And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul – John Muir
Oregon forest captured by Canadian artist Landon Parenteau
One of my favorite places to explore is the beautiful ecosystems of British Columbia Forests: Nakusp, BC. It is one of those beauties I have had the pleasure to trundle around and find fascination in. The mornings here are misty and damp in the early spring. The forest trees drip the most beautifully delicate, lacy moss in various green textures and colorful shades.
Much of our inspiration for moss walls comes from these diverse and lush BC forests, hence the significance of referring our creative work as Forest Art.
While admiring the beauty of these forests, being mindful of the delicate plants that thrive in these environments is something we must educate ourselves about and collectively preserve for future generations.
Part of Forage + Design’s responsibility is working towards maintaining high standards when sourcing products that align with the sustainability of our environment. Our commitment to sustainable best practices starts from our initial conversations with our suppliers, customers, and internal teams. Our process includes asking questions, having conversations, and purchasing mindfully.
Preservation and energy: Our products are real plants and mosses that have been preserved by our suppliers through natural oils and food dye, which allows them to maintain their soft texture, form and flexibility. This process of preserving stabilizes the plants and moss to have similar characteristics as if real but without the costly resources and energy of water irrigation and plant spectrum lighting.
Sources: The plants and mosses we use are grown in Norway, Italy, France, and Spain. While these places are far from Canada and not energy efficient when it comes to shipping. We only source from farms that specialize in the preserving process and harvest where the mosses are then left to regrow. Our suppliers work with farms that show a strong commitment to sustainability and follow strict ecological practices in their businesses. Moss is a very slow growing plant or rather ‘Bryophytes’ therefore we only secure products that are grown in controlled environments and not taken from the natural, wild forests.
Longevity: Preserved moss and plants are stabilized in the state as if they are still real. These products still carry characteristics as if they were living elements and as such are still delicate and need the right environments to ‘Thrive’.
Vancouver, BC forest and studio captured by Rob Trendiak. http://robtrendiak.com/
While the biggest factors of moss wall damage come from humidity fluctuations, direct sunlight, and human touch; it is important to remember that our products are still real! Different environments can affect them in a variety of ways – from color changing (light or darker) to misshaping and shrinking over time.
Sustainability and environmental impact are some of the questions we are continually keeping in conversations with our suppliers, clients and each other. We have an obligation in educating ourselves in where and how our products and practices continuously shape our decisions and guiding principles.
This Earth Day, we’re reminded of the importance in exploring green technologies and protecting precious ecosystems in our own communities. The special nuanced textures and layers of nature are truly astounding, and we can work together in protecting these outdoor art galleries.