Please introduce yourself.
My name is David Taylor, I’m from the west coast of Scotland but live and work in Sweden, my artistic background is in the crafts, I work mainly with metal but will use other stuff I find/steal/scavenge to redeploy into the work.
How did you decide to become a professional creative?
The urge to make things has been a constant throughout my life, taking that urge and using it to make something tangible is incredibly satisfying and could be considered my drug of choice. My journey began to formulate in a hospital in Tanzania. Six weeks of bed rest due to dehydration and hepatitis got me thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Through a process of elimination, removing everything I didn’t like doing or wanted to do I discovered that in order to be happy I needed to become a silversmith.
Silversmithing, designing, making sculptural objects, furniture or public space installations all boils down to the same thing. For me it’s all about becoming completely absorbed in the process of making. So that’s why I do what I do, it’s all about moving my head space somewhere else, becoming caught up in an activity that is all about balance, problem solving, and visual storytelling.
Can you tell us about the first object you ever made that gained acclaim and inspired you to continue as a designer?
I made a set of three candlesticks for my girlfriend when I was just starting out my eduction and she really liked them. You can tell when someone really likes something and is not just being polite, especially people you are close to. It felt good to be able to do that for someone and I felt proud of myself.
In your view, what makes good and memorable design?
From the perspective of the craftsman, when the process is clarified by the material and vice versa, then you have nailed it. When asymmetry and dissonance come together to achieve harmony, that gives me goose bumps. When I look at an object and it feels complete, when either adding or taking away a detail will lessen the whole makes me nod with appreciation. When an idea is so simple and self evident yet never been done before is a joy. When all it took was sketch and some self confidence. All these things and more can be brought together and to make good and memorable design.
What are your feelings about the pace of modern creative demand? How do you avoid becoming creatively fatigued?
It feels like the stress created by the demands of the job is mostly a reaction to the environment and the people you mix with and not so much to do with the actual stresses of the job. It’s quite easy to fall into a mindset that is counter productive when you start to believe that the solution is to work harder. When I lived in the city and was doing the rounds of openings and launches I was always running into stressed out colleagues who would talk about their latest (amazing) project or collabs and that can really amplify feelings of inadequacy. If you can shrug off the bullshit and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing then the job becomes a lot more chilled and enjoyable. I do this job because I really enjoy it, not to get a stomach ulcer.
What new material and processes excites you about the future?
Metal casting has made some significant advances in recent years with 3d printed molds for small series production and the extent to which recycling technology is expanding the range of metals that can be reused. Sintering and 3d metal printing is becoming more viable for use as a process for very small scale and singular production on a cost level that we as independent craftsmen/designers can take advantage of. I’m also excited about LED lighting components that are allowing designers to work with light in a whole new way…watch this space!
Images by Mats Håkansson