Greinasafni: Icelandic Times einnig undir: List
The Ultimate Souvenir
 By Palli the Knife Maker
In a quiet and secluded dale just outside Mosfellsbær, you’ll find a narrow street, bustling with creativity, centered around the diminutive Álafoss waterfall. There you’ll find Palli the Knife-maker toiling in his workshop making timeless pieces of art in the form of knives. Each knife, being unique, makes it the ultimate souvenir, a matchless item for the collector, the absolute tool of the hunter or simply a thing of great beauty.

A visit to Palli’s open workshop in Álafoss, Mosfellsbær is an experience– the blades, dangling from the ceiling, his collection of animal skulls, the piles of exotic materials, the 75 year-old dentist drill he uses for delicate carvings and the view of the waterfall outside his window all make for a delightful visit.

Exotic Materials

The knives are what make your visit worthwhile. Palli is a true pioneer and an exceptional artist who labours over his craft for days on end. He uses materials from all over the world and is particularly fond of using Icelandic materials. These include reindeer, sheep and cattle horns, elm and horses’ hooves , and wood from various types of Icelandic trees.

Palli is always looking for exotic materials to work with, including walrus and whale teeth, and ivory (legally obtained, of course.) Palli hand-sews each hardened leather sheath specifically to fit each knife. The blades themselves are either hand-made copies of Iron Age or Viking Age designs from Denmark, Damascus steel, or factory-produced blades from other parts of Scandinavia.

Labour of Love

A testament to Palli’s dedication to his craft is his use of ancient brown coal, which he has to dry for six years. Palli exposes the brown coal to more and more oxygen by piercing a tiny hole each day with a needle through an isolating plastic covering. For those less patient, the brown coal, which is actually a fossilised tree, would dry too fast, splinter and crumble. Palli has made over 2,500 knives but never tires of his craft. “No knife is the same, even if I use the same material, it never comes out the same. I try to let the material I’m working with each time decide what the final product will look like, so I’m never repeating myself and I’m always equally excited with each knife I make. In fact, my friends tell me I never work, instead I just play all day long,” says Palli. It’s best to call Palli before visiting – he might be out looking for fresh materials. He has a good selection of knives available in his shop, but he can also custom-make knives to your specifications, which can be shipped to your doorstep, as well as those you’ll find on his website.

Palli the Knife Maker
Álafossvegur 29 • 270 Mosfellsbæ
+354 566 7408 / +354 899 6903


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