All posts filed under: Goldsmith and Jewelry Design


Talismans by Katrín Ólína

Designer Katrín Ólína disappeared, plunged herself headlong into the fantastical realms of the self. After a spiritual journey that lasted many years, she finally returned, bringing with her talismans that serve as embodiments of man’s archetypes. Text by Elísabet V. Ingvarsdóttir, Photos by Arnar Fells og Sebastian Janson, Translation by Sindri Eldon A mysterious woman stands dressed in a dark robe in the high tower of Helsinki Observatory, a venerable white building dating back to the middle of the nineteenth century. She receives her visitors one by one as they ascend the narrow spiral staircase into a forgotten world; the old telescope with its rusted gears, the creaking floorboards, speak to a time long past. Haphazardly arranged display cases can be seen, each one containing curious artifacts. More are displayed in vitrines leaning against the walls of the circular space. Upon closer inspection, the artifacts are revealed to be necklaces, aspects of designer Katrín Ólína Pétursdóttir’s latest work. We are at an exhibition, one of many at this fall’s Helsinki Design Week, where the necklaces …

Hidden Wood

Driftwood in design

Driftwood is the subject of an exhibition in Djúpavík at Strandir, one of the most enchanting places in the Westfjords of Iceland. The exhibition, HIDDEN WOOD – Driftwood in design, focuses on the diverse opportunities hidden in Icelandic driftwood, on an island that is largely devoid of wooden areas. Text: Arnar Fells / Photos: Halla E. Hansen & curiators Ever since the first settlers arrived to the shores of Iceland, driftwood has been a valuble commodity, used as building material for ships and houses. The coastline of Strandir has always been bombarded with driftwood so the area must have played an significant role in a country with only small forests. In the middle ages it was common belief that the trees grew at the bottom of the ocean, north of Iceland but now we know that most of the driftwood travels a long way from Siberia before reaching the shores of Iceland. It is no surprise then that the farmers at Strandir are known as people of great craftsmanship, selling carved artefacts and household tools all over Iceland. The exhibition Hidden Wood is meant …

Exquisite Craftsmanship

The current state of the Icelandic goldsmith trade

The Association of Icelandic Goldsmiths celebrated its 90 year anniversary last October, and the Icelandic Museum of Design and Applied Art held the anniversary exhibition, Prýði, to mark the occasion. Author: Harpa Þórsdóttir / photographer Íris Stefánsdóttir The exhibition ran from October 18, 2014, to January 25, 2015. The display format was unconventional in that the items on show were selected not by a curator but by the craftsmen themselves, with all association members invited to send in examples of their work. The exhibition thus provided an excellent opportunity to reflect upon the current state of the Icelandic gold & silversmith trade. The decision to allow goldsmiths to choose their own creations for display is a more open approach than placing the choice in the hands of a curator or selection committee. This gave younger goldsmiths the perfect opportunity to step forward… …Despite the fact that Icelandic gold & silversmithing have a long and rich history, we don’t seem to have created the conditions that would allow goldsmiths with the requisite talent and ambition to …