Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Sassafrass Penobscot Paddle Replica # 2

The last paddle project from back in the fall was a crudely cut Sassafras twin blank from making a replica of the  c.1900 Antique Penobscot Paddle. This particular blank was cut rather thin, resulting in a 1" shaft diameter. The opposite side of the blade also has a nasty looking knot but it shouldn't affect its use in the water.

Where we left off in the fall...

Unlike the actual replica made with a flatter grip style to match the original, I played within the design confines of this blank and left the grip area much thicker. It has a distinct spine down the middle and is dihedral in shape with a more comfortable bulbous top grip. Sassafras has a lovely golden colour when oiled. Here is shot while the grain was wetted for the final sanding phases.

Wet golden colour of Sassafras

Instead of using paint on this one, I wanted to do more negative pyrography where the bulk of the wood is charred so that golden colour could be emphasized in the form of more double curve motifs. I had already started the work with my tiny woodburning pen instead of using the shou-sugi-ban technique recently learned about so this new decorative method will have to wait until for the next paddle in the works (likely this one here)

This time, I took inspiration for the second side of the c1849 Green Penobscot paddle at the Peabody Museum. Readers might recall that for a while, the only photo of this paddle an official catalog shot showcasing the white scroll design on a single side only. I've used this pattern twice now.

Canoe paddle, elaborately decorated. Blade painted green, double curve motif.
Peabody Number: 99-12-10/53655 
Dimensions: Length: 180.5 cm, Width: 17.6 cm, Dep: 3.3 cm
Provenance: Donor: Heirs of David Kimball (1899)

Thankfully, this paddle was chosen to be part of the ongoing exhibit The Legacy of Penobscot Canoes: A View from the River (through April 2016) where the other side was put on display. This second side of the paddle blade has a different, more complex double curve motif which was captured by some online friends and sent my way.

Photo Courtesy of John Fitzgerald and; Rob Stevens

The blade shape on the original and my left-over blank are quite different, but I set to work, free handing some double curves inspired by this new pattern. The blurry picture below shows what I came up with before the burning process started.

Pattern Idea

A nice weekend of bourbon drinking and pyrography and this is the result so far. Still some touch-up needed here and there and some oiling, but with some lovely snowfall finally happening this winter, I took some photos outside.

Decoration so far

More pics to follow when this thing is finally oiled and hopefully being used in the spring.

July 2016 update: Paddle has been oiled. Check that short post here.


David said...

Nice work Murat, your burning work is quite amazing as usual!! What are the dimension of the blade on that paddle??

Murat said...

Thanks David! Blade is 27" x 4-3/4"

David said...

I thought it was quite narrow... Looking great!!

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