What are the opening hours for the Textilsetur?

The Textile Centre Museum is open 1pm – 5pm, Wednesday to Sunday in the summer only (June 1 – August 31). The association Vinir Kvennaskólans (founded by former students and teachers of Kvennaskólinn) has established this as an exhibition related to Kvennaskólinn history.

The artist residency in the Kvennaskólinn building is private and where artists are living and working on their projects, however the studios may attract some interest from visitors to the museum.

We also have the Vatnsdæla tapestry project housed at Kvennaskólinn, where visitors may contribute with embroidery-work on the tapestry (and pay by the hour), with a teacher present. It may be advised to email ahead of time to embroider on the tapestry.  There is also a wonderful Textile Museum located next door to the Textilsetur.

How do I get to the Textilsetur?

We are in the town of Blönduós, which is conveniently located off the main “ring” road, or Route 1 in Iceland.

There are 2 buses arriving in Blönduós daily. Please see the bus schedule with Straeto, here.

Are there any grants or funding available?

Unfortunately there isn’t much funding for the arts in this region. We suggest looking towards your own country for organizations that have an exchange with Scandinavia or Iceland. For example, Americans can apply for funding through the Fulbright Program and/or through the American-Scandinavian Foundation.

We also recommend Kickstarter, where you can campaign to raise money for your residency.

What should I bring?

Artists should bring all materials required for their residency projects. While we do have looms and studio space for dyeing and felting projects, we do not provide wool, yarn, dyes, etc.

However, we do have communal shelving in the studio where the community and previous residents have donated some items such as, but not limited to: fabric, paint, wood, wire, yarn, thread, sewing needles, etc. These communal supplies vary from month to month.
Supplies may also be bought online or over the phone from stores in Reykjavik who may post items to you.

What is the recommended budget for living in Blönduós?

Of course, each person’s living costs will differ according to his/her needs. Most will find that the cost of living in Iceland is higher than in their home countries.

There is only one grocery store in Blönduós, Samkaup Urval, which is considered to be one of the most expensive grocery chains in Iceland. If you’re able to, we recommend stocking up on as many groceries from Bonus grocery stories (located in Reykjavik and Akureyri) as possible. Prices at Samkaup can be double or triple what you might find at Bónus supermarkets.

There is a handful of restaurants here, and they are not inexpensive. However, you can get a relatively inexpensive (fast food: hot dogs, ice cream cones, etc.) meal at the local hangout and gas station, the N1.

Can I learn how to weave / knit / felt / dye at Textilsetur?

No, this residency is only for artists who know how to carry out the textile/fiber art projects they intend to work on during their time at Textilsetur. There are no classes or tutors available to teach any of these arts. You must come with a working knowledge to not only carry out your project independently, but to also troubleshoot on your own should any issues arise. There is no expert or technician on-site.

Where can I buy art supplies?

There is no place to buy art supplies in Blönduós. You can buy a a variety of yarn and unseen yarn at the local grocery store, but for all other art supplies needs, the best selection will be in Reykjavik or Akureyri. There is also a store that carries some art supplies about 30 minutes from Blönduós, in the town of Sauðárkrókur.

Is there a chance to show my work with the town / local community?

Each month, artists typically have hosted an open studio / art reception nearby, but have taken care of the set-up and advertising themselves. The Textilsetur will help cover some minimal refreshment costs for the show, and can help in finding an appropriate venue for the show as well. It is optional for artists to participate, but usually a fun and lively event.

Do I need to get an Icelandic SIM card?

If your mobile phone is unlocked from your home network and able to work with a different SIM card you may like to have a contact number for local convenience. It is not required or necessary, but recommended–especially if you plan on trying to travel anywhere via ride share. Of course, it is also useful in the event of an emergency.

However, the Textilsetur has a landline available for residents to make Icelandic calls only. The phone is located in the Director’s office on the first floor of the residency building.

If you would like to get a SIM card, we recommend doing so at the airport opposite baggage claim at the duty free store, ask for a ´Net Frelsi´ (2000 ISK pre pay SIM). Or in Reykjavik visit Nova, Vodafone, or Simminn, whom are all carriers with prepaid/pay-as-you-go plans.