Iceland is known as the land of fire and ice. For the past eight years Reykjavík based ceramic artist Kristbjörg Guðmundsdóttir has been perfecting the crystallized glazes she has lovingly dubbed fire roses. Guðmundsdóttir told FoodWaterShoes that the name fire roses comes from a fun play on the Icelandic word frostrósir. Frostrósir translates quite literally to frost roses and it is the word that Icelanders often use to refer to the pattern of icy crystals that pop up across window panes during the dead of winter.
Like snowflakes, no two pieces of Guðmundsdóttir’s fire roses are identical. That’s because each piece grows in its own unique way once she places it into the kiln in her studio. It takes about 48 hours for her to create each piece depending on the size and the shape of the item.
While her fire roses are a relatively new line, Guðmundsdóttir is cemented in Reyjavík’s proud art scene and has been crafting beautiful ceramic works for dozens of years.
Savvy foodies will spy Guðmundsdóttir’s work on the table at Dill, Iceland’s first (and only) restaurant to receive a Michelin star this year. In fact, at one point Guðmundsdóttir told us that her studio was filled with (clean of course) Dill dishes. Dill’s custom order reputedly took Guðmundsdóttir months to complete since the team there ordered 40 plates, 40 cups and 40 bowls from her for the restaurant.
You also may notice that Dill’s tasty dishes are also plated on Guðmundsdóttir pieces throughout its gorgeous cook book, “North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland.”
While it is possible to pick up Guðmundsdóttir’s pieces in a couple locations in Iceland, we truly enjoyed visiting the artist in person at her home studio.
Meeting Guðmundsdóttir, chatting with her about her work and seeing her studio is quite a treat.
Helpful Tip: Just make sure you try to contact her ahead of your visit, so you’re sure she’s at home. As can be expected, prices are significantly lower if you purchase from the artist directly, but you must pay in cash. Guðmundsdóttir is also willing and able to ship pieces on a case by case basis.
Address: Hvassaleiti 119
103 Reykjavík, Iceland
*Purchases at the artist’s studio are cash only.
**Kristbjörg Guðmundsdóttir’s ceramic pieces are also available at the Uplifun gift shop inside the Harpa in Reykjavík and at Borgarhóll Art & Crafts in Seyðisfjörður. Both places accept credit cards.
Hours: Hours Vary/Contact the Artist for a Viewing
Phone: +354 860-8104
Prices (All in Icelandic Króna or ISK): Small Salad/Dessert Plates 100, Urns 250