In the small village of Spannum, in the Dutch province of Friesland, Claudy Jongstra heads a felt-design studio whose modesty in process and material belie its overwhelming commercial appeal and architectural scale.
Claudy Jongstra kneels with a family cat in the yard behind her office and home, which she shares with her partner, Claudia Busson, and their two sons, Eabal and Jesk. Behind her is a small dinghy that the family uses to navigate the numerous irrigation canals that traverse the farmlands throughout Friesland. Despite its modest scale, Jongstra’s studio has worked on major collaborations with Hella Jongerius,Tord Boontje, Steven Holl, andRem Koolhaas, in addition tofashion design for Alexander van Slobbe and costume work for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
Jongstra’s flock of Drenthe Heath and Schoonebeeker sheep are sheared yearly and provide the raw material for most of her work. The sheep roam the countryside as part
of a conservation initiative to help reinforce the polders and dykes throughout the province.
Tiles of natural felt dot the walls in the Universitair Medisch Centrum, Utrecht. Jongstra was asked to create a warmer feeling for this wing of the medical center, where people come for radiation and chemotherapy treatment.
An architectural model for Claus en Kaan’s dome-shaped conference area for the House for Culture and Government in Nijverdal, which will be covered by 204 pieces of felt measuring approximately 16,000 square feet total. Jongstra’s studio will also produce a wallpaper and tapestries for a multifunctional space in the building.