Master in Textiles from Farm to Fabric to Fashion students recently took a school trip to Tyrol, where they explored the intricate world of yak and nettle fibers, materials, and their application in different contexts.
Priya Deep, Luna Mercadini, Georgia Pfaff, Sabrina Stadlober, Loïs Emi Van Der Weert and Marinela Yzellari, spent a week engaging in workshops and activities that broadened their knowledge and skills in the field of textiles.
In this article, they share their insights and a newfound appreciation for the role of fibers in various creative and cultural practices.
After arriving in Schlanders and getting to know each other, we visited Daniel Costa’s current exhibition at the Messner Mountain Museum Firmian close to Bozen. Daniel, our teacher for this week, explained to us his working method, different aspects of ﬁbres and techniques. He highlighted the meandering thread of narration that goes from ﬁber to motive and the dialogues between the works in the exhibition.
In the evening, we went to Daniel Costa’s studio at BASIS Vinschgau Venosta, located in an ex-military area. After a little tour, our class presented extreme-yarn examples that everyone prepared and we discussed the timetable for the week.
Creating in the Studio
Monday was the first day at the atelier, where each student started to experiment with the yak and nettle fibers. In this first phase, we stepped from thinking to making, following our own curiosities, linked to those materials.
Work in Progress
The next few days, we continued our explorations and developed an individual project. Soon ﬁrst structures started to appear and the direction of research and creation became more and more visible.
Fibers can be used in many contexts, one of which is music. Most instruments need strings to produce sound and vibration. On Wednesday, we delved into the relationship between music and fiber, experimenting with different notes, interpreted by a violinist.
Thursday started with a visit to a viking’s workshop to create a bowstring, made of dried ostrich sinew. The process to obtain the single fibers was very extensive, including hammering and splicing. Sinews were used on bows for thousands of years and helped humankind to survive and to create tools.
Vernissage Set up
The projects were finalized on Friday morning and afterward set up at the Salina (an old salt-trading place). A general story of each student, giving personal insights on yak and nettle, accompanied the exhibits. At the entrance outside the bistro, we installed an old-fashioned overhead projector with wild ﬁbers to welcome the guests.
The vernissage was opened with a speech by Daniel Costa and our class. In a relaxed atmosphere, visitors had the chance to experience the objects in the space and ask questions. It was a great conclusion to an inspiring week
On the last day, we had the possibility to do a hike in the surrounding mountains and enjoy the beautiful landscape.
To wrap up, we’d like to offer our most sincere appreciation for Priya, Luna, Georgia, Sabrina, Loïs and Marinela, who generously opened their experiences with us. They brought tenacity and enthusiasm that exemplifies what it means to delve deep into fiber research – a pursuit which invites discovery of its boundless prospects.