Arcadia for Straw

orkney chairs

Iterations, from left, of the New Craftmen’s Brodgar chair (an unfinished lounge chair and a dining chair) next to traditional chairs on Mainland, Orkney. Credit Sophie Gerrard.

One can understand a place by what its people make… Locals [from Orkney] have a special relationship with straw, which they have long used for everything from roofing and bedding to shelving, rainwear and furniture. Perhaps the most famous local product is the original Orkney chair: a winglike seat with a tall curved back, sometimes with a hood, made from coiled and woven straw and a frame of reclaimed timber. The shape provided warmth in winter and served as a wind block inside drafty houses. “I love that the most humble of materials, like straw, can become immensely precious and useful in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing,” says [Catherine Lock co-founder of New Craftsmen, a London gallery].
(Deborah Needleman, “The Windswept Scottish Islands Producing Beautiful Artisanal Goods,” 9-9-19)

And I love that persons from Orkney are called Orcadians.

(c) 2019 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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