Cutting Up Firewood (whirligig)

CMC PCD 94-712-021

By Arthur Sauvé; Maxville, Ontario; 1960; wood, string, paint; 84.5 x 54.5 x 88.5 cm. CMC 89-26

Cutting wood for the winter fires was once a common sight in rural Canada. Any activity that involves a back-and-forth motion, such as the traditional cutting of wood, is an ideal subject for whirligig artisans.

This scene has an air of feverish haste. Two men are busy cutting logs with a circular saw while the other two are sharpening an axe to split the wood. A large propeller activates a system of pulleys, moving the circular saw and the grindstone, which is turned by the man on a small bench.