Greinasafni: Afþreying einnig undir: Icelandic Times
Creativity and Design
Artists and Designers’ Market at Hús Handanna in Egilsstaðir
Bright green, blue and orange strips of reindeer leather, knitted together into fashionable fingerless gloves and tunics, pop out of Hús Handanna’s display in Egilsstaðir. A joint effort by several of the creative communities that have cropped up around East Iceland, Hús Handanna perpetuates local handicraft traditions, while tapping into a new creative energy sparked by Iceland’s aptitude for design.
All raw materials for products come from the region and run the gamut from reindeer hide and horns to recycled materials salvaged by ingenious designers who reassemble them into centerpieces of home décor.

A Collaborative Creative Community
After its successful launch in 2010, Hús Handanna has managed to grow consistently over the past year and reinforce the efforts of Þorpið, ‘the Village’, a project that intends to establish a collaborative creative community in East Iceland. Hús Handanna supports product development by working with designers and artists to grow ideas into products and then markets them at their shop in Egilsstadir. Icelandic artists such as painters, woodworkers and clothing designers have all found a home for their products at Hús Handanna.
Traditional items are also found at Hús Handanna, particularly food such as birch syrup extracted from the trees that cover much of East Iceland or jam made from berries that seem to grow everywhere.
The sustainable use of resources remains an integral part of Hús Handanna. It advises designers on how to sustainably use materials from the region to produce handiwork that promotes both local design and environmentally friendly techniques.

Sharing develops originality
Hús Handanna’s efforts to coordinate workshops, where people can learn techniques and share their knowledge have spurred novel products, often putting a spin on an original design by integrating a new material or pattern into something classic.
Designers often merge East Icelandic culture with local raw materials to create items distinctly different from their Reykjavik counterparts.
The richness of folk tales in East Iceland’s countryside, coupled a knack for reinvention, has produced items like wood carvings of the legendary worm that is supposed to live in the lake near Hallormsstaður.
To get more information about the artists and products displayed, please visit the tourist information centre in Egilsstaðir or visit Hús Handanna’s website, which will launch this winter.

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