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Geysers, goats and greenery / 02nd November 2016 Back

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They said she should have gone to Iceland, so Marissa did!

So we thought we’d do a quick Q&A to see what it was all about: -

What was it that drew you towards Iceland?

After a very busy Easter Monday (at the launch of the Gallery@OMP after two months of planning) I was in need of respite so it was great to head off to explore Iceland – mixing business with pleasure.

Where was your favourite place?

No trip to Iceland would be complete without the obligatory dip in the Blue Lagoon which is one of the wonders of the world and I can now see why. I only scratched the surface of what Iceland has to offer so I'm already planning my return visit.

Did you try on a lopapeysa or two? [ The traditional circular yoke patterned sweater.]

I regret not buying one of these unique lopapaysa pieces after seeing the prices and styles of the ones in Reykjavik. Beautiful knitwear can be found all over the Island and the yarn is spun at the Istex Mill in Mosfellsbaer. Icelandic wool from the local sheep is only processed here and being the Northern most City in a sovereign state it is also worn by both locals and tourists to keep toasty warm. 

Was it a woolly wonderland?

Icelandic wool is unique and consists of two types of fibres: 

(a) inner fibres which are fine, soft, highly insulating; and

(b) outer fibres which are long, glossy, and water-repellent. 

Together, these two distinctive fibres make a garment that Icelanders are able to wear without the need for an overcoat as they repel rain.  The lopapaysa are lightweight and keep you warm and comfortable.  They’re also breathable - body moisture is wicked away from the skin, keeping the wearer dry and comfortable.

What inspired you in Iceland?

I stared out of the window as we drove through Reykjavik and North between mountains, over bridges, through under water tunnels and finally down a long track to reach the perfectly remote Vogur Country Lodge. Never has a hotel been so surprising with its unassuming exterior, 360 views of snow capped mountains and the bay of a thousand islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. The sun went down over several hours as we took many pictures and perused the varied patterns and colours of the traditional Icelandic knitting often sold at hotels.

It wouldn’t be right to have craft return to the Old Mayor’s Parlour without including Marissa Thereze Knitwear. Marissa is known to many Herefordians and quality craft-lovers from the West Midlands, Wales and beyond as part of the team that turned a Christmas pop-up three years ago into a stunning craft gallery which solved the gift-giving needs and spoil myself moments of many. 

Marissa’s latest wearable and accessory pieces are in The Craft Gallery’s first showcase from 1st November to 31 January 2016. Together with the work of seven other established or emerging contemporary artisans, featuring blown-glass, plus thrown pots, upholstery, ceramic sculpture, jewellery, mixed-media paintings and line drawings.

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