now & ZEN

art to wear

The sixth annual Fiber Twist in Deerfield Mass was great!!

I’m still pumped with adrenaline! Such a nice size show with so much luscious fiber. I had really nice neighbors … Dirty Water DyeWorks with all their lovely hand dyed yarns on one side and Sojourner Design with piles of carded fiber among other beautiful supplies on the other. Wish I had had time to take a saunter around with so much gorgeousness all around me. The traffic was almost non-stop. Some of my things found new homes … the first one out of the nest was my lovely white-on-white shawl. It has been one of the inspirations for a wedding outfit I am designing with a bride-to-be.


Feeling really grateful today and everyday for being able to do what I LOVE and make a living at it besides! I feel so blessed. My company was founded on the belief that doing what you love brings JOY and right now my heart is BURSTING with it!! Keep it coming universe!

My next show is at The Fiber Festival of New England on Nov 6&7 at the BigE fair grounds in West Springfield Mass. Hope to see you all there!

Posted 6 years, 9 months ago at 5:04 pm.


dorian hand-painted silk scarves and ponchos make the news!

Shopping Basket

Staff Writer

Friday, November 6, 2009

p1Dorian scarves [now and Zen]

PURPLE PROS … The O-woman says in the November issue of her magazine that purple is a big color this season and I am not about to argue. Besides, what’s not to like about purple – in any season, and in all its many shades?
We’ll start from the ground up. In Northampton, Synergy offers lots of ways to wear purple on your feet, as the photo here shows. Born, a shoe company known for comfort, makes a stylish cowboy-style boot in a grape color for $189. There are ever-popular Classic Tall Uggs in mulberry, for $180, and purple mocs, also by Ugg, for $100. Lined purple rain boots by Kamika, which are $69.99, would brighten up a drab, drizzly day. Continuing the footwear theme, we found Smartwool purple patterned socks for $17.95 at Mountain Goat, also in Northampton.
A little further down Main Street at Country Comfort, we came across purplecorduroy pants from Cut Loose for $78. Nearby, Cathy Cross had a dusky purple Soia & Kyo down parka for $220 (it’s pictured at top left), and a purple leather tote bag from Aoyama, roomy enough to hold just about everything you own, for $262.
For just a touch of purple, check out the work of Nancy Dorian, a local artist whose business is called Now & ZEN; a sampling is shown at left. Dorian says purple is her favorite color and she often uses it in her scarves. We saw one example – a lovely swirled design in subdued shades – at the Nashawannuck Gallery in Easthampton. It was $45. Nashawannuck Gallery also has amethyst jewelry by Suzette Alsop Jones, another Easthampton-based craftsperson; a necklace and earrings are $68 and $25, respectively.
When you’re all done shopping for everything purple, you could go home and curl up with a purple book. You don’t have one? Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” is $14 at Broadside Bookshop in Northampton.
- Suzanne Wilson

Posted 7 years, 7 months ago at 10:23 pm.

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we had a great nuno felt workshop at WEBS

My class at WEBS filled quickly, so we added a one day workshop on sept 20 to accommodate the waiting list. what a wonderful group of talented women! everyone’s scarf is absolutely gorgeous. I still have space in my tuesday night class at Holyoke Creative arts. 6-8pm $45 plus materials.





Posted 7 years, 8 months ago at 12:45 am.

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Hand-painted silk yardage anyone?

Love, love, love creating this luscious yardage! When the weather is nice, I’m outside dyeing and felting. So inspiring being out in nature with all the great colors and textures. Can’t help but take my inspiration from it. Many are like Monets on silk! I’ve been offering my silks by the yard at New England Felting Supply and to my students when I teach. This stuff is so wonderful to felt on. I use it for my base in some of my scarves. I’m going to sew up some silk ponchos or wraps with it, too!


monet inspiredmonet 3lusciousfavmonet4on the line 2more moneton the line

Posted 7 years, 11 months ago at 4:10 pm.

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felt is having a very big moment according to susan brown

IF you ask her about trends in textiles, Susan Brown, an assistant curator at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, will tell you that felt is having a very big moment, finding its way into everything from fashion and product design to architectural installations and home furnishings.

