Drenthe Heath Wool
Claudy Jongstra is known worldwide for her large-scale textile artworks and architectural installations, with organic surfaces and vibrant colours that reflect Jongstra’s masterful innovations in the ancient techniques of wool felting and plant-based dyeing.
Maintaining a flock of rare, indigenous Drenthe Heath sheep (the oldest breed in Northern Europe) and cultivating a dyer’s botanical garden, Jongstra’s radical soil-to-soil philosophy, no-waste approach and inclusive way of collaborating. Creates a community-based and completely sustainable process which culminates in her charismatic artworks.
The process of making each large-scale work of art at Studio Claudy Jongstra begins in the fields of the rural northern province of Friesland, The Netherlands. Wool from indigenous Drenthe Heath sheep, whose grazing balances the biotopes in their native heathland habitat, is Jongstra’s primary material. Colours are distilled from natural dye plants, grown on Jongstra’s biodynamic farm, which contributes biodiversity to the region. This regenerative process minimises waste and facilitates collaboration with multiple communities, landscapes, species and forms of knowledge.
Jongstra’s international team includes artists in residence and is in constant dialogue with the local community, regional farmers, scientific, educational, and cultural institutions, students, young people and social initiatives. Hands-on workshops and tutorials led by Studio Claudy Jongstra aim to revive centuries-old skills in danger of being lost in our modern world. In order to preserve the intergenerational transfer of this knowledge and to provide clues for more sustainable and circular models for the future. This relational way of working weaves socio-ecological contexts into Jongstra’s art.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.
Drenthe heath wool, botanical dyes
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