I have just taken delivery of a pair of Orkney Chairs, hand made by master craftsman, Fraser Anderson of Orkney Hand Crafted Furniture
The Orkney Chair is a traditional piece of furniture dating back many hundreds of years, and it is still in production with a design unique to the Islands. It originated as a simple piece of furniture made by the Islanders from easily sourced local materials such as driftwood and straw
The creation of each chair is approximately 100 hours of work by a skilled crafsman. The frame of the individual chair comprises of 32 hand crafted joints and in order to make the back of the chair seven sheaves of locally grown white oats are intricately woven by hand
My pair of Orkney Chairs arrived in the most enormous delivery lorry, driven all the way from the Islands by a local Orcadian. On board were not just chairs but all the deliveries relating to the varied trades of the Islands. The driver was returning back to Orkney a few days later, having completed his deliveries all over the country, and having reloaded his vehicle with all the Islanders’ orders and supplies for the next month. On arrival the chairs looked like a pair of Egyptian Mummies and it took me over an hour to unpack them! They were packaged using the entire recycle collection of the Orkney Islands for the past month; egg boxes, Christmas present wrappings, crisp packets etc – I ended up with more than six bags of packaging for my recycling!
My Orkney Chairs are now in my hall in pride of place, to be treasured for the future as little works of art in their own right. It is great to see a traditional skill being passed from one generation to the next, that is still highly valued and maintains a flourishing business on the Islands