Kevin left school at the age of 16 to launch his much desired career with an apprenticeship with a well known local furniture maker with the reputation of high quality craftsmanship. Here, he continued to work and expand his skill for 9 years which lead to him establishing himself as The Orkney Furniture Maker in April of 2007 with the aim of producing traditional furniture as well as his very own designs. Every piece from Kevin’s collection is individually made and is therefore, unique to the customer.
Image Credit: 1) Yellow Broom 2) Harmonies in Wood 3) The New Carftsmen 4) Forest and Found 5) Hilary Grant
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
I combine traditional craft and technique with modern influence as well as more recognized styles in order to create items that stand out and tell their own story. Strong influence for me comes from the beauty of natural product and my home which is rich in history, heritage and saga.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
It can be as simple as looking out of my workshop window. I am lucky enough to be located away from the town with beautiful views overlooking Kirkwall Bay. Once I have an idea in mind, I then start sketching. On occasions, I feel confident enough in a design to go immediately to the creation process where I can get an initial prototype completed. Otherwise, sketching allows me to investigate various designs to observe what may be the most appealing
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
I have a great deal of respect and admiration for all craftspeople. I think it is wonderful when people have a passion for something and dedicate their time to learning and developing that passion in order to create beautiful pieces regardless of their medium.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
I never feel the need to search or hunt for inspiration as I am surrounded by it at all times. Inspiration can come to me from a tile I’ve seen in a Cathedral, a moment in nature, the weather or a building and I am constantly taking photos or sketches of interesting forms that I can refer to when the need to design something new comes to me.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
A lot of hard work, dedication and faith. It is important to accept that sometimes things are not going to go to plan and that failure is an important part of success. It is also important to have faith in yourself and have the belief that you can achieve what you want to and that your work has credit. Sometimes you have to feel the fear and do it anyway!
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