Ethos and Environmental Policy

I try to tread lightly and leave the planet in a better place than I found it. Most of my timber is local, mainly from windblown trees that I mill and dry myself. Other materials I always question where they have come from and try to find a sustainable source. I look after my tools to get both the best quality work from them as well as the longest life span.

I'd sum up the ethos of my work as working in tune with nature, locally and sympathetically, and without the use of computer aided design technology.

Repurposing of waste materials

Throughout my work, I try to repurpose any waste materials:

  • Offcuts used as heating
  • Scraps from timbers (eg bog oak) passed to ceramicists for collaborative projects - burnt ash used in their glazes
  • Shavings to local farmer for animal bedding as well as lighting my stove in the winter and in my composting toilet.
  • Ash from my stove goes to the same ceramicists as the bog oak offcuts.

Utilities

Water is supplied by a company that also donates wells in deprived rural economies abroad

Electricity is from a 100% green supplier

Timber

I never work with timbers from outwith the northern temperate zone, and in fact I rarely use anything other than locally grown sustainable timber which I've harvested myself, using my mobile sawmill and a colleague who assists with chainsaw work. 

I am a member of Woodland Heritage

Oils/finishes

I mostly use oils based on natural materials. There is often a balance to be struck between the finish used and its life span on the furniture. I try to get the best of both worlds wherever possible. 

Working practice

Whilst there can be great pleasure in working as part of a team, for me there is an amazing satisfaction in knowing that a finished piece is truly a Daniel Lacey piece - no quibble, no compromise.  Each piece from the initial thoughts, through the design process, to choosing (and sometimes even harvesting/milling/seasoning) the correct timber, through to the actual making and those final finishing touches.

It seems appropriate to me that work that is hand made is also hand designed. Many solo makers choose to not use CAD technology. A computer screen is small whereas most furniture is large so often the proportions are better worked at full scale. A CAD programme has no concept of grain direction and what you can and can’t do with that grain as well as how that varies between species and from tree to tree.