You can't celebrate on your own

To mark 125 amazing years since we first threw open our doors, we’ve enlisted some of Scotland’s most talented artists – ones whose story mirrors ours, and who share an appreciation for fresh takes on old classics.

We asked them to create a unique piece to live in our distillery for years to come as a constant reminder of the value of embracing traditions to create something modern. Joachim’s range of distinctive and refreshing designs created with skills handed down through generations were an obvious choice. His pieces may look modern, but his methods are rooted in tradition – just like anCnoc’s. Designs that are rooted in tradition but are far from the norm.

It may look modern, but it's rooted in tradition

Joachim King works with wood to create a stunning range of wooden art and furniture. He focuses on maximising structure and shape to create artful, unexpected pieces of modern furniture that wouldn’t look out of place in an art gallery or bringing a touch of fun while nestled in an everyday setting. His pieces may look modern, but his methods are rooted in tradition – just like anCnoc’s.

Hailing from a family of Finnish boat-makers, Joachim grew up fascinated with the workshop - the sights, sounds and smells of the timber work – and so he inherited a passion for crafting beautiful things by hand. He has incorporated many of the forms, processes and skills of boatbuilding into his work, using traditional methods - ones used by his father, grandfather and generations before them - like steam bending, to create fresh and modern pieces.

Steam bending is a skill steeped in history.  First practiced by the ancient Egyptians, the process was once paramount to the production of tools and especially boats - the Vikings were known to use this technique too. Modern technology means the practice is less common these days, though Joachim, with an appreciation of time-honoured methods, skilfully incorporates it into most of his pieces in a fresh and exciting way. It allows him to create strong thin bends, giving way to beautiful contours and detailing. Fittingly, steam bending is often used by coopers in crafting whisky barrels.

He also draws inspiration from his childhood spent living on small islands in southern Finland, and then later in the Inner Hebrides in Scotland. These beautiful landscapes instilled a love of the rugged terrain and dramatic scenery of the Highlands and Islands, which is why he’s the perfect partner to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of our highland home, Knockdhu Distillery. He often draws on these influences during the design process to produce playful, curious and unusual pieces.

Without the skills that have been passed down to me by my family, my designs would be impossible to create.

Joachim King

Inherited skills with technical know-how

Joachim complements his inherited skills with technical know-how. His interests led him to explore different careers, undertaking a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, and spending years working in the lighting industry, giving him an entirely new set of skills which he now incorporates into his work, giving him a distinct edge. Which is why his work has been featured in exhibitions across the UK, including Visual Arts Scotland, the Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design in Cheltenham, and Edinburgh’s After The Storm.

It’s so important to me to value tradition.

Joachim King