Ever since he was a boy, Cecil Tait has had a passion for making things. He trained as a joiner but knew his passion lay in designing and building furniture. After completing an HND in Glasgow, he went on to do a degree in furniture craftmanship and design in High Wycombe. He then returned to Shetland to set up is own business, Paparwark.
“I set up the business 18 years ago. I approached the old museum at Lerwick’s Hillhead about doing an exhibition of my work and things took off from there,” he explains. “Most of my work has been commissions – tables, chairs, cabinets, that type of thing. Then Covid happened last year and now my online business has really taken off.”
With Shetland being virtually treeless, Cecil uses mainly imported wood from the mainland, sourced from local suppliers. He also picks up pieces of felled woodland and driftwood. As well as making bigger pieces of furniture, Cecil makes objects for the home like clocks, candles holders, serving platters and book ends. “I’m happy to try my hand at anything,” he says, modestly. “The variety keeps it fun.”