If you are a dreamer, a doer, a horizon viewer - come in! come in! Announce yourself and let it be known.
The seed of adventure has been sown.

The goal is to take this boat on a trip that no other Wharram boat has taken.
From Great Slave Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories up the MacKenzie River to the Beafort Sea
and westward to the Bering Sea and south to the inside passage on the Alaska and British Columbia coast.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Slowly the board emerges!



There is great tension in this board. It is a balancing act between composition, beauty, strength and lightness(or heaviness if you're a pessimist). The process has been testing though never frustrating - no throwing of tools or stuff ever. If I was making this out of clay or foam, I'd take a piece bigger than required and then proceed to carve away at it. In this case I start with air add as little material as I can near the perimeter in a clunky manner then carve away at it with the hope of having a thin intact shell without too much extra left on the inside or worse nothing at all but air again. I have had to fill spots no doubt and I know some places are very thin but over all the result is what I expect for the first time. I took some basic numbers from Essential Surfing but from tere I have been on my own. I wonder how it will ride. No doubt there are unequal distributions end to end and laterally. No computer robot carved this. I would shape with power planer, surfform, belt sander and other tools in a sort of trance. Then close my eyes and run my hands down the lines feeling my way to the final shape. The bamboo has not been easy to work but I am learning. Remember I used the scrap from my Ulua outrigger. I can't wait to get my hands on some really good stuff. Just sitting here typing is giving me new ideas about how I can form the next board.

...............so while I am in motion I quickly formed up a skeg. I should have showed the sequence. I shaped it in Visio first. I liked what I drew so I printed it, spay adhesived it to a scrap of plywood carved it, did the basic shaping and completed it on walk to school to pick up my daughter. I use to show up there all hostile at the end of day dressed corporate. Now I get stares when I show covered in sawdust my pants as much epoxy as denim. But hey I'm happier and I never throw anything unless it's a frisbee or a load of chopped greens destined for the wok. Not that I don't have to skip across the surface of that corporate sea to get to those greens but that's ok. I'm part actor anyway. Speaking of actors my grandmother was one during the silent film era. I knew her as a wonderful and lively old woman who could still play in a sandbox but the one I wonder more about was the wheelmaker as seen below. My great grandfather. I think if had been around I would have been underfoot in his shop. We have moved far from this. It is interesting that unlike the stiff formal photos I have of other family members from the time, this man Niels Nielsen chose to be photographed in his shop. Would he really have choked up on his mallet that way or was it a concession to the photographers long exposure?


Blogger Thomas Armstrong said...

Thomas, very nice post! Loved the family history & sort of current events of turning a little renegade. Have been in touch w/ creed, expect something soon from me. Also, when we spoke over the weekend, you were talking about the rails, which seemed to be your biggest concern. What did I not let you say?

6:38 PM  

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