Iceland is famous for having many excellent designers, and I was hoping to look up as many as I could find during our stay. Then, a few days before we left home, an Icelandic Facebook friend who runs Islenska Butasaumssidan posted about the event “Handverk og Hönnun” (craft and design) which were to take place in Reykjavik.
It was to open in the Town Hall a couple of days before we were due home.
Now, how lucky is that!
Instead of racing all over town and country to see designers’ products, they would all be gathered in one spot, – or many of them would be, in any case. A date was immediately fixed on our schedule.
The Town Hall is situated on the edge of the city pond, and halfway into it.
We chose to arrive there on Friday morning, on the second day, avoiding the crowds on the opening day. The welcome banners were flying outside the entrance, so it was easy to find the way.
We were not the first to arrive, though, – far from it.
After scanning the area from above, we descended on the show floor and started the tour from booth to booth.
Almost the first stand we hit upon was this one with the hand bags.
They are made by Helena Sólbrá, and she uses a lot of fish skin for part of, or the whole of, her bags.
She buys the fish skins from someone in the north of Iceland, who prepares skin from many kinds of fish. They are very well done, as the fish smell is totally absent, – they smell only of ordinary leather. Some are also dyed.
I had been hoping to find something like this, and since I had some birthday money to spend, one of these beauties came home with me.
Next we stopped at Thorunn Simónadottir from Gallery hjá Totu. It is a mother and daughter company where they make many things textile, including quilts, according to their home page.
At the fair, they were mostly showing their beautiful hats.
Thorunn showed us the branch from a tree which they had to cut down recently on their farm. She brought the branch, which had big yellow-green buds on it, to hang the yellowish hats on, – it was a lovely sight. Sadly, the colours do not show up very well in the photos I took.
Trees are not abundant in Iceland, so felling a big one is not an easy decision to make, but this one had to go, as its roots were ruining their underground pipes, she informed us.
Then the booth of Gudrún Bjarnadóttir of Hespa caught my eye.
She had a table full of hand dyed Lopi yarn, dyed only with natural colours.
She also had knitted items for sale.
I could not pass on this, so a few skeins of beautiful Lopi went into my bag, – they were dyed twice with cochenille and indigo.
The next booth, Amanda & Svava Rvk, made me almost sorry that none of us are expecting, as they had the cutest baby boots made of, – you probably guessed it already: – fish skin.
Hugrún Ívarsdóttir had beautiful table runners and aprons for sale. They are made from her own design, inspired by the patterns on the traditional Icelandic bread “Laufabraud” (leafbread), and on the traditional Norwegian “krumkaker”.
She has studied design in Denmark, has relations in Oslo and speaks beautifully Norwegian, and she has her textile designs woven in Finland. A truly Nordic experience.
I always make “krumkaker” for Christmas, and next Christmas we will have a table runner with krumkake-design on our table.
On her website you can see more of her designs.
The shoes above are the design and make of Halldora Eydis Jonsdottir. In addition to raw materials like leather from lamb and horse, she also uses fish skin….
… horse hair..
… and unique lava crystals taken from 200 meters underground of the Lake Myvatn area.
An amazing collection of shoes.
Fish skin seemed to be the really big thing at this fair, – or maybe it was just me noticing it.
Here it is used for brooches and other decor at the Volcanic-Iceland booth.
The variety of products was large. I had to stop and admire these beautiful knives made by Stefan Haukur Erlingsson.
They were beautiful.
There were also booths which showed different kinds of clothes, ceramics, and jewellery of almost every imaginable kind.
Last, I am showing some jewellery from Mariacarmen:
Would you have guessed that the roses are made from lemon rind?
After walking the floor for some time, it felt good to sit down in the nearby cafe to enjoy a cup of coffee while gazing out of the large windows ….
… which gave a splendid view of the life on the pond.
I wish we could have spent more time there, but we were on to other things in the afternoon.
However, on this page there is a list of all the booth holders, and you can click on their names for a description, contact information, and websites. I have enjoyed re-visiting a lot of them after I got home.