I set up my company, Hring eftir hring, in 2009 after making a very special ring as a part of a project during my studies at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts. When I made this ring, the Ring of Leaves, I had no idea where it would actually lead me and to tell you the truth the ring was more of a fun experiment to me then a design item meant for anybody else to wear but myself. I am a civil engineer by education and was at that time working for an architectural company in Iceland.
I had been studying oil painting for a few years along with my work and had finally decided to follow my real passion for art and design and go study to become an artist. But the ring I made changed my path and I postponed my studies, just before I started. To explain what I mean more clearly, I'll start with the name of my company.
"Hring eftir hring" is an old Icelandic saying that you use when things repeat themselves or "travel in circles", like for example when you get back in contact with something or someone you thought was lost to you forever. Or when something old becomes new again, like the styles that become trendy again. But "Hring eftir hring" also means "one ring after another ring" or "ring after ring" and that is pretty much how my adventure with Hring eftir hring began. I simply made one ring as a part of a school project, using materials that where lost to me and I hadn't used for many many years. When wearing my Ring of Leaves people kept coming up to me wanting one too, so I made another one and then another one… or like we would say in Icelandic, a Ring after ring. The ring became so popular in Reykjavík, people where waiting in lines at the store on delivery days to get one for themselves and some had to leave empty handed. After the Ring of Leaves and the collection I later designed around it, I have designed two other jewelry collections for Hring eftir hring. The Tea Party is inspired by the Mad Hatters Tea Party in the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the Pirouette collection is inspired by the wonderful scenery of the old traveling circus. We also work with other Icelandic designers. In November we will launch a new collection of accessories for both genders designed by a young product designer Jón Helgi for Hring eftir hring in cooperation with me, consisting of a wooden tie that is inspired by the human back bone, a bracelet and necklace. In March next year we will launch a new collection by myself, Steinunn Vala.We and the people who work for us love to work with their hands and we love to be able to give them the opportunity to do so. Some work at home, others at our studio and workshop in Reykjavík, others at their own workshops. All of our items are worked slowly by hand by us and our friends, the best craftsmen in their fields: Muggi the furniture carpenter (who uses a secret technique to bend the wood for The Tea Party pieces), Ásta the dental technician (who took a creative take on tooth implants when making The Do Do Dove Ring), Svafa Björg the ceramist (a master in mould making, as you’ll see in The Tea Party pieces) and Stefán Bogi the goldsmith (who works his magic for The Tea Party rings).We like to let the handwork show. That’s why each Hring eftir hring item is slightly different from the others, each one is unique.
Founded in 2009 by former civil engineer Steinunn Vala Sigfúsdóttir, Hring Eftir Hring is a jewelry brand with a sense of humor. “I want it to be something that is beautiful, but could also be a little…