Filming Mary Merkel-Hess

For our NATURE episode, we filmed with Mary Merkel-Hess in her Iowa City studio. Merkel-Hess works with reeds, paper cords, and a mixture similar to papier-mâché to create sculptural basket-like forms that she calls “Landscape Reports.” Her work is inspired by the natural surroundings in Iowa, including the shapes, colors, and grasses of the prairie. Her continual use of the basket form is another symbolic reference to nature and life as it carries and stores the earth’s bounty.