2018 was the year I learned about flax for the first time. I was in the first semester of my master studies and got introduced to The Linen Project, needlessly to say, I got hooked. In 2019, my second semester, I was required to do a so called “immersive learning experience”, which meant that you would have time to do an internship abroad, contribute to a local initiative, work on your on project etc. I decided to 1. Grow flax together with my grandma Margit and 2. Help out at the Nederlands Openluchtmuseum in Arnhem where they grow flax with The Linen Project. You find the start of the flax story with my grandma Margit Wetzel here.
It was at the Nederlands Openluchtmuseum that I learned and watched the basics in (flax) farming. Part of that was tilling the soil, sowing the seeds, weeding, harvesting and processing the crop. It was a beautiful journey from seed to yarn in a fantastic setting. Especially Michaèl Brandt learned me and my fellow student Takahiro Hasegawa how to do field related work and John Wieringa how to press linseed oil, make linen rope and process flax from stalk to fibre. I am a big fan of the Nederlands Openluchtmuseum. Not only do I love coming there to visit but I also enjoy working with the people who are all so kind and good at teaching.
I am very thankful I could join the full process of flax farming at the museum. It was beautiful to start working at the museum on misty spring mornings and to experience the museum filling up with visitors throughout the day. People were also curious about our activities and frequently asked what we were doing and why. The picture series obove ends just befroe the harvest. That is not because I wasn’t there, but because many visitors also helped in that process. I wanted to respect their privacy and not upload pictures online. Right now the harvested flax is resting in a barn, waiting to be processed further! Hopefully still this year. I will keep you updated!