The Seat of Power: a Luke Irwin x Little Halstock collaboration

Award winning rug designer, Luke Irwin, and master cabinet makers, Little Halstock, have collaborated to create a furniture collection that focuses on the changing nature of power.

Specialising in designing and manufacturing hand-knotted custom made rugs, Luke Irwin was founded in 2003 with the aim to offer its customers complete control over their own rugs. The company is renowned for its bespoke pieces and personal service – but this year, its founder has stepped away from rug design to create something new.

Working with master cabinet makers, Little Halstock, the award winning designer Luke Irwin has created a collection of furniture pieces titled The Seat of Power; the pieces have been designed to start a dialogue and commentary on the changing nature of power in modern day. The chairs mark the very first in a series of collaborations that Irwin will be creating with Little Halstock, and are the designer’s first foray into the world of furniture design.

Currently made up of two pieces, The Seat of Power collection features chairs with English Burr Oak frames, which have been based on the hammer and sickle of the Russian flag. The seats of the chairs have been made with Irish linen, and are printed with designs that are aimed to inspire and provoke debate around the theme of ‘power’. Each of the limited-edition pieces has also been handmade by Little Halstock in the cabinet maker's Somerset workshop.

“My vision for The Seat of Power is to use it as a crucible for discussion and conversation around our perception of power,” says Irwin, discussing his designs. “The conversation piece contains the conversation.” Irwin’s initial design aims to create a dialogue around political power, and will act as the first item in what will hopefully become a series of chairs, all of which examine different areas of power.

Named The Seat of Power, Politics, this first design incorporates the ‘Doves and Stripes’ rug that Luke Irwin designed in 2008; the rug was given to President Obama on the occasion his inauguration as a gift from the Irish nation. Ten years later, through the lens of the Trump presidency, the same design manifests in quite a different way - something that Irwin hopes will create the basis for an interesting discussion.

The second chair has been titled The Seat of Power, Media, and aims to create a conversation around the changing power of the media and the idea of ‘fake news’. While the original Politics seat uses muted colours, the Media chair includes bright yellow and red on the frame; the seat has been printed with a collection of newspaper headlines that explore the theme of power.

Discussing the collaboration, Little Halstock’s managing director Alex West said, “Our ambition is to create a small collection of exceptional and unexpected items from designers working outside of their usual media. Luke was an obvious choice for the first collaboration; the whole process has been an absolute pleasure and The Seat of Power perfectly embodies the unbridled imagination and skill of one of the UK’s leading design talents.”

Luke Irwin and Little Halstock currently have other pieces under development that will become part of The Seat of Power collection; these yet-to-be-seen pieces will aim to promote discussion around current topics including the #MeToo movement and the ‘female power’ phenomenon, and the wider subjects of money, religion and gender.

All of the limited-edition pieces in The Seat of Power collection are made to order; each chair will feature a brass plaque engraved with the issue number, date, and the name of the person who has commissioned it. Prices are available on request.

All images: Sam Churchill

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