07 Oct 2020
A passionate teacher and valued member of the Dickson College community, Jill Pettifer, has won a prestigious national award in the 2020 Wool4School Teacher category.
Jill has used the student category of the competition as an assessment item in her classes for several years and it was only this year, she decided to enter the Teacher category, which is based on her teaching strategies.
Jill has a unique blend of technical skills, experience and knowledge in the textiles and design space, also a long career working in the area.
She taught Textile Technology for 10 years at a CIT, weaving and surface design applications for 20 years at Art School, she has been teaching at Dickson College for 10 years.
She goes above and beyond to keep her students engaged with the fashion and textiles industry and is always on the lookout for interactive learning opportunities. Often setting competitions entries as a task, taking students on excursions both locally and interstate, as well as encouraging students to visit events and exhibitions at galleries.
She is passionate about bringing out the best in every student. One of her favourite design processes is for students to do several quick pencil drawings of an object, it could be a chair, ceiling fan or a piece of jewellery. These drawings are translated to paper with colour, the designs are then painted onto fabric then another design process further translates these designs for pigment printing, which is usually carried out at Megalo Print Studio as well as Dickson college. All along the designs are being modified and it is hard to believe that the outline of a ceiling fan could be interpreted in so many ways!
“I love working through this design and making process with the students, it is quick, and the results are amazing. Students are always surprised, impressed and proud of their work” Jill said.
She also encourages students to see the textile and fashion industry from a sustainable perspective and has led projects like “Wham! Bam! Slacks!” which was about upcycling old trousers.
“I don’t expect them to learn everything about the textiles and fashion industry, but I do hope to touch on the surface knowledge, also to be lifelong learners who enjoy the importance of this topic especially for our environment”, Jill said.
Following graduation, her students have taken the lessons learnt in Jill’s classes to fields from fashion, costume and interior design as well as architecture including landscape and communications in the arts.
Jill hopes to inspire an ongoing sense of curiosity in her students, that whatever path they make take once graduating from college, they will remain interested either as designers, makers, consumers and more importantly our planet.
The reception area at Dickson College features an impressive range of student artwork, including printed and clothing designs from the textiles class