I really wanted to demonstrate how to do curved solid timber work that would normally be veneer work, it should have been, this is veneer’s natural territory. But I couldn’t do a full ellipse in solid timber so I did it in sections 50mm thick.

With Partial Ellipse I did draw it and then on top of the page in my sketch book, written in bright red, is the note “David please don’t do this, please resist the temptation to do this one, it’s all over the place.”

Rodney Hayward looked at the drawing and said “Wow! What’s this thing going to do?” It has so much dynamic movement in it and I didn’t know where it was going to go. Gravity and the material itself, what happens in weather and temperature and time?

So there’s an abstracted generic line here from Still, you’re complicating and challenging, challenging. Some of these ideas were not thought of in any way before Still. They all stem from Still, the timber sections, configurations and so on. Over the year working on Still I had time to think of many things.

Partial ELLIPSE was the end point, there’s nothing past that in the future at the moment. Pretty well a wrap up, of this set of ideas, I hope. And all this work in one way or another was born out of the failure to resolve the issue of keeping STILL together without glue.

Working like I this, I’m not making to a deadline, I stopped doing commissions and that freed me up. Taking longer to make things allows time for consideration, gives you time to think. It comes back to me, that where I am in my life I’ll be lucky to have another ten years of working health, so I may as well just go with it, that’s my feeling, just go about celebrating the fact that you can just still do it.

And funnily enough a lot of my peers and contemporaries are not going down that path, they’re slowing down and not doing work, there not producing objects, some are teaching and so on, well that’s a whole different profession. I think you could look at teaching as a nice clean way of working professionally, you could almost do it in a suit. This stuff I’m doing, Oh man, I look like my son-in-law Matthew Harding covered from head to toe in dust, spitting the stuff out.

Excerpt from conversations between David Mac Laren and Stan d’Argeavel.