A quiet moment of reflection. Photographer Christoffer Engström

REN

Poppy Lawman

October 2020
In a time when cleanliness and hygiene are topical conversation, Ren is an exploration into the modern cleansing ritual. An exploration and re-imagining that begins with an act that we currently do countless times a day; the simplest and humbleness of acts, that of handwashing.
Our lives have unexpectedly become centered upon this simple cleansing routine that leaves our hands dry, roughemed, and ladened with the scent of spirits. Ren, as a series, explores a tea-ceremony-like take on the washing of hands. Focusing in on the experience as one to take time in, reflect upon, and transform into a pleasurable experience.
The shapes of each piece are formed of rolling curves almost as if formed by running water, like that of stones beside a running river. The blackened oak is torched in an act called shou sugi ban, with their top layer burnt to form a natural, water protective layer. A time old manner of protecting wood from the elements. Together these ideas and techniques intertwine to form the basis of Ren, to re-imagine the handwashing experience. The set includes a wash basin, soap dish, towel, pitcher, hand brush and nail brush.
Poppy Lawman is a designer based in Oslo, Norway, where she focuses on making thoughtful slow designs and objects whose goal is to connect one to their surroundings, and in this case place in time endeavouring to promote living in the moment. Part sculpture and part utilitarian, the objects are made to be enjoyed in and out of use dancing the line of art and design for a slower, more connective way of living.
Shou-Sugi-Ban hand and nail brush, a manner to protect the wood from water and the elements. Photographer Christoffer Engström
Delicate porcelain water pitcher built by hand. Photographer Christoffer Engström
A washing ritual focused on the common action of handwashing. Photographer Christoffer Engström
Moments in time that draw society together. Photographer Christoffer Engström
Moments in time that draw society together. Photographer Christoffer Engström
Handwashing, an action that all of the world has high focus on in these current times. Photographer Christoffer Engström
Water, a beautiful tool of cleansing. Photographer Christoffer Engström
Delicate porcelain soap dish with flowing, rounded curves. Photographer Christoffer Engström
Towel for softly drying cleansed palms. Photographer Christoffer Engström
Porcelain soap dish and hand basin made with curving lines like that of stones rounded alongside a river. Photographer Christoffer Engström
Cleansed hands. Photographer Christoffer Engström