#oak wood armchair

4 years ago · 7 min read
Sheng, Qun, 43 – wood cutter.

“I’ve got a black dog. He’s a stray breed from the village and is only two-three months old. I call him Baobao, which means baby. It’s pretty appropriate given he basically eats what I eat, and as soon as I’m home he gets all my attention.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Luo, Dong Lan, 51 – seamstress.

“I’ve recently become a grandmother. My son is 30 and has an adorable six-month-old daughter. I’m at work all day so his mother-in-law looks after her during the weekdays. Since I only see her on Saturdays and Sundays, I can’t help but spoil her when I do see her.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Xiang, Sheng Qiu, 40 – wood laminator.

“I really admire my eldest daughter. She’s 18 and very studious, especially with science and maths. She doesn’t always get the best results, but she’s calm and patient and she keeps going. I think that’s a great attitude.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Zheng, Jing Hua, 40 – wood texture specialist.

“I love to watch singing competition shows on TV. I used to play the horn in a band and I enjoy singing traditional Chinese songs. I always like to think I’m musical but I was never very good. I don’t have a great voice and I’m definitely not going to sing for you right now!”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Yang, Weng Qing, 36 – design tracer.

“I have two kids, a son aged 14 and a daughter aged eight. My son lives in Guizhou with my family. He’s pretty introverted and often when we speak on the phone the conversation stops, and he doesn’t want to say anything more. I guess that’s teenagers, but I still find it sad.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Buck, Zeng, 43 – head of QC.

“In my spare time I play a lot of basketball. As you can see, I’m pretty tall. I started playing at university and I still play regularly. These days it’s more about keeping fit and messing around with the boys than playing anything really competitive.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Under the spotlight: the driftwood effect.

Jing Hua appreciates having a workstation beneath the workshop window. “I just like to have that little bit of extra light. With this particular job, it helps if you can see every groove.” The arms for the Karla armchair sit beside Jing Hua, who’s responsible for the oak frame’s weathered texture. He refers to it […]

4 years ago · 7 min read
Hand-made from start to finish: crafting the Karla armchair.

Piles of neatly stacked planks of oak stand like towers, spreading across the workshop. Artisans weave in and around them as they cross the workshop floor and we do the same. “It’s strong, hardwearing,” our carpenter tells us as he slides a plank out from the pile. Calling over a colleague, together they carry the […]

4 years ago · 7 min read
What are you most proud of?

“The most difficult colour problem I had to solve,” Kou Tian tells us as he paints the frame of our Karla armchair. “I had to create two very specific colours using water-soluble paint when we’d just started using them. They’re both colours we use today and I’m pretty proud of that.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to watch Kung Fu movies, especially the classic ones.” He narrows his eyes and cocks his head, slightly. “The new ones are good but Li Xiao Long” – he uses the traditional name for the man we know as Bruce Lee – “is still my favourite.”