite comfortable but unheated
• no bunkbeds

and you may want to specify:

• I require groundfloor acommodation
(You must also let us know if you cannot get up one flight of stairs to a classroom)
• I wish to be with other 'night owls' (up late)
• I am an 'early bird' (like quiet at night)
• I have trouble walking
(distances are not great at Geelong, but the grounds are not 'compact' either)

Geelong campus
Geelong campus

"Janet and her team definitely win 'Best of Show Award' for being possessed of endless energy and good humour … "

Janet and her righthand man, Jude

Janet (left) and her right hand man, Jude

The 'FORUM' Song

(sung to the tune of "These are a Few of my Favourite Things'
– and created by Twining, Preston & Co)

"Two days 'til FORUM, I'm packing my suitcase
Clothes pegs and dust masks and long lengths of pink lace
Packets of aspirin for when I get pissed
Where did I put my materials list … ???

Scissors and needles, hair dryers, elastic,
Wood glue and notebooks and lots of black plastic
Palettes and brushes, there's so much to bring
How am I going to pack all these things … ???

Buttons and glitter and beads and gold wires
Foil and plastic and new nappy liners
Vegetable netting and beads on a string
What are we going to do with these things … ???

I am thinking that my tutor must be going mad
Perhaps I'll just skip class, go shopping in Trades
then FORUM won't be so bad

Speaking of shopping I'll need lots of money
Also the cheque book (I'll hide that from hubby)
Can't forget clothing, toothpaste and shampoo
Eight pairs of knickers should certainly do ...

What about trackies to wear in my workshop
How 'bout the parties, I think they are "dress-up"
Two party costumes and hats with frills on
That makes ten truckloads of stuff for Geelong ...

One day 'til FORUM, I'm all in a panic
With enough luggage to fill the Titanic
Just shut the suitcase and call it enough
How am I going to carry this stuff … ??

Final Chorus:
Fill the car up, drive to FORUM, Yes, I'm finally here
A week goes too quickly – It's over but hey
We'll do it again next year!!!"

"Yes, 'Forum' sure is tough, but somebody has to do it … !"

Thanks to Blnda Irby for use of the photos on this page