The Big Chiseller 

The Schoolhouse for Art (S4A) presents The Big Chiseller, the inaugural National Wood Sculpting Festival being held in Enniskerry Village, October 11th-13th 2019... other words we're #REWILDING ENNISKERRY :)

The Big Chiseller is a Wood Sculpting Festival celebrating the magnificence and uniqueness of this masterful art form!

Over this captivating 3-Day festival, our Headliner Sculptors will transform salvaged deadwood trees located around Enniskerry Village, into iconic, monumental sculptures using chainsaw & chisel. In addition, Artists/Sculptors will gather under the Schoolhouse for Art canopy, and other key locations throughout the village, to demonstrate their woodcarving skills and showcase their work!

Our concept of #Rewilding will inform various ancillary activities including; exhibitions, lectures, participatory events, family-friendly workshops, craft market and more!

The Big Chiseller Festival will enhance our community's sense of place and will offer all visitors a visual, environmental and culturally significant experience. The inaugural festival will support the greater vision of developing Enniskerry as an art-tourism hub, through the establishment of a Wood Sculpture Trail that supports the movement of visitors through the village and the surrounding area.

By using in-situ and located naturally felled trees our Festival will support a wider environmental and biodiversity enhancing brief. The area has a rich forested, natural & mountainous topography lending well to such an event



The Big Chiseller announces an OPEN CALL to Sculptors & Artists who are working with wood and other natural, native Irish resources, or featuring wildlife and nature in their artwork.

All applicants should first read our explanatory document on the #REWILDING theme, which is our creative concept for The Big Chiseller.

You may also like to consult our Participant Application Questions in the FAQ section to clarify any of your queries.

Applications should be submitted (with ALL necessary documentation) BY EMAIL ONLY to: with PARTICIPATE in the subject heading, please refer clearly to your Application Type (listed 1-5 below).


Applicants are invited to participate in the following areas :

  1. Professional Wood Sculptors (The Big Chisellers!) are being sought to to demonstrate and create an iconic wood sculpture - using chainsaws, chisels & other hand tools. Sculptors will refer to the festival concept of REWILDING to create their pieces, which will be live sculpted over the course of the festival. These Tree Sculptures will establish Enniskerry’s Sculpture Trail.

    Sculptors will be paid per day (1 Day of Preparation on-location before the festival begins, 3 Days of Live Sculpting their piece at the Festival). Please note the final sculpture will be the property of The Big Chiseller festival.

Type 1 ‘Big Chiseller’ (Wood Sculptor) Application CHECKLIST

  • Proof of Identification

  • Proof of Public Liability Insurance (MANDATORY)

  • Artist Statement and Sculpture Design Proposal

  • Artist CV & References

  • A Digital Portfolio (MAX 5) images of past works

  • Resources/Materials required (if any)

    Links to Social Media are appreciated but not necessary

2. Visual Artists/Sculptors (Exhibitors) - Artists are being sought to submit their work for our REWILDING Art Exhibition, to be held at the Schoolhouse for Art Gallery over the course of The Big Chiseller Festival.

Artwork may take the form of painting, drawing, photography, film, sculpture or installation but MUST refer to the REWILDING concept.

To submit your Exhibitor application please register as a Big Chiseller Member HERE. There is a joining fee of €10.

Please note, you MUST quote your purchase receipt in your Email Application to be considered.

Artists may submit up to 2 pieces for selection. Preference is given to work which is eco-conscious, original, engaging and thought-provoking.

In the event of a sale, 25% of the retail price will be retained by the Schoolhouse for Art to cover administrative costs/hanging fees.

Artists are responsible for the transport and collection of their work.

