Scapa Crafts was founded by traditional Orkney chairmaker, Jackie Miller.
Jackie’s lifelong interest in Orkney chairs was sparked as a child growing up on a croft on the island of Eday. Straw work was part of daily island life and this natural material was used to make chairs, ‘cubbies’ (baskets) and even mattresses. Jackie would watch his great uncle making Orkney chairs, and his grandfather and father working with straw, and dreamt he would one day do the same.
Although Jackie left farming in adulthood, he never forgot his heritage and childhood fascination with straw.
In the late 1980s Jackie seized upon the opportunity to make straw backs for Orkney chairs. He loved the work, found he had a natural talent for it and, in 1993, decided to set up Scapa Crafts to create Orkney chairs with his wife Marlene.
Since then Scapa Crafts has gone from strength to strength, with Jackie and Marlene’s children and grandchildren helping out with chair making over the years, and family friend Michael Woolley joining the business.
Orcadian master joiner Ian Kirkness handcrafts the frames for our chairs, using only the finest quality hardwoods. We’ve also recently begun a collaboration with local master craftsman, Leo Kerr, who will be making some of our driftwood and Scottish timber frames.
Scapa Crafts’ chairs now grace homes, castles, museums and galleries around the world.
Despite this global interest, we never lose our traditional Orcadian values of quality and integrity, taking enormous pride in all of our chairs.