Bungendore Wood Works Design
David Mac Laren is the Artistic Director and owner of Bungendore Wood Works Gallery. The Gallery offers a range of designs from small giftware to major furniture pieces under the banner of BWWG Design.
David Mac Laren left mechanical engineering at Yale University and arrived at the Australian National University in 1963 to do an arts degree in Philosophy and English Literature. He returned to the United States to try his hand at playwriting, and joined the anti war political campaigns of the late 60’s. With limited success in writing and the demoralisation of the political scene, David was willing prey to the woodworking love affair when he joined Impressions In Wood, a co-operative of woodworkers in Manhattan as an apprentice.
Here he was introduced to derivative renditions of the natural edge furniture of George Nakashima and the stack laminated sculptural furniture of Wendell Castle. And he was not alone. All of his fellow woodies at Impressions had previous careers. David re-located to Bungendore in 1977
The arrival of George Ingham to head up the new Canberra School of Art Wood Workshop and David Upfill-Brown to establish his workshop at Tharwa, near Canberra were propitious beginnings. Graduates from the newly established school and a very active group of Canberra woodworkers provided the energy and enthusiasm to organise a most successful wood Conference at the ANU in 1987.
During these first years of Bungendore Wood Works Gallery, Mac Laren visited Ingham and Upfill-Brown, participated in the Canberra wood craft exhibitions and served as guest lecturer and artist in residence at the ANU Wood Workshop. This was the beginning of an authentic arts and crafts community, one of many throughout the country.
Over the past 25 years David has developed individually and in collaboration with a variety of makers, artists and carftspeople a range of specialty designs. Until a fire in his workshop in 1999 David made many of the designs himself and more recently has been supervising other makers to produce the range of products marketed under the BWWG Design name.
David recently completed a new more modest workshop and is again producing unique pieces of furniture to ad to the BWWG Design range of products.