Reponses to Gallery newsletter HOPE

August 07, 2021

Reponses to Gallery newsletter HOPE

Hi David,

Thank you for your newsletter,

It certainly captures & depicts the moment and our present situation,

We share your sentiment - All the very best.

Kind Regards

Denzil Stephenson

Livos Australia


Thank you Denzil for sharing with us. You have been doing it tough in Melbourne for so long. and I think things are going to get harder for all of us as the weeks slip by.

It gives me pause and solace to polish things with Kunos oil.

Best regards

David MacLaren OAM

Bungendore Wood Works Gallery

Artistic Director and Founder 1983

Designer Maker



Thanks a lot for mail.

Yes, hardship is the word.

Trust and belief are to me more important ones.

How to adapt to what the ”new normal” is to become.

Surviving - if not through the works of your knowledge in your hands/ mind -then what.

It’s a very difficult task for society to handle.

Down to the blacksmith enabling my work. The education system, etc.

Can we learn something from history?

My very best and encouraging wishes.




Dear Peter,

Thank you for your best encouraging wishes. Yes, we need to trust and believe in ourselves to adapt to difficult time.

Makers and artists need to be insurgents to survive.

Above all, keep making.




Thanks David !

For telling you; 

I won’t give in. Not a chance.

I’ve decided how to deal with it. The situation.

I´m fortunate not being young, dealing with next weeks food on the table.

This is one part - keep on learning !!

I´ll train myself in making "Kanawa Tsugi”. I’ve chosen this one out of MANY, many things I´m not good at.

I spoke with Funahiro-san some weeks ago, and ordered a set of chisels.  Arriving Nov.

A shinogi style of usunomi. My Japanese chisels are type atsunomi. 

His latest production of chisels, since 3,4 months back, are just above the clouds in performance.

So, next spring I might be able feeling a ”mission completed”- joy.

Together w 9 other woodworkers, yes- Per Brandstedt too, there will be an exhibition coming Jan.

At Steneby School´s Exh Hall. (Don´t know if you know that place ?)

Making we shall !

With or without wind, the flag is there.

Take care.



Ah yes, “just above the clouds in performance . . .”

And ten of you having an exhibition in January. Like old times. Give Per a bear hug from me, please.

Fond memories,



Tough times! Good work going on!

All the very best David,

X Grace


Tough times in deed, Grace, and more to come.

“Good work going on” is what keeps me going. I am collaborating with six makers on a range of projects. I wish, I wish there was sudden light and normalcy on the horizon, to properly celebrate what our makers and artists are doing.



Hi David, all my best wishes to you and your staff mate.

Stay safe and keep moving forward




Thank you, Ed, for your good wishes. And yes, we will keep moving forward, keep moving, and planning. Until . . .

Keep smiling,



My very best wishes to you all, try to keep smiling

Sandra xx


Small random things make us smile, like your best wishes, Sandra, knowing you have been smiling through some tough recent times.

David, and all of us at the gallery

Thank you all so much, a kind word certainly makes me smile 😊 (Sandra)


David and Team,

Thanks for the update. Yes, we are all effected by the Virus but am always sad to hear.

I’ll keep buying as I did on Sunday, a beautiful bronze piece by Sylvio, the Gecko with Scorpion underneath, love it.



You made our Sunday with that purchase, Paul. Peter and Ashleigh were really cheered to see your pleasure in Silvio’s Gecko.

Thank you from all of us,



Hi David

I admire your attitude and truly hope the Gallery pulls through.

I consider the govts (no particular persuasion) place undue emphasis on economic cost/benefit assessments and ignore social cost/benefit assessments because the latter cannot be monitorised. In my opinion the arts and crafts have a very high social benefit as do unis, another neglected sector. I spent about a decade fighting this in another sector to no on going change.




We are in a wilderness, Alan. We are being ravaged by ineptness.

We trudge on because there is no other choice.


Another heartfelt tribute.

Brings tears to my eyes.

Well done.

Hugs to all.




Dear Beth,

You are one of us, doing so much for us, appreciating so much our space, and what we do . . .


What a beautiful message, so gorgeously conveyed. Loved reading this today.



