Limited Edition Orkney Chair by David Kirkness in Exhibition

At the top of the Victoria and Albert Museum you can find a vast furniture collection. Here you can admire several Chippendale cabinets but also other pieces from known artists such as  twentieth-century gems by Eileen Gray and a simple wood and straw design with humble origins: an Orkney chair made in the 1890s by David Kirkness.

The Ring of Brodgar is a Neolithic stone circle on west Orkney

Kevin Gauld works at the moment for The Orkney Furniture Maker. He left school at the early age of 16 when he became an apprenticed to a local craftsman. Kevin set up on his own in 2007, aged 26, and now operates out of a workshop overlooking Kirkwall Bay. ‘

The Orkney coast

Ten years later by the year of 2017 he set up on his own and at the moment he operates out of a workshop overlooking Kirkwall Bay.

Orkney Chair
An example of Kevin’s high-backed Orkney chairs

He explains that: ‘This chair is much more than just a piece of furniture. It is a piece of history telling a story of Orkney life and the people who live on the islands.’

Orkney Chair
The Brogdar bench

See also: Limited Edition Bar Cabinet by Leonardo Di Caprio


Kevin hand-cuts himself straws for the chairs

Kevin loves his work and he wants to ensure that the materials he uses are the very best so he hand-cuts himself straws to make his chairs.

Kevin shaping a chair leg

All work developed is made by hand with love and dedication by this young man. Although he doesn’t have a fancy studio, works hard in simple conditions.

Orkney Chair

In this picture we can see his barn much better. Nothing stops him from doing what he loves the most and he persues his art.

Kevin hand-sewing the chair backs with sisal string

The straw is sewed with a giant needle. Check out the process in this picture


He uses simple and traditional tools and that only makes his work and dedication even more valuable.

See also: Juniper – High-End Furniture Collection by Eric Brand