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Play / Ground : Nettle (Ortie)


Made durring a residency for artists and designers – Armenonville, France. Within the framework of the
Odyssee project – ACCR (Association of Cultural Centers).
The stinging nettle (ortie in french) is a cosmopolitan ruderal plant, and can be found in all temperate zones of Europe, Asia and America, and settles in typical ruderal locations. As such, it grows in human-influenced locations such as waste, rubbish and farmyards, path and roadsides.

At Jean Jacques Rousseau Parc the far end of the land was left untouched for many years. the area is now full with nettle and many other ruderal plants.

the nettle is known for his medicinal properties but he is also known as a main ingredient in many Romanian dishes and as a source for strong and long fibers.

when I went to hunt some nettles, (armed with gloves and shears) I realized there are two kinds of nettle in the parc. the green nettle and the purple nettle. At first glance the purple one looked the strongest and the longest, but over time I figured that it is more difficult to handle so I was left with the green one, which is also more common.

The process of producing nettle fibers includes crushing the nettles along their length, by foot or by tool (hammer, pliers), making a notch from bottom to top, opening the pill and taking out all the inner woody part.

The outer fiber part is then hung out to dry.

The dried Nettle fibers are turned and twisted by hand to create a strong and long natural fiber rope.