Even though Lebanon Circle is a one man venture there are many cogs behind the scenes that keep things ticking over. The people I lovingly refer to as 'cogs' are family and close friends who do the difficult bits I can't do, namely needlework and carpentry. Sadly, the chap who I have worked with the most died yesterday after a 5 week battle with cancer. Not only was he my 'wood wizard', he was also my best friend's dad, a good mate and someone I've known virtually all of my life.
If you're an owner of Dolly Darko, Abacus Spiritalis or The Swami Spirit Altar II you'll be familiar with his amazing work. I still have many of his prototypes and works in progress scattered around the studio now unlikely to see the light of day. We were only discussing the plans for Dolly Darko MkII a few months ago before his health took a noticeable dive. Cancer is a relentless and uncompromising bastard that affects everyone at some point in life and 2016 seems to be year the evil fucker has stepped up his game. Childhood rock idols and film stars are one thing but family and friends really over steps the mark. It's certainly the end of an era and the business won't be the same without Stewart.
Ultimately he lived long enough to achieve what every parent wishes for. To see their own kids flourish, get married and have a family of their own. Stewart was not only a great craftsman, he was also an avid wildlife conservationist who saved countless hedgehogs, squirrels and birds of prey. He was also a great dad, grandad and the only man I know who could hit a moving target with a Christmas dinner from 100 yards.
He'll always be remembered as a vital part of making Lebanon Circle what it is today and it won't be the same without him. One of my cogs is missing and it will be a long time before things start ticking again.
Stewart McDonald - 20th January 1947 - 28th June 2016