Quentin Dimmer was delighted when his chair was chosen to take centre stage in the Scottish International Storytelling Festival based on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile at the Storytelling Centre. His storytellers’ chair, The Viking Rocker, was created earlier this year while learning the art of furniture making on an intensive, 9 month course at the Chippendale School of Furniture near Edinburgh.
Made in cherry yew and sycamore with laburnum details, Quentin’s remarkable rocking chair also won the Best Design Award 2011 from the Chippendale School of Furniture.
Donald Smith, director of the Storytelling Centre, said: “The chair is graceful and uplifting, but it also works so well for storytelling, framing the performer visually and providing a sound board to project the voice. It really was a festival highlight in its own right.”
Lindsay Corr, Marketing Officer from the Centre, added: “Quentin’s stunning chair went down a storm during the Storytelling Festival and created the perfect focal point for this year’s theme, An Island Odyssey. Storytellers enjoyed taking charge and steering their tale seated in the stunning piece of craftsmanship, while audiences were enchanted and inquisitive about the one-of-a-kind creation. We will be sad to see it leave and hope it finds a permanent home where many more people can enjoy it.”
Amongst the many well known storytellers were the author David Campbell, author and musician Bob Pegg, and musician Ewan McVicar.
The Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, said that it was the biggest festival to date, with events taking place in most of Scotland’s cities and islands, celebrating Scotland’s unique culture and natural environment through stories. The Festival united the Scottish Isles with the shores and islands of the Mediterranean in an exchange of cultures and traditions, tracing the story of travel through the famous voyager Odysseus.
After graduating from the Chippendale School of Furniture, Quentin Dimmer set up his own business, Ghillie Dhu Furniture. He says the highlights of the course “… were too many to mention. It was an amazing roller coaster.”
During his time at the Furniture School he gained a wide variety of traditional woodworking, cabinet making and furniture restoration skills, as well as learning about furniture design history.
At Ghillie Dhu he set out from the beginning to make his furniture more than just furniture, but to make furniture as art. Behind all his pieces there is a story, a philosophy and an ethic. Quentin draws on his nautical past for inspiration: “I like to evoke nostalgia for our ancient history and the mystery of sites like Skara Brae in Orkney.”
Continuing the storytelling theme, he uses memories of his former sea faring life and other journeys to inspire his designs, and his studies in philosophy and art to help conceptualize his work and give it a unique story.