Thank you, Kristin. As with your writing, sometimes words come as if finding home



Hi y’all from warm and sunny Florida.  I hope you can keep the faith!  We’re in for a rough patch ahead, please remember it takes a lot fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown!

Xoxo  Norman Meunier

Thank you, Norman, for your greetings from Florida. My brother lives in Florida!




Hi David and staff

Thank you for a lovely email. It is indeed tough times for so many people and you highlight that so poignantly. But what lovely feel-good stories to finish with.

Thank you



Thank you, Gail. Good news stories keep us going.




Hi David, it was great to read your article, without the gallery you operate ( I

remember the original one), many makers would be totally lost, let’s hope we will get through this pandemic there will be plenty of visitors to see the wonderful pieces people make, even as a maker it never stops to amaze me the design and quality of that work, keep up the good work.

Kind regards John Brassell.

Yes, John, we are banking on “the plenty of visitors” coming to the gallery. It seems
a bit distant now, but we need to keep the faith in what we do.
Thanks for your kind words, and treasured memories of the old gallery.
Best regards,


Many thanks David to you and your dedicated staff for the encouraging

Hard times indeed, but they come and go. The passion to create fine
works remains. For many months now I have been progressing slowly
with a piece entitled “Invictus” carved from Flame She Oak from our
forest. When it is finished it is a gift for a close friend who has been
soldiering on in defiance of a mysterious illness that has doctors
everywhere puzzled. In spite of his many inflictions he still has hope and
is still…
“Master of his fate
Captain of his soul”
We have not changed our plan to visit you in the first week of October
with my 3 pieces and hopefully deliver “Invictus” to our friend in Sydney
at that time. 
Cheers G & J

Dear G and J,
Your passion for making a gift for a suffering friend is what connects us
to love for why we make.
I am really really pleased you are still planning to travel here in October.
I need to keep steady for that date, to keep a sense of urgency and
purpose . . .
Kind regards,


Good morning David,
Thanks for reaching out with such an inspiring message. Staying busy is
key for sure...
BWWG is a shining light, and the people there are a pretty special
bunch indeed!
Keep up your wonderful work!!

Thank you, Ian, for understanding us, what we do, and appreciating us.
It means a lot in these times especially.
Keep making some wonderful art,


Thank you all at BWG for keeping up the positive message and Hope for the future.

Ray, There is no other way forward than with hope. Sometimes it is just
a little bit hard to remember that.
Warm regards,


I really appreciated this email, and so completely feel the notions you shared. Thanks for telling me about your progress, and as soon as we get out of the lock down I will come down to the next exhibition you have.
Many thanks,

Richard Moore


Please visit us when you can, and introduce yourself so we can thank you in person.




Hi David and everybody 
I was thinking of the situation at Bungendore Woodworks and what the
effects of the lockdown in Sydney must have when this email arrived.
I hope you are all well.
I can offer to reduce the price of the hall tables you have on the floor by
I hope this might be of some help.
It has been my privilege to have my work represented at Bungendore
for the last 20 years.
I would like to continue my contribution 
as long as possible. 
Please feel free to make other suggestions as to how I could help to
overcome this situation.

Dear Manfred and Margaret,
No, it is not right to reduce prices. Our problem is low visitation, and we
do not know how long that will last. Frankly I think your prices should go
up! You make such individual looking pieces, in your own style, and of
course the Red Gum is utterly precious looking.
Keep making please, as long as possible.
And thank you for your heartfelt thoughts.

I stroke your tables every day.
Warm regards,

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This display looks great. You are right  to value it for what it is.
Lets hope the situation will improve soon.
I still have some priceless redgum .
I will keep it for the future.


