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The Woodcutter

The Woodcutter (2017) Gold Leaf, Ceramic & Steel.

22 x 66 x 18cm

The New Craftsmen recently created an immersive and interactive environment called 'A Home for All', located in Selfridges Oxford Street. It was part of Selfridges latest campaign called 'Our House', exploring the rituals, objects and ideas that make a house a home.  


The exhibition space was built with each room representing those found in a house - The bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room. ‘The woodcutter’ is a ceramic totem covered in gold leaf, which sits in ‘the bathroom’ with 3 other artist’s sculptures. The bathroom is a space where you pause for a moment and relax, as you look after your wellbeing.


This ritualistic installation encourages the visitors to cleanse their minds, as they physically cleanse the totem by pouring water over it using the ladle provided.

The softly lit space provides a place for calm contemplation.


‘The Woodcutter’ is based on a fable called 'The Woodcutter and His Axe'. This fable tells the story of a woodcutter that works very hard each day, cutting down many trees. As time passes he finds he is not able to cut down as many as he originally could, however hard he tries. This is because he has not taken the time to sit and rest and sharpen his Axe.


The Axe represents our mind. If we do not take the time to rest our bodies and sharpen our tools we do not perform as well. This sculpture becomes a reminder of the importance to pause and take a moment to relax.


The totem has been created to be cleansed by having water poured over it. It has an element of fun to it, as when you pour the water into the bowl-shaped head at the top, water comes out of two holes where the ears would be, and onto the rest of the totem. Not only are we purifying the mind, but the body.

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