Respecting time and nature: Wool Design by Ines Schertel

A love story for wool and nature.

Ines Schertel: I’ve never lived in the countryside! I’m a city girl! I’m from Porto Alegre, the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in Brazil’s deep south. 30 years ago I moved to São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city. About that time, we bought a beautiful land in the Campos de Cima region, located in the southern mountains of Brazil, and my husband and I started to raise sheep there to make the land viable while we worked in the big city.

Virtually by chance, the sheep started to have such a big role in my life that it just didn’t make sense to live in São Paulo anymore. As incredible as it seems, everything just fell into place, and this change in my life happened in a very smooth and natural way.

I’m an architect by training and used to work in São Paulo as a Director of Art for a public sector broadcast (TV CULTURA) where I was in charge of all the visual content, such as the setting and visual aspects of the shows. Most of them were educational shows for children. From a very early age, I’ve been working with visual arts and using a wide range of materials and techniques.

Respecting the natural time of things.

Ines Schertel: The sheep must be sheared annually so they can stay healthy and graze. I personally participate in all the stages of production. From supervising the clipping of the sheep to creating, manufacturing, and finishing the pieces. I call this process “slow design”. Not so much because of how long it takes to make the pieces, but more so because of the way I relate to how long it takes for things to happen. I respect the natural order in which things happen in the field. Each thing at a time, and each stage with its own storytelling. From the sheep that gaze in their native fields so they grow and provide the best wool to the dyes, I make from fragments I find in the native woods of araucaria that surround me. Wool is a material that comes from nature – it’s renewable, biodegradable, and it’s also 100% sustainable since it doesn’t use up natural resources.

I’m fascinated by the idea of being able to reuse and give new meaning to a material that is so noble yet is no longer needed by the sheep. And by doing it I can pay homage to an ancient tradition while offering something that’s fresh and contemporary.

Content Credit: ©Ines Schertel and Through Objects.

Photos:©Ines Schertel.