Encounter #4 Stinging nettle

With ,

Filmed on 19 May, 2022 at the Jan van Eyck Academie

The stinging nettle is a weed that grows everywhere in Europe. Long time ago our great grandparents used this material for multiple purposes: it was a source for clothes, fishing nets, sailing ropes, traditional medicine, food. The craft that was passed down for generations is now slowly dying out. Polina Baikina (Studio laVina) and Verara Lazareva have created a new life for this material by making modern products and re-thinking production techniques. Result is a variety of products from nettle, where you would use not just the fibre, but the thatch as well, which is usually thrown away. Pigments also come from the plant itself, so the whole plant is used for production.

During the workshop, they are going to look into the history of nettle as a material, traditional ways of processing it, and today’s applications. Participants will work with the nettle stem and separate fibers from thatch, and dive in a container with water, making a paper-like material from the nettle fibers.