Knife maker - Palli Kristjansson - Reykjavik
Visiting the knife maker is an experience we highly recommend. While there, walk around the village, walk to the waterfall and have some coffee at the café. It's a wonderful little haven within the town of Mosfellsbær you really should experience.
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In a charming and rustic workshop, situated in the beautiful Álafosskvos, Mosfellsbær, just 15 minutes from downtown Reykjavik, you'll find the last professional knife maker in Iceland.
Handcrafting each one in a traditional Viking method means that every knife has its own unique characteristics, with no two blades being exactly the same. The knife maker, Palli Kristjánsson, though a master craftsman, is as much an artist. He diligently handpicks each of the materials used in the production and carves intricate figures in the handles, thus creating a beautiful and reliable final product.
For the handles, Palli uses different materials, such as reindeer antlers, hooves and bones from sheep and cow, teeth and bones from whales as well as fossilised tree or brown coal. In addition to that, Palli personally roams the countryside of Iceland, seeking out hard-to-find materials he can use, including different types of Icelandic stone. In any case, the handle is guaranteed to be unique and intriguing, completely made with Icelandic materials.
The blades however are imported. That certainly doesn't imply less quality, but rather the opposite, as a craftsman he demands specific types of steel, such as Damascus steel and hand-made Iron Age and Viking Age style designs from Denmark. Lastly, the sheaths are custom made as well, created from different materials, such as leatherand the skins of fish and seal. Just like the handles, the sheaths often feature delicate patterns and carvings.
A visit to Palli Kristjánsson's workshop in Mosfellsbær is most definitely worth the trip. It's located in a wonderful little village-within-village, right by a cute little waterfall - Álafoss - surrounded by cool shops and stores, such as the Álafoss Wool Product store, a great café and with Gljúfrasteinn museum not far off, dedicated to the life and work of Nobel prize winning author Halldór Laxness.