Embark on an exploration into the world of Derek, the genius behind Del’s Laser Workshop—one of the craft units nestled within Hainault Forest. Within the Craft Courtyard stands Del’s Laser Workshop, a testament to Derek’s unwavering passion for laser technology. His meticulous craftsmanship transforms materials into intricate designs, from personalised gifts to bespoke pieces. Derek’s infectious enthusiasm extends beyond his workshop, empowering others to explore the wonders of laser artistry. Join us as we delve into Derek’s world, uncovering the motivations behind his creations.
Come down and say hello to Derek and keep a look out for his upcoming festive workshops on our events page!
- What inspired you to set up your craft unit in Hainault Forest?
Following a 4-year degree at London South Bank for Engineering Product Design, I moved away from the design world working instead in woodland management and event activity supply. After this I returned to designing items for activities, which led to making more and more items and eventually Del’s Laser Workshop was born! A few years later and the opportunity to take a unit at Hainault appeared and I felt it was the right thing to do!
- Could you describe the specific crafts or products your unit specialises in?
I laser cut gifts of all types as well as running activities for young people to learn and have fun whilst making items from wood!
- How does the natural environment of Hainault Forest influence or inspire your craft-work?
Hainault Forest is a really special place. The wildlife and the different trees etc. not only bring a calmness to the area but for me lots of inspiration and ideas, from the layered images I make with British wildlife to the notebooks and clocks with wildlife designs.
- What made you choose Hainault Forest as the location for your business, and how has the community responded?
I chose Hainault Forest as to be honest I had outgrown my previous space and this was available at the right time, but I also wanted to get involved with the project at an early stage and grow with Hainault’s new spaces. The community uptake of activities and of custom-made items has been great!
- Can you share the details of any events or workshops for children and/or adults in your unit?
Activities generally run over the school holidays and soon will be on most weekends too, I currently mainly focus on activities for children, but adult sessions are planned and will hopefully be coming soon!
- Can you share a particularly special or significant moment you’ve experienced while operating your business in Hainault Forest?
Since opening the unit there have been some great moments, from having our new regulars coming in and making dinosaurs or notebooks, but what really stands out is the making custom items, including making key rings with a departed family members fingerprint on and chopping boards with a personal message, as well as wedding guest books and special items that will become family heirlooms in the future.
- In what ways do you incorporate sustainability or Eco-friendly practices into your craft unit operations?
All my wood is sourced from environmentally sustainable stock, and I pride myself with producing as little waste as possible. Over the next year I plan on making items from wood that has been cleared from Hainault Forest.
- What do you find most fulfilling about running a business within Hainault Forest?
Meeting new people and educating people in the use of a futuristic method of making!