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abr 03, 2017
Creative Industries

Brazil showcases creative design in Milan

Brazilians harbor an innate creative spirit that takes challenges and converts them into opportunities, lifting the country up through the ranks of the global market of innovative production. This Brazilian spirit of creativity and innovation will be featured in the ISaloni conference this April in Milan, which is the largest showcase in the furniture sector. 

In addition, the ISaloni brings together the latest innovations and designs in technology, art, fashion, telecommunications, and gastronomy. Sixty Brazilian companies, each handpicked by the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, Apex-Brasil will present uniquely innovative designs from Brazilian artists and entrepreneurs. 

One such artist-entrepreneur is Inês Schertel, who incorporates modern technology into her stunning designs. Schertel lives on a sheep farm with her husband in rural southern Brazil, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. She spent several years in Europe, living in Italy and Holland, and then in the countryside traveling with the nomadic shepherd tribes of Kyrgyzstan, observing the ancient art of wool crafts. 

The artist then took these age-old “slow-design” processes and applied them to the wool produced on her sheep farm. 

After carding and combing the wool, Schertel applies olive soap and water in a long, irreversible process to harden the material’s surface, giving the wool a rigidity that allows the artist to sculpt the material. While the material is still moist, she can mold the mass into whatever shape she desires. 

During her travels, Schertel observed the great potential of this material, such as the shepherding tribes of Kyrgyzstan that use the felt to build their tents. While Shertel doesn’t make life-size tents with her felt, she does create beautiful, custom-made seat covers and pillows with her colorful sheep’s wool material. 

“The transformation of wool into felt has been performed by different Central Asian peoples for over 9,000 years. I am happy to be able to bring a fresh and modern vision to this durable technique, which dates back to the Stone Age,” said the designer in an interview with Vogue’s Brazilian home design magazine, Casa Vogue. 

“In addition to its beauty, natural wool is more resistant, renewable, and biodegradable, characteristics that are compatible with the era in which we live.”

In addition to felt material furniture, the Brazilian designers featured at ISaloni employ a number of innovatively sustainable practices, such as repurposing naturally fallen forest wood, weaving synthetic materials, and even a 3D ceramic printer to create unique porcelain pieces.