Monday, October 11, 2021

Felt Inspired by my adventure in Iceland, the Land of Fire and Ice

Diverse and beautiful, Iceland is home to some of the largest glaciers in Europe, as well as some of the world's most active volcanoes. The Icelandic landscape is characterized by a huge number of waterfalls, geysers, volcanoes, black sand beaches, and steaming lava fields, reminiscent of an almost alien landscape. 

This magical, otherworldly landscape inspired me to create felted garments.  This short slideshow reflects some of the landscape along with my interpretation.

Iceland was the perfect place for this southern California gal to wear her felted garments and accessories.  I was actually surprised to not see much felt there but the hand knit sweaters are gorgeous and I treated myself to one.   

Wool Road in South Iceland

Pingborg Knit Shop in Flóahreppur⁩, ⁨South Iceland⁩, ⁨Iceland⁩

The sweater I bought at Pingborg.

For a more in depth look into our two week adventure around Iceland via the ring road, take a look at my 12 minute slideshow HERE.  

We booked the trip through Nordic Visitor, which I would highly recommend.  They took car of everything from the car rental which was equipped with invaluable Wifi, our lodging with breakfast, and the extras which for us included horseback riding, helicopter tour, Blue Lagoon, Baths at Vok and whale watching in Husavik which was unfortunately cancelled due to weather. I thought the Blue Lagoon would be too commercial and overrated but it was fantastic.  Do not miss it if you plan a trip to Iceland.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Transforming painted silks into a poncho


From painting abstract images on silk fabric to creating a design and witnessing the alchemy that happens when wool and silk transform themselves to create a new textile, the felting process is a magical experience.  It never ceases to amaze me how with just soap, water and some elbow grease, the process results in a felted piece with rich and incredible layering of textures and colors.

These abstract faces are kind of fun and I was interested to see how they'd felt; I was pleased to see that they pretty much held their own.  

I select a palette of other fabrics and wool roving to coordinate with my painted silks

The abstract image that I painted on the silk has now been felted.

The finished poncho is reversible.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021



Nuno Felting Vest Workshop, Carneros Studios - June 2021.m4v from Beth Marx on Vimeo.

The nuno felted vest workshop at Lisa & Marvin Paul's Carneros Studios in the Napa Valley was beyond belief.  It was everyone's first real outing since the Covid pandemic in March 2020 and what a first rate experience for our return to civilization.  And civilized was what it was with felting being just the tip of the iceberg.  Lisa made this event first class; the only down side is that it's sure going to be hard to top it in the future.  

Lisa and Marvin welcomed the group to their recently completed  gorgeous barn with a wine & appetizer reception the evening before the start of the felting workshop  - blown away is more the expression when seeing the interior of this 5,500 square foot barn.  I literally could be happy living in the bathroom! We were introduced to Sur, a delightful top notch sommelier, who formerly worked at the French Laundry, a three star Michelin award winning restaurant.  Sur guided us as we tasted numerous Napa Valley wines.  He even  took the time to provide similarities between grape production and wine making with wool and felting.  Some of the same words can be used to describe both wine and felt like texture, balance, harmony, meritage, ph, art, complexity, layering, blending, richness, palette, microclimate, strong and soft.

The weekend continued with home cooked meals, flowing wine, live music and happy felters. We shared, we laughed and came away with full hearts.  Real friendships were developed which is something that is not quite possible from the Zoom felting workshops many of us attended during the pandemic. 

Everyone made a beautiful and unique vest which fitted them perfectly. On the afternoon of the last day, everyone got cleaned up, put on some makeup or at least lipstick and just beamed while modeling their beautiful nuno felted vest creation.  I was one proud teacher!

Take a look at the short slideshow above and the photos and three short video clips below to get a glimpse of this amazing experience.  My heart is full with love and gratitude and I can't seem to wipe the smile from my face!

Martha Lumia - Palm Desert, CA

Lorri Teates - San Diego, CA

Patti Bodgan - Boise, Idaho

Eva D'Avella - Bellflower, CA

Deedy Atkins - Austin, Texas

Lisa Paul - Napa, CA

Our hosts, Lisa  & Marvin Paul

Premier sommelier Sur

Beth in the vineyards

First class chef Marvin Paul

The most gorgeous setting for a workshop

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Organization and Management

How organized are you?  Is your studio in complete chaos making it difficult to get through any project or are you so anal that you cannot move forward unless every every tiny detail is in order?  I would call myself organized but in a casual sort of way.  I like to spread out and make a mess when I am creating.  But once I finish a project, I quickly clean up and am ready to start anew.  I have come up with a little system and although not earth shattering, it helps me to quickly clean up and to stay organized.  

As you know, when you felt you have lots of little left overs, like wool roving that cannot easily be put back into your larger ball.  You have pieces of silk that are small but that you certainly want to keep.  And maybe fully felted pieces that you've cut off to open up a resist.  Or little pieces of prefelt.  I have four containers, one for each of these items:  wool roving, fabric, fully felted pieces which make great inclusions in projects, and pieces of prefelt both commercial and my own.  Just separate what's what and voila, clean up is basically done.

Wool roving
Fabric pieces


Small pieces of prefelt
Fully felted pieces

There are so many benefits to being organized.  Read more about it here.

An old but true adage:  A place for everything and everything in its place.  

So you are not already doing it, get organized to help you better  manage yourself, your time and your stuff.

Metal pieces for resist dyeing

Rusty pipes for eco printing

Clothes pins for lots of things

Rocks are so handy for weighing things down

Foam brushes in one cup, large brushes in another cup, fabric markers in yet another cup.

Felting rollers and mats in one large bucket

So pretty to look at and terrific for shibori

Large scissors in one place and small ones in another place.

Even rubber bands have a home