Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ferdy Goode's 61st Masterpiece - DONE

Birchbark Canoe builder Ferdy Goode graciously sent me some pics of his 61st bark canoe build. With his permission, I've posted some of his pics so the readers of my blog can see another bark canoe being born. The bark was harvested from a standing tree using some wooden braces and clamps on the cut edge to prevent the bark from tearing. Simple but brilliant idea. Had I thought of this, I might've been able to salvage my bark piece whole instead of tearing it into 5 ft. long panels and eliminated the need for lap stitching the hull. Live and learn I guess.

Ferdy harvesting bark with clamped edge

This one has ash gunwales that are nailed - a technique that many native builders adopted for speed of construction and strength. Given how long it took to lash my canoe's gunwales, I can see the definite time advantages to this method.

Bark folded up & staked

Nailing the ash gunwales

I've always admired Ferdy's artistic flair with the winter bark etchings. These curved motifs are mesmerizing. It looks like there are different patterns on each side. A decorative way of identifying the starboard side from port side I guess.

Winter bark etching

Winter bark etching

Ferdy's Ash Bark Canoe

Apparently Ferdy also built the Eastern Algonquin canoe on display at the Indian Summer Fest that I blogged about earlier. He's been gracious enough to answer my questions and share his wealth of knowledge about the construction process. For more birchbark canoe eye candy, check out his site Beaver Bark Canoes for more pics of his prolific building over the years

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