Image: InterWoven Diana Scherer, Photographer Michael Valk.
Our latest issue, 94, the Earth Issue is now available to buy. In this issue, we celebrate the soil. We are inspired by Heidi Gustafson’s extraction of pigment from the earth and the artisans from the Guangdong Province of China who use mud from the river to dye their famed Mud Silk. We enjoy Nathalie Seiller Dejean’s mastery of the ancient art of straw work and Eliurpi’s stylish straw hats. And we marvel at the living root bridges of the Khasis, India and at the domestication of root systems on a miniature scale by Diane Scherer. Here's an extract from Lydia Caston’s article, Grass Roots...
Rugs made out of roots, large prints of withered flowers in soil, and a miniature grass lawn grown from oat seeds. Artist Diana Scherer’s studio in Amsterdam, set up like a wonderful greenhouse, is where her innovative botanical projects take place. Transforming plant roots into textiles, Scherer’s work takes an exciting step towards cleaner fabric production. She began creating large 3D textile panels using plant roots in 2015.
Scherer has created a growth process that encourages roots to naturally form around her intricate templates. ‘I make the hidden processes visible and use the dynamics of the plant root for the formation of my work’. Firstly, she digitally creates her pattern. The floral and architectural motifs are then 3D printed and placed into the soil, where oats are sown. The artist waters and nourishes the plants and after three to four weeks, she unearths the roots from the soil and cuts off unwanted stems. During the cultivation process, the roots will follow their natural network and join underground, eventually growing into a unified piece. The roots are then dried and blended with others to construct textiles interwoven with the natural world.
Image: © InterWoven Diana Scherer
Scherer’s book, Exercises in Rootsystem Domestication, will be published this year.
Find out more in Issue 94 Earth.