Here at Wild Hare, we are always on the hunt for sustainably made goods from passionate small brands that align with our core values. We are very excited to carry a curated selection of hand crafted brushes from Swedish company Iris Hantverk. Their core focus is simple and timeless: brush binding that honors the Swedish tradition. With a team consisting of only 17 employees, six are visually imparied craftsmen from different cultures. Every brush is handmade by these dedicated craftsmen who continue to honor techniques that have been used for over 100 years. We hope that you enjoy these beautiful brushes, and learning about how they are made as much as we do! All brushes are of exclusive design and made mostly of natural materials.
Iris Hantverk shares their history with The Swedish Association of the Visually Impaired (SRF). November 1870, Dr. Axel Beskov founded a workhouse for visually impared craftsmen in Stockholm, the Manilla School. In 1889, “De blindas förening” or Danish Blind Society (DBF) was founded by a group of visually impaired craftsmen. Their purpose was to encourage the visually impaired community to take part in society, to work for equal education and employment opportunities, and make a living off of their work.
DBF endeavored to develop support for the artisans and their ability to make a living wage from their craft. In 1902, DBF would collectively purchase materials for brush binding and basket making. These materials were sold to the visually impaired craftsman, effectively reducing the prices for the artisans at purchase price.
In 1906, property was purchased on Majorsgatan 12. This property served as an office and library, brush binding factory, shop, and warehouse and sale of raw materials; thus creating the foundation for what Iris Hantverk is today.
Iris Hantverk Today
In 2012, the social department withdrew aid for depot activities for visually impaired craftsmen, which had been the main revenue since the 1950s. Iris Hantverk’s previous owner decided to sell the company at that time to Richard Sparrenhök and Sara Edhäll, both having worked for the company and its management for many years. Iris Hantverk and their craftsmen are supported by De Blindas Väl, whose contributions have made their website and shop.
Richard Sparrenhök and Sara Edhäll are incredibly passionate for their craftsmen and the survival of the brush binding manufactory, “We believe that many like us appreciate the feeling and quality of a hand drawn brush made of natural materials. Our Vision is to revive the traditional brush binding profession. By making functional products with good design combined with the quality of natural materials and the craftsmen's solid technique.”