Metamorphosis are geometrical objects for the home.

 

 
The collection consists of five objects made of The Mallard, The Great Cormorant and The red-breasted Merganser.

Methamorphosis is a new take on taxidermy and uses only material previously discarded by icelandic hunters, but by tanning the birds skin it becomes extremely soft and flexible.

 

 

Taxidermy is the human longing for beauty and wonder, story and allegory. Ever since the 16th century you can find taxidermy inside homes, displayed on shelfs or by the fireplace as any other object.

 

Each year 300 000 birds are shot in Iceland and after the meat has been taken out the bird is thrown away.
The only time the bird is used is for taxidermy, although there are possibilities for tanning the leather for goods.

No animals were killed specially for this project. The designer only used birds that were already shot and on the way to the bin, trying to capture the beauty of this material.


 
Tanning is the process of treating skins of animals to produce leather.

 

 

The largest tanning factory in Europe is located in Sauðárkrókur, Northern Iceland. I spent a few days there to learn about the process of tanning skin.

 


What were the inspirations for this project?


I was inspired in taxidermy and the fact that there are 300.000 birds shot in Iceland each year for fine delicacy and once the meat has been removed the hide is thrown away, although there are ways to tan it like skin from most other animals. And almost the only time this material is used today is for taxidermy!

 

I found this being an extremely beautiful and underutilized material that could be value of, and I explored the potential to use the bird to the full, I put myself in contact with icelandic hunters, and worked with this by-product, the bird skin,

Most of us have never even touched such a material, but mounted birds are usually forbidden to touch, -because they’re too fragile.

 

During the Graduation exhibition I wanted to encourage people to touch these objects and because I have tanned these bird hides, they have the same qualities as any other leather. Extremely soft and flexible.

And because the hide is not in it’s traditional shape, -birdshape, people find it easier to handle them and look at it as a material not as animals but by preserving and displaying the animal it is in a way showed respect, instead of being thrown away.

These objects provoke a certain feeling while being touched and the experience is undefined and in a way wandering, these objects are what you define they are.


How do you see the items used?


I see them as objects for the home.

Taxidermy has been around for many centuries and even goes back to the beginning of mankind. It was extremely popular during the Victorian era, then peoples homes were often filled with mounted animals from all over the world but today taxidermy is less popular and some people are even disgusted by it.

I believe that we are in a way missing authenticity in our lives but today people prefer sleek and shiny, mass produced things that we surround ourselves with.

But truth to be told, this is life, it’s a fact that we shoot animals for food, and therefore we should be using them to the full instead of throwing away this precious material.

I hope that these objects triggers some creative minds that can see this material used in more ways instead of being thrown away.

 

This project is open in that way that it has potential of further implementation, and points out how with the use of design it is possible to increase the value of the birds hide and eventually singularize it.

The results are these five geometrical objects, made from Mallard, The Great Cormorant and The Red-breasted Merganser all that had previously been shot for fine delicacy by various icelandic hunters.

 

How does the Icelandic design scene look through the eyes of a graduating designer?


Wow difficult question. Exciting is the first word that comes to my mind!

There are so many paths yet to be explored and open minded people.

Designers in Iceland are able to walk into any company and they are welcomed opened arms, and that fact i love about the icelandic design scene.

In Iceland the line between handcraft and design is often blurry and ‘easy’ design seems to be very popular amongst people. Laser cut Iceland as coasters, clocks, mirrors, necklaces and the list goes on (seriously) has been too popular for too long as ‘Icelandic design’. But don’t get me wrong, there are some super talented designers here and I wish they would get half the attention the products i listed before are getting.

That will change, I’m sure. I think the only way for icelandic design now is upwards!

 

What is good product design in your opinion?


For me good design is not always about being functional and or even always good looking.

If it has a story to tell and is honest, then it’s often a good design.

But the way we use materials today and the way we produce things is a key factor in good design and what all designers should keep behind their ears. If not, then we are just being useless.

 

Metamorphosis is on display at the Iceland Academy of the Arts graduation exhibition at Reykjavik Art Museum Hafnarhús until May 6th.

 

Studio Photos by Héðinn Eiríksson

Courtesy of Svana Lovísa Kristjánsdóttir