A man “wearing” Axe products may have caused women to burst out into a round of, “Bom Chic A Wah Wah.” At least, that’s what some advertisements for that product line implied. But now an Ax of a different kind is generating much buzz for its supposedly manly appeal. Unlike the generic ax sold on Amazon.com or the local hardware store, the ax in question is at once a piece of art and an “authentic” wood chopping tool. These axes entered the marketplace at the hands of Peter Buchanan-Smith, a graphic designer who happened into ax design while attempting to find a wood-chopping tool in New York City. With names like Tusse-Mussie, Shivaree and Famous Orange, the hand painted axes with fine grain, steel heads and hickory handles are being collected by famous people and museums.
This is quite a feat for a tool that’s been around since the Stone Age. In our digital age one might have imagined that any ax product making the rounds in big cities are more likely to be in the form of an app rather than an actual tool. But these designed axes are for canoe, camping and beach trips. Chop wood for the barbecue, build an emergency shelter or just carry it around as an accessory. It is intended as a “constant companion.” It comes in a pocket version which doesn’t actually fit in the average pocket. And just for convenience there is “The Axe Sling,” for $165. “Hand-finished, fully adjustable, made from 8-10 ounce American vegetable tanned top-grain cowhide, with solid brass hardware.” As it turns out, in the digital world of iPhones, iPads and apps, a man still needs an ax to survive. Nice if it’s also a thing of beauty.