David initially began his career as a sculptor, with particular interest in carved media, such as stone, and wood, culminating in several large commissioned works weighing several ton. In 1985 he began a change of scale exploring small scale carving in bone, stone and dense hardwoods. This change of scale examined the areas of netsuke and related arts that led to a M.A project exploring the history of Netsuke, Ojime and Inro in Japan, its influence on carving practice in Australia and NZ, and its potential to spawn new art forms and its relevance to his own practice.
Since 1974 he has taught sculpture, 3D design, and jewellery in tertiary institutions. He resigned as head of jewellery at Otago Polytechnic in 2001 and now works at SHED Workspace.