Published June 11, 2018
Artist and designer Hans Alan Tómasson has always been a Norse mythology and Ásatrú aficionado, but it’s only when he creative company Irma Studio asked him to design downtown shop Thor that this passion finally came to life.
The first thing you’ll notice walking by Thor is the gigantic statue of hammer-wielding God Þór crushing an even bigger stone giant. Shielded by a thick glass window, the statue is part of scenographic set-up inside the shop. But while Thor does sell a plethora of eclectic souvenirs for tourists, it also firmly distances itself from the undistinguishable mass of puffin stores in downtown Reykjavík.
The result of Hans’ hard work is a stunning space entirely decorated with panels of Icelandic wood coming straight from Þjórsardalur. Every detail of the space has been carefully drawn and pondered over by Hans, while all the 3D models and interiors were created by the designers at Irma Studio. Here, every element derived from Norse mythology, from the Valkyrie’s metal-beak ravens to the wolves Skoll and Hati chasing the Sun and the Moon.
The piece de resistance, however, is carefully hidden in the heart of the shop. A majestic statue of Óðinn, the God of war and poetry, slides out of a wall spear in hand. “The idea was not to expose him immediately as you come in the store,” Hans explains. “Óðinn is kind of the main God, so it was always designed to be a surprise when you come in.”
The statue is both impressive and pragmatic, as little trinkets sold by the shop peek out of his sleeve. Runes are scattered on the wall behind him, pointing to the fact that Óðinn isn’t just the God of poetry and war but also the God of sorcery.
Every rune has got its particular meaning, from wealth and prosperity to chaos and desire, which has made them extremely popular tattoo material for any mythology fan. If you’re looking for a less permanent option, however, Thor sells lovely handmade necklaces bearing runes carved in the wood. Every necklace, which is designed and made in Iceland, comes with a card explaining the meaning of your chosen rune: the only thing you have to do is hang it close to your heart and let its power guide you through life.