Type 2 Exhibiting Artist Application CHECKLIST

  • Proof of The Big Chiseller Membership (quote your Purchase Order Number)

  • Proof of Identification

  • Statement of interest with relation to REWILDING

  • Artist CV & References

  • Digital Portfolio of work, including images (5 MAX) of the intended piece for exhibition

  • Retail Price of Artwork

  • Any further relevant information regarding the installation of your work

3. Artist/Demonstrators (smaller scale) - Artists working with wood and other natural, locally sourced materials are being sought to demonstrate their craft & skill to the public at Craft Booths - giving the Artists the opportunity for exhibiting and vending their work.

To submit your Artist/Demonstrator application please register as a Big Chiseller Member HERE. There is a joining fee of €10.

Type 3 Artist/Demonstrator CHECKLIST

  • Proof of Public Liability Insurance (MANDATORY)

  • Proof of Identification

  • Artist Statement & CV

  • A Portfolio (MAX 5) examples of the work intended to be carved & sold over the course of the festival - please include rough dimensions of your work.

  • Details of required space for demonstration/vending of work

  • Any further requirements to facilitate your demonstration (such as electricity supply)

4. Art Workshop Facilitators - Artist/facilitators are being sought to lead creative workshops (for adults &/or children) on woodworking, sculpture, or art which features nature as a theme.

Facilitators may also use this opportunity for vending (if interested please also include the documents requested in Part 3/Artist-Demonstrators)

Type 4 Workshop Facilitator Application CHECKLIST

  • Proof of Public Liability Insurance (MANDATORY)

  • Proof of Identification

  • Course Proposal/Description

  • Tutor Fee

  • Materials required if any

  • Garda Vetting Certificate (if working with under 18s)

5. Big Chiseller VOLUNTEERS - This is the very first year of our Festival, and we’re looking for all the help we can get to make this landmark event a success!

We are inviting applications from enthusiastic & reliable people with some free time to spend on a worthy cause.

Your help can range from anything from promotional work, stewarding, merchandising, to the festival ‘get-in’ and take down - whatever your skills, we want YOU to be part of the The Big Chiseller team!

Unfortunately we cannot pay our volunteers, but we do offer great fun, new friends and the chance to be a part of this historic event for the village of Enniskerry!

Type 5 Volunteer Application CHECKLIST

  • Proof of Identification

  • A Statement of Interest - Why would you like to be a part of The Big Chiseller?

  • A List of your Skills & Preferred Duties (i.e. Stewarding, Promotional Work, Guiding etc.)

  • CV

  • Availability over the Festival Period (10th -13th October)

Our ‘Big Chiseller’, Conleth Gent’s latest Chainsaw Sculpture!

Our ‘Big Chiseller’, Conleth Gent’s latest Chainsaw Sculpture!

support us

The Big Chiseller is generously supported by County Wicklow Partnership under the European LEADER Programme. We have also secured generous sponsorship to cover the cost of wood, haulage, insurance and protective gear for our headlining sculptors.

However, we’re only halfway towards our goal - we have launched a fundraising campaign to cover the remaining €17,000 in costs and that’s why we’re asking YOU to CHIP IN!

chip in - donate to the big chiseller festival HERE!

Reasons to Support to The Big Chiseller

  1. The Big Chiseller Festival will celebrate our local area & resources, offering an experience which is visually, environmentally and culturally significant!

  2. The Big Chiseller will have a lasting impact - following the amazing live sculpting of naturally felled trees, these iconic wood sculptures will establish Enniskerry’s own Sculpture Trail!

  3. The Big Chiseller will support local and visiting artists, offering opportunities for sculptors, woodcarving demonstrators, workshop facilitators & craft vendors!

  4. We’ve curated several donation packages for you with eco-friendly rewards including eco-cotton t-shirts, tote bags as well as Schoolhouse for Art vouchers and MORE - Click the CHIP IN button above to find out more.

Help us to bring this exceptional event to leaf!…LIFE!

Join the ‘Big Chiseller’ Team! Chip in!

programme of events

Our programme will include

  • Large-scale, in-situ and located, live chainsaw wood sculpting from internationally recognised sculptors

  • All-Ages Woodworking Workshops

  • Eco-Craft Market

  • Wood Sculpture Exhibition

  • Music, Food, and Plenty More Festival Fun!

