One of the many vernacular furniture forms I’m fascinated with is the Orkney chair, which combines joined pieces of wood (sometimes driftwood) plus woven straw for the back.
The chair saw great commercial success starting in the late 19th century when David Kirkness began making them in large numbers in his workshop in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. Kirkness’s shop made upward of 14,000 chairs in his lifetime, according to the V&A exhibit.
I like them, particularly the hooded version, because they combine joinery with lipwork, where complete chairs would be made of woven straw.
The V&A’s furniture exhibit currently has three of Kirkness’s chairs on display and they are delightful. As always, it’s much different seeing an object in person than on a flat screen.
— Christopher Schwarz