Thanks David,

I hope you/we all come out of this well. Being a hobbyist, and not relying on
sales for an income, I am probably luckier than others and obviously can’t
speak for them but for my part I appreciate what you and the ladies do for me,
and I hope things return to normal soon.
Phil Clarke

You know it was gutsy of you to make those “lowly” cheese boards with such
intricate detail, I just did not think they would sell! But they do, so people do
appreciate worth when they see it.
Thank you for your appreciation of us, so that makes a very nice three way
intersection: you, us and those who purchase your work.
Keep making,


Hi David,

Just wanted to let you know how much we have enjoyed your
newsletter. Actually - we continue to love the gallery as much now as
ever and thought we should just let you know. 
The works you give us all access to, the artists and creators you
showcase - really do give Bungendore a soul and we know that this has
been a reflection of who you are David. 
So - thank you!
We would love to have you and your wife for lunch or dinner sometime
over the next few weeks if you can fit us into your schedule.  We are
assuming you, like us, are staying close to home till this bugger of a
virus settles down!
Kind regards,
B & R

Dear B and R,
Your appreciation of me and the Gallery means a lot to me. Like your
selves, we go on day to day, doing what we must, what we value, not
very aware of, or seeking regard. But when it comes sincerely from you,
I am okay with that. It’s nice.
Lunch would be very nice too. (I fade a bit in the evenings.) We can
celebrate a warm sunny almost spring day.
I will have to be on my own, my mistress is my wood working, and she
prefers not to go out.
I am free weekends, (I have a ZOOM meeting on Sunday 23 rd from 10 to


Dear Bungendore woodworks gallery, I don’t even know where Bungendore is but I love to see your posts. I was most thrilled to see
some of Silvio Apponyi’s works being displayed a year or two back. I
belong to BADCAP which helps get public art in our shire, Scenic Rim
Queensland. I live in Beaudesert, the biggest town. Silvio and various
other sculptors did works for this area in symposiums 3 or 4
symposiums since 2008.   Good luck with your good works. Little
businesses and young families who need to go to work but are
denied childcare if not ESSENTIAL work. It is essential that they don’t
lose their homes!

Bless you, best wishes and thank you,

Joy Drecher

Dear Joy, 
 A special thanks to you appreciating us and not even knowing where we
are, (a small village half hour from Canberra) and for the work you are
doing for art in your shire, the Scenic Rim Basin. 
Here is an email from Silvio that sums up the life of the artist that I thought you
would appreciate also.

Hello Mahala
Well lots of things have been happening  down here.
In the run up to the exhibition opening  at Signal Point regional gallery, I thought I had plenty of time up my sleeves to get everything done.
Then a few weeks before the opening I was short listed ( one of 4 )for a feature
artwork for the children's trail in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. 
I dropped everything, flew up and had a look.
Then came home, worked up a proposal for a 6 ton granite water dragon.
With help from a couple of the young sculptors I have been mentoring, we got a very professional submission ready and on time as well..
Sent it up by email, talked about details.
Remade the maquette completely.
Worked up a couple of water dragon linoprints.
Got back to madly completing sculptures.
Spent a week making moulds.
Then we flew up Wednesday night, stayed in the airport motel. 
Presented the proposal at 10am at the gardens, had lunch with a friend, looked at the old masters in the gallery.
Then straight back to the airport.
Two days after we got home the borders locked down.
Last minute tidying up and loading the van.
Then go down and deliver the exhibition.
Didn't get as much done as I hoped.
But it is still a good show.
Only two stone pieces, the rest disappeared while Queensland happened.
Got the cocky bronze, patinated and sausage dog mould, finished in time to get them there for the opening.
The opening went well, sold the snake birdbath, a deer antler octopus, a linoprint and 4 small bronzes.
Couple more the next day.
Then bloody hell 
State in complete lockdown for 7 days.
At least we have had both our astra zeneca shots now.
Spent the next couple of days just stuffed. Swept out the workshop at last and hoped for the best. 
Roughed out a couple of deer antler carvings of sealions and had a beer.
I got the whales out again today, cut a piece of bronze plate, drilled and tapped
threads in it  then welded it into the bottom.
So the mounting point is done.
Tomorrow fit it into a rock to hold it and then weld them together.
Patinate and carve and polish the base.
So not far away now.
By the way yesterday I was notified that I have been chosen by the Brisbane council for the Botanic gardens artwork.
So the sun shines again.
I will be able to keep my assistant employed.
I will get the whales completed
And clear the deck for the big job.
As for a schedule to get the whales to the client.

NSW is looking like no man's land for a while yet, so time will tell.
I will get some whale progress shots to you after the weekend.
23 07 21


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