It’s called uisge beatha in Scots Gaelic and means “the water of life.”
It’s also providing a new life for two of our graduating professional course students, David Hall and Jacob Corradi.
David, a former primary school teacher in Hong Kong, has acquired the domain for the Whisky Barrel Furniture Company.
The plan is to work in partnership with Jacob, from Oxfordshire, with a view to producing high-end furniture.
They intend to make pieces that will be of interest to, for example, distillery visitor centres and whisky bars.
Their pieces will be made with, or incorporate, wood from whisky barrels.
David and Jacob intend to design and make pieces to a high level of craftsmanship.
David has already bought a farmhouse and outbuildings in rural Aberdeenshire which he’s converting into a studio and workshop.
Jacob will be staying on in incubation space at the school over the summer.
But he’ll also be spending time in Aberdeenshire as their business takes off.
Over the summer they’ll develop a marketing strategy and design a range of potential products.
They’ll also be making contact with possible clients and retailers, and hope to make an early impact in the commercial market.
Making fine furniture from old whisky barrels is an idea with significant commercial appeal.
It ties their pieces to the history and culture of Scotland, giving huge appeal both locally and internationally.
Both David and Jacob have proved over the professional course that they have both the design and making skills to make good their business vision.
For example, the first piece in David’s collection was a beautiful writing desk whose top and front drawer was made from an oak whisky barrel.
It also incorporated a parquet effect on the desktop, using darker squares of wood from the barrel’s inside.
Those were framed in a lighter shade of wood from the barrel’s outside.
Jacob’s design skills shone through in his stand-out olive ash writing desk, with six curved legs and a solid oak top with live edge.
The drama of the piece was accentuated with its drawers and cabinet section made from ammonia fumed oak.
The top of the writing desk’s legs also appeared to be rising from the desktop.
We wish David and Jacob every success with their new venture!