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Wool painting is a relatively new technique used in Europe and Central Asia, using layers of wool and enhancing it with various colored wool fibers. This form of painting does not use any paint nor is there a need for a brush. Solmaz Shams has offered wool-painting classes at PVAC. She has also prepared a video for beginner or intermediate-level learners in which she demonstrates the process of using wool fibers to create paintings using a technique called “Needle Felting.” To inspire viewers to make their own art pieces, the video is a step-by-step demonstration of experimenting with wool fibers of various colors, laying out on a sheet or base and needle-felt the fibers to create a painting.

Solmaz Shams is a Fiber-Art faculty member of Palos Verdes Art Center. She obtained her Bachelor of Art degree in Fashion Design.  In the early 1990s, she started her own fashion design and haute couture business.

In 2005, Solmaz introduced felt textile into some of her designs creating her own line of wearable art. Felt is a non-woven fabric made from entangled wool fibers. Solmaz got introduced to felting while traveling in Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan). At that time, she was involved in both painting and dress design. Learning about felting, she had a revelation that this age-old technique would compliment both of those interests. She has used a variation of felting technique called “Nuno felting,” in which wool fibers are felted through a woven fabric so that garments made with this type of textile can be worn in warmer seasons too.

In 2014, following her move to Southern California, her passion for arts guided her to Palos Verdes Art Center, where she has been an active member and a faculty member of the Art Center. She has also used a needle-felting technique to create wool-paintings, a technique that she has offered for teaching at PVAC.  Solmaz has been a member of the Costume Society of America.