Nature-Inspired Accessories

Icelandic biodiversity in the work of four jewelry designers

Even if you’ve never been to Iceland, you’ve probably seen images of its otherworldly landscape that hint at what a central role nature plays in shaping visual culture there. The following Icelandic designers have taken the idea to heart with jewelry that incorporates organic forms and patterns, or in one case, a living plant itself. We found these four standouts from the ever-growing world of natural design at Iceland’s DesignMarch earlier this year.


Maria Kristin’s
gorgeous drop-shaped necklace won her first prize in the recent Hendrikka Waage jewelry competition. While the pattern cutout could easily be interpreted as based on a honeycomb, crystal or Moroccan tile, the polished metal form takes inspiration from a mother’s womb, as Kristin herself had just become a mother briefly before the design process. The design also symbolizes mankind’s innate responsibility to protect nature even while living in our artificial world.

ice-image1.jpg ice-image-1.5.jpg

Crossing the line between manmade and nature’s design, HAF byHafstein Juliusson‘s Growing Jewelry is just that, growing. The concept, which first debuted in 2008, has yet to be interpreted more elegantly than this living plant embedded in metal casing. Geared for the increasing numbers residing in the great metropolises of the world, the experimental design offers a slice of nature to remind us of the beauty that lies beyond the concrete. Available through HAF’s online store, each piece sells for between €150-180.

ice-image-2.jpg ice-image-2.5.jpg

Hring Eftir Hring takes a traditional source of inspiration, but deconstructs floral forms into sculpted petals arranged in asymmetrical configurations. The resulting rings, pendants, and earrings, available in 17 colors, look like the kind of playfully elegant accessories that might be worn by futuristic sea creatures. Hring Eftir Hring sells in numerous stores throughout Iceland, Denmark and Norway and online Epal for 5,950 ISK.

ice-image-3.jpg ice-image-3.5.jpg

The rough-hewn designs of Helga Mogensen combine organic materials with precious metals to create necklaces, earrings and tie clips unlike any other. Inspired by Iceland’s rich natural landscape, Mogensen uses materials like silver, driftwood, and fish skin—often in raw, clunky forms—to create beautifully-intriguing statement pieces. Select designs are available online through All Icelandic design shop for around 15,000 ISK ($135 USD).