Ceramic Vase cast using woven straw, by Katja Pettersson
A universal design and build material employed since the dawn of agricultural societies, straw has been used to construct everything from roofs to baskets, carpets to ceremonial objects. Today, the material is considered at best, nostalgic, and is currently one of the most challenged crafts in the Nordic region. Due to the low cost of labor and handwork in foreign countries, what was once a commonly performed skill by women in the Swedish city of Dalsland, is now rapidly disappearing.
Farmer's Gold investigates the possibilities of straw and craft in a contemporary market. Editions in Craft invited a group of European designers to participate in a workshop with local artisans in Dalsland. As a resource, straw has many advantages; it's environmentally friendly, locally-grown, cheaply sourced and widely available, it presents an interesting window of opportunity for those who choose to work with straw. Through an exchange of ideas and techniques, the designers and artisans explored the material and created new products that, "challenge the traditional distinctions between design and craft."