David worked extensively as a craftsman well before the company was established. Here he gives us an insight into some of the pivotal pieces which have helped shape his design and creative vernacular.
Raft in Steam-Bent White Oak, 2000
This is a symmetrical centre section of the Body Raft, realised in a different way. It was made as a demonstration of steam-bending at a Furniture Society conference in Toronto. It uses Jetweld industrial hot glue for all the joints and was built around an internal mould.
Body Raft in Steam-Bent Ash and Hoop Pine Plywood, 2000
I took this to Milan in 2001 and it changed my life when taken up by Cappellini for manufacture.
Dressing Table & Stool in Matai, Tanekaha and painted Maple, 2003
I designed this private commission and it was made by Danny, a travelling Swedish craftsman.
Gull in Recycled Jarrah and Copper Boat Nails, 1999
An outdoor recliner made from recycled wine vats and riveted copper nails.
Jewellery Boxes in Matai, Pukatea and artists' acrylic, 1994 -1998
These two Nikau boxes are both from different series based on native trees.
Hall Table in Matai and Indonesian Rosewood, 1997
This is another of many pieces of one-off commissioned furniture made during this decade.
The Dance in Split Totara and artists' acrylic, 1997
Two figures, two cultures, dance together, one on each side of the river.
Offering VI in Oak, 1996
I made this high table from a branch split along the grain with a froe. The single curve of the branch creates a rhythm which is repeated through the piece. It is hard to make a stable structure out of a human figure. This is the furthest I have ventured away from function in furniture.
Figure Table in Matai, Elm and artists' acrylic, 1996
In this piece I was exploring different ways to use the figure as a sculptural structure. The figure was developed from a life drawing sketch. The pieces were carved with a chainsaw from tree forks, rescued from local tree surgeons.
Figure Seat in Elm, Rimu and artists' acrylic colour wash, 1996
A pun on the similarity between the seat and the sitter, each have arms and legs. The legs are carved from a fork in a tree using the natural strength of the knotted grain at its "V" point.
Corner Cupboard in American Cherry, Maple and artists' acrylic colour wash, 1996
My favourite cabinet which was a private commission. The bottom tambour doors slide around the back to save space.
Dining Table in Recycled Jarrah and Jute String, 1994
This is one of many pieces of one-off commissioned furniture made during this decade. The base is a stylised figure with arms resting on knees.
Hornpipe Bench in Radiata Pine, recycled Douglas Fir and artists' acrylic colour wash, 1994
This is the application of the colour experiments (see Vineyard, image below). Hornpipe was the name of our yacht and is also a sailor's dance about rhythm and balance which are features of the design. It was sold as flat pack.
Hornpipe Rocker in Radiata Pine, recycled Douglas Fir and artists' acrylic colour wash, 1993
This was part of the same flatpack series as the bench above.
Front Doors in Teak, Plywood and pigmented epoxy, 1992
A commission for the front doors of a house in Hawaii, with an obvious debt to Matisse! They wanted something colourful and tropical to give an indication of what you would see when you opened the doors - a stunning courtyard overlooking the sea...
Vineyard in MDF, painted with artists' acrylic, 1991
This was made during my time as Artist in Residence at Hawkes Bay Polytechnic (now EIT) when I temporarily stopped making furniture to experiment with colour and pattern.
Pacific Stool in Matai and Pohutukawa, 1999
I had a seat form left over from the Pacific Chair and struggled for a long time finding a suitable base to make it into a stool, until I remembered Brancusi...
Pacific Chair in Tawa, Indonesian Rosewood and Jute String Lashings, 1989
Here the influence of Polynesian canoes is stronger than in Sail Chair, where I've adapted the principle of the outrigger canoe's flexible lashed structure to seating.
Sail Chair in Matai and Indonesian Rosewood, 1988
A technically challenging piece, this was the first design in which I tentatively introduced forms from my sailing experiences.
Writing Desk & Chair in Kauri and American Walnut, 1987
Made for the first Winstones Craft Bienniale in Auckland, where I pulled out all the stops because I badly needed the prize money! Sadly, I missed it by a whisker.
Occasional Chair in Jarrah, 1986
A later version made in New Zealand of a chair I first made for a couple on the island of Moorea, Tahiti.
Four Poster Bed in Yaka from Fiji, 1983
Part of an entire house set of furniture I made for a doctor in the British Virgin Islands while we were sailing.
Altar Chairs in Wych Elm, for St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh, 1981
A commission resulting from a national touring exhibition, called Wood, by the UK Crafts Council.
Dining Set in Wych Elm, c. 1980
Dining sets were my bread and butter in Britain during the 70s. My designs were untrained and instinctive responses to the material.
Gaming Table in Walnut and Sycamore, c. 1979
This was a commission for a friend locally in Northumberland. I turned the dark chess pieces from Greenhart salvaged from an old wharf.
Oak Dresser & Dining Set in Oak, c. 1978
Part of a complete dining set which eventually also made its way to New Zealand with its owners.
The Axe Man & The Lovers in Oak, c. 1973
Before I started making furniture I dreamed of being a sculptor. The wood for The Lovers came from an oak beam from a 500 year old church.