Antonia Ablass
textile design

november 02, 2023
exhibition at Silbersalz Festival
science and media festival under the motto „ I see something you don't see“
As I am currently writing my bachelor's thesis with the aim of developing well-functioning planted textiles, I am very happy that I was able to exhibit the first piece of the project directly.
It's called plantscapes and it grows linen, clover, chia, mustard seeds, daisies and nasturtiums. The areas on which the plants grow meander between the graphic structures. The plants begin to cover the structures, the roots overgrow them and wind their way through the fabric. I like this twist because I have the feeling that we normally invade nature's habitat and destroy the structures.

Now the fabric is in my room, it continues to grow and I've added more seeds to try more. It waters itself automatically so I only need to fill up the water every few days.

The feedback at the festival was so positive, now I'm extra motivated and have hundreds of new ideas. It was a great opportunity to exhibit at the festival with 30,000 guests (estimated 20,000 where I was). I talked to a lot of people, answered questions and watched people interact with the plants.
Many thanks to the great team at the festival, especially Steffen Fiebrig, who gave me this opportunity, even though it was a big experiment.

september 15, 2023
Recycool - educational materials with fashion and textile
a fashion revolutions erasmus project
As a volunteer with Fashion Revolution, I have been working on the creation of educational materials. The materials are supposed to take up topics from school lessons and relate them to fashion. The project was an interesting collaboration with the teams from Teschechien, Croatia, Hungary and Germany under the guidance and coordination of the teams from Slovakia and UK.

„The individual units give you a great overview of different topics related to the fashion industry.
Gain insights and skills to navigate the complexities of the fashion industry.
Rethink your clothing habits, expose greenwashing and critically question campaigns.“

Find the materials here: recycool academy

July 04, 2023
Travels to Petit Gimios - drinking wine without a hangover
In France with wine and nature
In May and June I did a bike tour through France, discovering the way of traveling from my childhood. And I finally fell in love with it! It is such a nice gentle way of discovering a country. There is time to absorb sceneries, stop at beautiful places and meet people along the way. - it is also fun to just drive and dive into „the zone“ ;)

To learn more about country and people (and since I always wanted to work on a wineyard), I did a wwoofing (4 hours of work in exchange for room and board) at an organic vineyard in the south of France. Here I learned a lot about some pretty cool people and their love of nature and wine.
During studying and my work for Fashion Revolution, I read studies and statistics about the benefits of organic cotton, watched documentaries about organic farming and soil regeneration, I am mostly buying organic and and and. So it was really interesting to experience what it means to farm organic apart from my parents garden.
I think, first of all, I have to mention that it is not always romantic. It means a lot of physical work, getting up very early in the morning and long working days. But all this hard physical work is work connected to nature. Many mornings we went out into the vines to "faire la pioche" - to pickaxe weeds. Only three or four different plants that would spread too much if not taken out. All the other plants could stay - and many of them were even welcome.
My host's mother, more than 70 years old, got up at 4 o'clock to go to the field and remove the weeds. She does this many mornings all year round. Afterwards I saw so many "tidy" vineyards that had been sprayed. The ground looked dead. The lower leaves of the vine were sadly hanging on. No life there.

Sometimes we couldn't go into the vineyards because other farmers in the area were spraying chemicals, no matter how windy it was. So we went home to do another job.

Once we went into a field of nessels, collecting a huge amount of those burning plants. They were soaking in water for three days - to be used as a fertilizer. It was not only in the fields, but also for the wine that they did not use any additives: no sugar, no chemicals. No filtration, all natural. This showed me the respect they have for wines, the grapes, the plants and their own work.

There were many more organic farming methods that simply showed unity with nature. But it wasn't just that.
It was also about buying local and organic and respecting the work of other farmers. We turned off the wifi at night to save energy. We collected the water from washing dishes to water the vegetable garden.
One day I went to pick some flowers they had told me about, "la immortelle". It’s a pretty little yellow flower that remains colour when dry. It grew on one of their vineyards where they didn't plant vine. I was told not to pick too many because the food for the bees was scarce. I ended up picking a few but couldn't do more. All this showed me that organic farming means more than just not spraying poison on the fields, but being in harmony with nature.

All the hard work feels good at the end of the day - something that supporting a system that works for plants, animals and people - on long term. Work that was celebrated we celebrated with their friends, who were all organic winemakers, sharing, testing and philosophising about their wines. In between, me, trying to understand the language - enjoying the wine, dancing and not having a headache the next morning.

April 25, 2023
Internship at COS: scientific work with plant cells
COS: Center of organismal studies
I spent the last two months in Heidelberg, in the southwest of Germany. Heidelberg is home to one of the few European centres for research into secondary plant cell growth. Here I investigated an idea I had of using plant cells to make a stiff textile material. Spoiler: I didn't manage to do that within two months. But still, I had a really good time learning in a completely different field. It was great to get such an up-close look at scientific work. I saw so many interesting things that I never thought about before. I would like to give you just a few examples:

- Roots that grow without a plant body. Through various hormones, the growth is directed only to the root growth. This also works with the plant body.

- Small pieces of the stem placed in wax that is cut very thin to be microscoped. These make really beautiful arrangements on microscope slides.

In general it was a great opportunity, I learned a lot for other projects of mine, also about working in the lab, including sterile work, pipetting, microscoping and much more. I am very grateful to Thomas Greb, the head of the lab, for just taking me in with this crazy idea. The whole team was super helpful and always took a lot of time to answer my questions. And I had a lot of them :)

© Antonia Ablass