It has become so ubiquitous, in fact, that Ms. Brown has organized an exhibition at the museum called “Fashioning Felt.” The show, which runs from March 6 to Sept. 7, explores the many uses of felt, from traditional pieces, like a Turkish shepherd’s cloak and an Afghan saddle pad, to contemporary objects like the “personal uniforms” designed and worn by the artist Andrea Zittel as conceptual art.

“There’s something so tactile about it,” Ms. Brown said of the fabric. “The desire to touch is strong with most textiles, but particularly so with felt.”

It differs from other fabrics, she explained, because it is made not by knitting or weaving but by matting wool fibers together using water and friction. The result, she said, “is very comforting, warm and inviting.”

This is very good news to me, since I love to felt!  Check out the rest of this new york times article at:

Her write up on the yurt exhibition is also really cool!


Posted 8 years, 3 months ago at 8:57 pm.

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now & ZEN in 3 display windows on Cottage Street!

For the past month my work has adorned three display windows on the main drag in Easthampton, MA.

Nashawannuck Gallery

40 cottage street, easthampton, ma

a great place to visit … lots of really talented artisans

New England Felting Supply

84 cottage street, easthampton, ma

where my workshop is being held. All things felted can be had here. Stop in and pay them a visit. My class is full, but you can sign up for the next one!

The AwenTree

102 cottage street, easthampton, ma

the metaphysical shop in town offering magical gifts and workshops from drumming to reiki. Stop in and say hi and keep our community vibrant!

Pretty cool, huh?

Posted 8 years, 4 months ago at 7:12 pm.

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silk painting workshop at wistariahurst museum

scarf-workshop1.jpgI didn’t get a chance to post about the workshop I taught at the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke. We had 9 silk scarf painters! Everyone had a great time and went home with 2 completed scarves each. It’s amazing how the artist comes out in all of us when given a chance to play. There aren’t any rules at my workshops. I tell everyone to let the scarf become what it wants to be. That let’s them off the hook and takes the pressure off. The scarves are always beautiful. I worked with Melissa and Marjorie at the museum to set up the workshop as a fund raiser. They had us in a wonderful, sunny room in the mansion and it went so well, the plans are to repeat it each spring and fall. Check for more.

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 4:37 pm.

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Nancy Dorian is a fiber artist with a degree in Interior Design and Fine Arts minor in Ceramics. After a 15 year career in corporate office design, her company now & ZEN art to wear emerged from the belief that joy comes from doing what you love.

Always making and creating, Nancy developed strong skills in pottery, stained glass and jewelry. Having been taught to knit and sew at a very early age, she has fond memories of a fiber filled youth and now works primarily with fiber.

She creates one-of-a-kind wearable art garments using techniques such as Nuno Felting, Fiber Etching and Serti silk painting. Each piece is made by hand, one at a time, with unique fabrics she has created by using any number of the following techniques:

“Nuno Felt” emerges after adding a thin layer of wool roving, warm water and a little soap to silk fabric and then a whole lot of elbow grease to coax the fibers into becoming one. This results in a wonderfully textured, light weight fabric that drapes the body beautifully.

“Fiber Etching” creates gorgeous, flowing semi-transparent silk by carving away the rayon fibers of velvet or satin with etching solution and leaving sheer areas of silk chiffon.

“Serti” is a French word meaning to encircle or surround. In the serti technique, a resist is used to contain flowable dye within a design shape on fabric such as silk.

Since her work is not mass-produced, she typically attracts collectors who understand and appreciate the value of hand-crafted goods. They realize the uniqueness of what she  does. A person wears a “Dorian Original” for just that reason … to know it is a one-of-a-kind wearable work of art.

Nancy’s couture has been featured in Preview Massachusetts Magazine and can be found at galleries and boutiques throughout New England and on Nantucket. She enjoys teaching fiberart workshops and classes in her home studio, as well as the following venues :

  • New England Felting Supply, Easthampton, MA
  • WEBS, Northampton, MA
  • Bead + Fiber, Boston, MA
  • Fletcher Farms School for the arts and crafts, Ludlow, VT
  • Wiawaka, Lake George, NY
  • Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, CT
  • Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA
  • Holyoke Creative Arts Center, Holyoke, MA

If you would like to book a workshop please send your inquiries to

Posted 9 years, 6 months ago at 8:27 am.

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