None of his pieces are formally planned, instead he takes his lead from the wood’s natural shapes and grains, turning timber rich in colour, tone and pattern into exciting, beautiful and unique pieces which will last a lifetime.
‘I didn’t begin my woodworking career until I was 30 years old,’ explains the Huddersfield-based designer. ‘My inspiration to seek a creative vocation in life was my partner Sophie, who was at the time doing a fine art and sculpture degree at college. I would visit her to discuss and view what she was working on and I found the energy of the studio environmental wonderful: it felt like anything was possible. This feeling drew me in completely. I just loved the idea of making and creating things as a way of life.’
Lake uses only hardwoods native to the British Isles that have come from sustainable sources and describes as work as an ongoing exploration into creating tactile and meaningful forms in wood: some with, some without, function. Some of his pieces incorporate stained glass, coloured resins and metal inlays and Lake has a keen interest in traditional making techniques such as traditional jointing and sculpting, methods which have ‘proved their worth through standing the test of time’, he explains.
The natural world is his chief inspiration, along with the way in which people can work harmoniously with it. ‘I believe everything we could ever want to know and more, resides within its ancient and mystical beauty. I love natural shapes, whether they be moonlit silhouettes of natural environments or the colourful, flowing layers of rock strata in an eroding cliff face. These reflections of nature and the environment, the inherent connection we all have with the natural world, can be seen and felt within my work.’