Heidi Bjornsdatter Thorvik and I got to meet Marleen Engbersen who is Claudy Jongstra “left hand” and collaborator for more than 15 years. We came home with our heads and suitcases full of pictures, samples, films, stories, brochures and lots of inspiration for our own projects. We are so proud and grateful to have met such a resource and promoter of important values and I would like to introduce this amazing artist for those of you who does not know her. 

Claudy Jongstra (f1963) is an Dutch artist who creates art pieces and architectural installations from hand feltet material.  Her work is deeply rooted in the love and care for nature and cultural heritage. She is dedicated to the values he conveys, resulting in a secluded lifestyle on her own farm where she cultivates, harvests and dries all the materials for her art.  She raise her own herd of a Dutch sheep breed,  cultivate a botanical garden and grow plants for dying.  As they became aware of the bees being endangered they even started keeping their own hives, as a small contribution to their survival.


For Claudy Jongstra there exists no “art pour l´art” what she does needs to be meaningful. She is constantly seeking inner knowledge, looking for connections in everything she does.  “I connect natural history and cultural history and this requires a permanent study” she says.

Her work includes exploration of techniques such as spinning, carding, weaving, embroidery and felting. It’s not about  romanticizing the past or a desire to go back in time, but about making new things from old knowledge and handicrafts. Get people to open themselves against this as they feel the inspiration and know the authenticity of Jongstra artwork.

Claudy Jongstra have had great international success. She collaborates with architects to create large installations in buildings.  Amongst other things, she was responsible for the beautification of Public Library in Amsterdam, Barnes Museum in USA, St. Elisabeth Hospital, the Netherlands and the Lincoln Center for perfoming arts in the United States.

Her work is also included in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New York, and the Frisian Museum in Leeuwarden.


After many years of reconstruction the San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA) will open May 2016 starting with a Mural Programme for the next coming years.  Claudy Jongstra has been chosen to be the first artist to create such a ‘Mural’ with the impressive size of  approximately 100 square meters.

They are currently working on the research and sketches for this piece. As Claudy Jongstra always is looking for the deeper understanding and beauty in our natural environment,  Marleen tells me that for this piece they will explore the opportunities of the nature in the areas around San Fransisco. They are especially looking for the opportunities of the local minerals  which are so famous in California, will give for their art.   The final piece can be seen at the ‘Grand Opening’  at SF MOMA next year.

I will definitely follow up with an article about it at a later state.

Please check out Claudy Jongstras website for more information.  

All photos in this article is used with the consent of Claudy Jongstra.