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Credit: Visit Scotland/ Kenny Lam

All these inspirational elements both ancient, historical, and new are a celebration of the Spirit of the Hebrides, its icons, its history, and its people.

The story that sums up the Highlands and Islands for me are the beautiful icons of the Hebrides that inspired the design and creation of a chair out of a whisky barrel which we called `The Spirit of the Hebrides`. Living most of my life in the lowlands the islands remain my home, this chair is a celebration of the most famed of these icons.

The staves at the back of the chair represent the mythical and majestic Neolithic Callanish stones. A remnant of prehistoric religious activity or an astronomical observatory that does not cease to inspire and fascinate visitors today.

The seat is imprinted with the mysterious archaeological treasures of the famed Lewis chessmen which were uncovered on the sands of Uig beach on the Isle of Lewis in 1831. They were believed to have travelled across the seas from Norway in the early 13th century.

The glass stand is turned from wood sourced in the Stornoway castle grounds. These outstanding woodlands contain a varied and rich collection of trees, a rarity on the island.

The whole chair is covered in the world-renowned Harris tweed and fashioned into a kilt at the front. A cloth whose smell so distinct transports me back to my youth where I made the bobbins in my father’s loom shed where he created the big tweed `an Clo Mor`. A cloth whose rich history is woven into the landscape, its heritage, and a people`s struggle.

The first chair we made won an award and was sourced from the Abhainn Dearg whisky distillery in Uig. Inside the cupboard under the kilt is stored a bottle of Abhainn Dearg Uisge beatha, a bottle of the famed Harris Gin and Barra Gin, hidden as these spirits would have been during the dry years on some parts of the island. Today in contradiction these distilleries are a thriving industry bringing tourists to the island.

All these inspirational elements both ancient, historical, and new are a celebration of the Spirit of the Hebrides, its icons, its history, and its people.

A chair with large fabric staves, a cushion with imprints of the Lewis Chessman in shades of orange and brown, and a base covered with Harris Tweed. Image provided by Story Submitter (Anonymous)

The Spirit of the Hebrides piece


Share your stories of your favourite places in the Outer and Inner Hebrides

Stories are at the heart of what we do as a project and we are always looking to learn more about what the Highlands and Islands means to people who live, work, and visit here.

The connections between people and the landscape are timeless. Landscapes are witnesses of memories both good and bad and bear the stories, traces, and scars of historical and contemporary societies. Inspired by this story we would love to know, what are some of your favourite places in the Outer and Inner Hebrides? What season do you enjoy visiting them? Also, how do you feel they represent the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands? Tell us below, we can't wait to hear from you!

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