Further details will be posted soon…Watch this Space!

follow us

If you would like to be updated on all things The Big Chiseller, connect with us!

Facebook @thebigchiseller

Instagram @thebigchiseller


Follow our Festival with #REWILDING

Wood Sculptor, Con Gent with his in-situ wood sculpture at Tomnafinogue Wood, Co. Wicklow

Wood Sculptor, Con Gent with his in-situ wood sculpture at Tomnafinogue Wood, Co. Wicklow

festival faqs


1. When does The Big Chiseller Festival take place?

The Big Chiseller takes place from Friday to Sunday, 11-13th of October, 2019.

2. Is there a charge to attend The Big Chiseller Festival?

NO CHARGE, NOT AT ALL. We know money doesn’t grow on trees!!

3. When will the Programme of Events be released?

The Festival Programme will be released in September. Please keep in touch with us via Facebook & Instagram to get the latest news.

4. What if it rains?

The Festival organisers are well aware of the changeable nature of our beloved Irish weather and will prepare for this eventuality.

5. Is the Festival accessible for wheelchair users?

Unfortunately the Schoolhouse for Art is not currently wheelchair accessible, we have a gravel path with steps indoors and outdoors. However the Festival will be taking place across a series of location - every effort will be made to ensure there are opportunities for wheelchair users to attend events.

6. Is the Festival suitable for Children, Teens & Adults?

Yes indeed! We warmly invite visitors of all ages and descriptions to witness this spectacular event, we will also run family-friendly workshops and activities.

7. How do I get to The Big Chiseller Festival?

There are many ways to get to Enniskerry, we would recommend car-pooling or hopping on the 44 Dublin Bus to save on carbon emissions.

If you are driving to the Festival from Dublin City - take the N11 southbound (Wexford). At approximately 19 km, take exit 7 for Bray South, Enniskerry.   Turn left at roundabout, travel over flyover and rejoin the N11 northbound.   Take the first left for Enniskerry Village (Exit 6a). Continue along the road to Enniskerry Village. Our premises is opposite the Clock tower, in the village square.

GPS Co-ordinates : 53.1928° N, 6.1699° W

8. Is there Parking available in Enniskerry Village?

Yes, free parking is available at the Bog Meadows, just after the bridge in Enniskerry.

9. Will there be Garda presence?

Yes, we want to ensure the security and safety of everyone attending and participating at this Festival.


1. I am Under 18, can I still participate as an Artist, Facilitator or Volunteer?

Unfortunately you must be over 18 to participate as a Sculptor, Artist, Facilitator, Demonstrator or Volunteer.

However, we warmly invite Chisellers from 0-100 years old to witness the spectacle over the three days and engage in some of our all-ages workshops & activities!

2. When is the deadline for receipt of my application?

The deadline for receipt of all participant applications (types 1-5) is

FRIDAY 5PM, 30th AUGUST 2019.

Any applications received after this date will not be accepted, likewise incomplete applications will not be accepted.

3. Is there a charge to participate in The Big Chiseller?

There is no charge to submit application Type 1 (for live, large-scale public sculpting on-site), however your finished sculpture will be the property of The Big Chiseller Festival.

Type 2 & 3 Applicants require The Big Chiseller Membership, at a cost of €10, this can be purchased HERE. Applicants without proof of membership, will not be considered.

Type 2 Applicants (Exhibitors) will also be required to forfeit 25% of any gallery sales to cover the cost of hanging & administration.

4. Will I be paid to participate in The Big Chiseller?

Successful applicants in the Type 1 category (for live, large-scale public sculpting on-site) will be paid a set fee per day, with one day reserved for preparation of the sculpture and 3 days reserved for sculpting live for the public.

5. I have an idea for a creative, related activity but it does not fall into any of your application types, can I contact you directly with the details?

Of course! We would LOVE to hear from you, simply email with IDEA in the subject headline.