There is so much going on in the Icelandic jewellery design scene at the moment! Have you already seen the Finnish-Icelandic jewelry exhibition Water and Earth currently on display in World Design Capital Helsinki 2012?

The latest addition  is Orri Finn who recently released his first collection Akkeri, inspired by seamanship and anchors.


What’s your background in jewelry design?

I studied to become a goldsmith in Reykjavik but also trained as a diamond and stone setter in New York. I lived in NY for 10 years where I started as a diamond runner and bit by bit ended up specializing in diamond setting. There, I mainly worked for large jewelry manufacturers like Tiffany‘s.

I‘ve always been making my own jewelry on the side. Now, I feel it‘s time to start focusing more on it.

For the first time I actually had a partner in my jewelry making. Helga G. Friðriksdóttir has been working in the jewelry business for years. She designed the Anchor collection with me. She also happens to be my partner in life and luckily we make a great team!


Why did you choose to launch a collection on anchors?

First of all for aesthetic reasons, it is a beautiful symbol. The anchor is also an international symbol, we all know it. For me, as a boy growing up by the sea it has a strong meaning and a relation to my roots and identity. In Iceland, we are surrounded by the sea and the culture related to it, I‘m sure nearly everyone has a relative that‘s gone to sea. In a way, with this collection I am celebrating the sea in a poetic way. The sea takes us off into the unknown, but without an anchor we are only drifting. The anchor allows us to travel forward, sailing to adventures across the water, but holding firm to the places we choose as home.


Tell me about the making of your pieces?

I make the anchors out of silver and gold, there has to be gold! I‘ve also been experimenting with mixing precious metals with leather, cotton and copper. I make them in my own little „shoebox goldsmith studio“ at home. Very cosy.


What’s your view on the current state of Icelandic jewellery design?

I‘m very happy with how many people are making jewelry on such a small island. It‘s good that so many are still interested in goldsmithing and it can be a good thing that many are not afraid to start making jewelry without any goldsmith education or experience. It‘s not all to my taste but that‘s not important.


What in your opinion defines great jewelry design?

First of all a good idea, that‘s what is most important. It neither needs to be complicated nor aim to impress, basic things can be very beautiful. I also feel that craftsmanship and certain old school skills like carving are intriguing.

For more on Orri Finn, see here. The Anchor collection is available at Aftur, Rhodium, Meba-Rhodium and ATMO in Reykjavik.


Images courtesy of Orri Finn, photographer Bjarni Gríms