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Weaving nettle tales

17–25 Aug 2023
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Following meadows, fields, and gardens, Weaving nettle tales explores borders of control opposed to symbiotic relations. How can we find a balance between extraction and returning gestures to the land and each other? How can we move from owning to owing? During the course, we will practise this balancing through making teas for the soil and ourselves. We will connect to local community gardens and research compost teas based on nettle traditionally used in many European rural households. Alongside making teas for the land, we will brew teas and ferments that nourish our own bodies based on ingredients foraged from local surroundings. Preparing and sharing these brewing routines of care will be central elements throughout the workshop.

Besides these liquid flows, Weaving nettle tales will introduce nettles as a thread to connect our collective efforts, questions, wonderings and observations. On a daily basis, we will practise nettle cordage making, being in touch with the material intimately and tactically, offering space for the mind to wander while the hands go their way. Our nettle cords will be then gathered to create a large common tablecloth that will serve as the carrier of the multi-species relationships that we have nourished during the workshop.

At the end of the course, we will invite the audience of the Kunstgewerbemuseum to join us for a special tea ceremony that will reveal insights about our embodied investigations.


ERBA is a moving food studio initiated by Austrian designer Philipp Kolmann and Dutch artist Suzanne Bernhardt which unfolds narratives of smell and taste surrounding the culture of sweetgrasses. At the heart of ERBA’s research lays the sweetgrass family and the various communities that all around the globe base their sustainability and growth on grains. 

Having both a background of working in kitchens and serving food, Kolmann and Bernhardt carry out their projects with a hands-on approach, aiming to deconstruct the hierarchy between cook and consumer; between server and served. By making processes transparent and inviting others to take an active role, ERBA strives to collect sensorial data to rebuild an embodied practice based on ancestral knowledge, daily memories and learning to trust our senses.


Fotos ©SKD, Felix Meutzner