Previous Exhibitions

From mire to metal

  • The Corner - National Museum of Iceland

In the past, iron smelting from bog iron was performed in Iceland. The use of metallurgical furnaces called bloomeries were used to smelt iron throughout the Middle Ages. Thereafter the practice steadily declined until it was completely abandoned in the 17th or 18th century. The knowledge of this ancient craftmanship has since been forgotten to time, leaving numerous questions about the bloomery process unanswered.

For a long time, scientists have attempted to answer questions about bloomery in Iceland. How was bog iron processed? How were bloomery furnaces constructed, isolated, and ignited? What quality of iron could be produced from Icelandic bog iron?

The exhibition From mire to metal explores bloomery research in Iceland. Bloomery experiments were carried out at Eiríksstaðir, successfully smelting iron for the first time from Icelandic bogs in centuries.

Exhibition guests will learn about the entire bloomery process, from fuel production (felling trees and charcoal making), raw material processing (bog digging), bloomery furnace construction to iron smelting and forging.

The exhibition is in collaboration with Hurstwic LLC and Eiríksstaðir, where the bloomery experiments were conducted in 2019.

Curators - Ármann Guðmundsson, Eva Kristín Dal, William R. Short

Project Management - Bryndís Erla Hjálmarsdóttir, Hrönn Konráðsdóttir

Thanks - Hustwick, Margrét Hrönn Hallmundsdóttir, Reynir Óskarsson