Holiday Greetings and New Year Wishes

It’s the reflection time of year and here’s what we have been up to in 2022. 

The world has opened up again and we have been on the move! We welcomed student groups from Iceland University of the Arts, VMA Vocational School in Akureyri, Reykjavík School of Visual Arts, Concordia University in Montreal and KP University in Copenhagen throughout the year. Students are coming to Blönduós to study, learn and experiment using Textile Center expertise and facilities including the TextileLab. We travelled to South Greenland and the Faroe Islands to meet with our collaborators from "Wool of the North” (a Textile Center-led and NORA-funded project focusing on wool tourism), participated in the CENTRINNO consortium meeting held in Barcelona and the Fabricademy Bootcamp in Geneva in preparation for the start of Fabricademy in Blönduós. 

Fabricademy - Textile Academy is a cooperative network of textile labs around the world with a focus on the implementation of new technologies in textile processing. The program is interdisciplinary and divided into two main parts; a course with (online) lectures from September to December 2022 and an independent research project from January to March 2023. Five students are now staying in Blönduós and participating in the program, working in our TextileLab in Blönduós as well as the FabLab in Sauðárkrókur and BioPol in Skagaströnd under the guidance of Louise Massacrier, our local instructor.

In the autumn, we welcomed project partners from Spain and Poland working with us on "Allure", an Erasmus+ funded project led by the Ministry of Education in Galicia, and developed the course “Heldurþú Þræði'' with the University of Iceland, our partners within CENTRINNO.  The course for textile entrepreneurs was also an idea competition and taught online from September - November with 45 participants in total. The award ceremony took place in the TextileLab. Competition winners were Linda Friðriksdóttir (3rd place) with her idea "Húseinangrun" where wool is used along with stone wool to isolate buildings; in second place was Kristín S. Gunnarsdóttir with her idea "Mjúkull - yfirdýna fyrir náttúrubörn", comforters filled with Icelandic wool. The winner was Elín Jóna Traustadóttir with her “cosy pillow” idea "VæruKær kúrukoddi". 

We invited members from the community and others to try our TextileLab during open days and weekends and also offered several different workshops throughout the year: on CLO-3D, biotextiles and bacterial dyeing, for example, in collaboration with Shemakes, another European project the Textile Center was part of. 

In October, we hosted one third of the Centrinno consortium fall meeting in Blönduós; the three-day event was simultaneously held in Paris and Milan. The Iceland pilot team organized two workshops, including a workshop with representatives from local government where we discussed the development of the Textile Center as a FabCity Hub and platform where people share knowledge, skills and have the opportunity to research and develop textiles in a wider context. 

We are still a small team (seven people, or 3.8% full-time staff members on an annual basis), but there were more projects on our "to do" list: In collaboration with Farskólinn NV, the Distance Learning Center in Sauðárkrokur and Icelandic universities we supervised distance exams in Kvennaskólinn, organized a one-day conference on wool innovation and tourism in Iceland and an open meeting with textile stakeholders to discuss the formation of cooperation on Textile Cluster.

We started preparing for a new Europe Horizon project called “Tracks4Crafts” that the Textile Center will participate in 2023 and published our annual Art Residency Catalog. Ós Residency was fully booked with 57 artists from 14 countries staying with us in 2022, hosting open houses, art exhibitions and Instagram takeovers throughout the year. Take a look at our Instagram (@textilmidstod) if you are interested. 

We wish all of our collaborators, visitors and friends a merry Christmas, happy holidays and success in the coming year!

The Textile Center staff