Product designer Hjörtur Matthías Skulason is a 2013 graduate of the Iceland Academy of the Arts.
His graduation project KER is a set of three clay containers that can be used for preparation, cooking and serving of food.

Multifunctional and usable in several different ways both individually and together, Skulason designed KER to fit shrinking kitchen cupboards of modern homes.


The project also brings past to present both in terms of material and preparation methods.

Historical artefacts from all over the world show that the spread of the clay pot was global. The preparation and cooking of food in clay containers is built on a tradition that humans have been developing for thousands of years.


Skulason studied the culinary heritage and preparation methods – salting, smoking and pickling – of Iceland’s northern regions.

Old methods for preparing and storing food were based on natural processes and were therefore
environmentally friendly.

Fish was often simply gutted and hung up somewhere cold and preferably windy.
Fish and meat were both placed in brine; but one could say that the uniqueness of Icelandic cuisine has mainly come from pickling. Whey was used for the pickling of mutton, and both offal and prime meat were stored in skyr whey.

Smoking was also a process that was very widespread in northern regions. Most nations smoked with hardwood charcoal, but here in Iceland supplies were very limited and birch is our only native hardwood. Since there was not a wealth of productive forests to plunder, Icelanders came up with ‘tað’ instead. Tað (dried sheep manure) produces a mild smoke and therefore a good smoke flavour.


The project was exhibited at Reykjavik Art Museum in the LHÍ Student Show 2013.
Images courtesy of the designer

This is our second edition of our yearly round-up of final projects by brand new designers graduating from the Iceland Academy of the Arts.