Thriving in the marshes of the Camargue, reed – called sagne, in local French – is a wild plant with a long-standing tradition of winter harvest. It has long been used in a variety of ways, woven and patched together to thatch roofs, make fences and blinds that shield from the sun, the wind and the rain. Designer Clara Vankerschaver recognizes the genuine potential of this raw material for further development. The rooted knowledge and methods of local craftsmen structure this research, which addresses the timely relevance and innovative ability of this traditional practice.
In Residency at Atelier LUMA, textile designer Clara Vankerschaver promotes material and technical research to develop variations and new takes on local production, respecting the seasonality of harvest and the natural plant cycle.
Building further on the existing production facilities helps to uncover the full potential of the reed mats. A textile design methodology and the techniques of linking, stitching and weaving the reed together are being experimented. As a flexible unit, it can be transformed by stacking, folding, binding, curling, twisting, cutting, hanging, and rolling the reeds resulting in a range of functional and open-ended objects to be used both in- and outdoors.