Season’s seating

Christmas is a time for peace and goodwill, but aside from the warmth and fuzziness, there’s undoubtedly usually a few rows and a couple of tears shed around Yuletide.

One such tearjerker is perennial favourite, The Snowman.  Anyone who doesn’t cry at the end of the film, is, in our opinion, either a liar or utterly heartless.

That moment of realisation that, perhaps, it was all a dream, cuts the very heartstrings of the Festive Dream. Another weepy festive moment is that brutal realisation that it’s all over: you can’t mercilessly keep stuffing your face and blackening your liver forever. The New Year is filled with dread at resolutions you’ll definitely break, and the fact you have to go back to work.

And what more potent symbol of this ending than the throwing out of the decorations, and, perhaps most significantly, the Christmas trees?

According to Gallery Libby Sellers, in London alone, it is estimated that most of the 976 000 Christmas trees in the capital will be simply thrown away – shoved in a rubbish bin, dumped on a street corner – its gaudy heyday a needle-shedding memory.

Thankfully, help is at hand. This year, the gallery has teamed up with designer Fabien Cappello to offer a special kind of immortality to our woodland friends.

The Christmas tree stool
The Christmas tree stool

The Christmas Tree project – a continuation of Cappello’s graduation work from the Design Products MA at the Royal College of Art in 2009 – will see Christmas trees from across the Greater London area being reincarnated into stools, with their trunks and branches reinvented as the seats and legs.

Making the perfect belated Christmas gift, the gallery is inviting people to contact them to arrange a post-Christmas collection of their tree and place their order for a pretty handcrafted Christmas Tree Stool.

Cappello has a long-standing interest in using regionally sourced materials and manufacturing processes as a form of design cartography.

In 2009, he created an inventory of the skills and knowledge of local manufacturers, makers and craftsmen in Odivelas,  Lisbon, which was then mapped onto a set of ceramic vessels to demonstrate that every individual maker is a step in a larger creative process.

To lift those waning post-Christmas spirits even further, a percentage of profit from the Christmas Tree Project will be donated to the Woodland Trust.

Long live the season of giving.

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