We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming of dogs wearing daffodils to bring you a very important message: watching this deeply Scandinavian video of our favorite Iris Hantverk brushes being lovingly crafted by hand, employing incredibly satisfying, beautiful, hyper-specialized machinery to trim the hand-tied bristles is just the mellow, restorative, meditative exercise in lovely sustainability we needed (and we think you will agree).
Founded in Stockholm in the late 1900's, Iris Hantverk continues a long Swedish tradition of training and employing visually impaired artists and artisans, bringing new dimensions to the concept of "sensitively made by hand". We love the brushes for their beauty and utility, of course, but we also love the company, in particular, the joy and commitment of their team. When we first discovered Iris Hantverk, the small studio consisted of 16 people and a dog named Gucci (though Gucci has since retired, likely with a generous meatball pension that would make Ruby's mouth water), and this small-and-mighty crew continues to craft some of the best sustainable cleaning solutions out there.
Made from a beautiful array of hand-tied bristle types and sustainably harvested woodenware, each brush is an exclusive in-house design exactly suited to its purpose—though we imagine you can find additional uses for many of them (for example, this brush, designed for cooking pots and pans and ideal for cast irons, is also perfect for cleaning old dirt out of pots and pans in the garden shed).
The entire collection of gorgeous workhouse brushes is crafted with infinite care to scrub, dust, brush, scour, buff, burnish, polish, and deeply clean any and all surfaces you might fathom getting dirty. From our baking dishes to our precious bodies, we reach for an Iris Hantverk brush again and again.
These are so lovely and using them to execute simple household tasks is such a pleasure (dare we say) it's almost addictive. If, like us, you find yourself with an ever-growing collection of brushes, Iris Hantverk also makes our favorite Swedish pegboards and brush racks. A place for everything and everything in its place.
A few of our favorites:
This long-handled bath brush has a scrubby-supple blend of tampico and horsehair bristles—when used wet, the bristles have just the right amount of chutzpah to get you feeling really clean AND take care of delicate skin but when a little extra cleaning horse(hair) power is needed, we also like to use this as a dry brush. This brush has our back.
This witchy little bundle is a Scandinavian staple: the washing-up whisk. Not a brush, per se, not a broom, and certainly not a whisk, this is more like what would happen if Serafina Pekkala put a spell on a thing of steel wool. Magical scrubbing powers that feel like riding on cloud-pine.
This gently curved horsehair brush is the first dish brush we ever used in place of our old sponge. It's a gateway dish brush. The narrow head and curved tip are perfectly proportioned to scrub everything from dinner plates to the bottoms of wine glasses and the long handle keeps your hands out of the water. Delicate, sturdy, easy to use, beautiful.