Daniel Marciano Custom Chair

Beauty + Integrity

My furniture uses time-tested joints such as mortise-and-tenon and dovetails, as well as more complex variations such as hidden, wedged dovetails or the keyed scarf-joint in the C-Chair’s curved back. Beauty and integrity meld together when joints are crisp, well-fitted and suited to the piece.  As in the C-Chair, the scarf or splice joint functions as both a strong construction and a design element–a subtle reward to the attentive eye, yet one that doesn’t compete with the sinuous, sculpted form. 

Process + Discovery

Since wood itself is a natural material, full of beautiful variations in grain, color and tone — it’s best that the maker be open to wood’s qualities throughout the design and building process. For example, sometimes a plank has such lovely, meandering grain that it nudges the maker to allow for its full expression in the design, adjusting dimensions or scale accordingly. And so the designer/builder develops a process of work that allows for such discoveries as the wood has to offer. 

Dining cabinet custom built


My informal study of Japanese design and craft led to an internship with a chairmaker in Nagano prefecture in the early 1990’s. Such experiences continue to influence my sense of design, particularly through architectural proportions, exquisite simplicity and the refined use of space ( or “negative space” as designers call it). As one shoji-screen maker once said, “Wood is a beautiful and precious material: it’s best not to do too much to it.” 

It’s as if Japan’s had a love affair with natural materials, be they wood, fiber, clay, stone or bamboo. 

The singular advantage of the designer/builder over the separate trades is that they can engage with the work at all stages, from conception to completion. One might say that at this stage, furniture-making becomes an art. 

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