Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cherry Passamaquoddy Guide - Part 2

Now that the latest Cherry paddle is complete, the pyrography stage has arrived. As mentioned in Part 1 of the post, the blade design was a replica of the c1849 Passamaquoddy paddle (Fig 72. Adney) currently in the collection of The Peabody Museum

Adney's sketch - Decorated Passamaquoddy on top

Peabody Museum paddle; Peabody Number 99-12-10/53655

My own Cherry version of this paddle decoration was based on a negative pyrography technique - burning the background at high heat to reveal the natural cherry tones in the scroll decoration. Cherry is an ideal wood for this technique and I was tempted to replicate the style again, but the I still vividly remember the huge amount of time needed to finish such a large piece with a tiny flow point tip. Plus, I wanted to get this paddle done in time for the National Canoe Day celebrations happening on June 26th in nearby Peterborough which I'm planning on attending (free admission to the Canadian Canoe Museum that day too!) Great way to get out of the city which is getting inconvenienced with the G8/G20 meetings downtown while also shutting down our cottage area up north this week.

It seemed fitting that since the blade shape was an identical twin, I should replicate this scroll pattern again, but this time a decision was made to try a a positive burning technique just to be a bit different. A hand-sketched image of this design drawn by Liz Reagan (which appears on page 20 of Graham Warren's book) shows the scroll pattern in a positive image technique. Given that the grip is a totally different design, I free handed some more scrolls to somewhat match the pattern the blade. This was completed easily over 2 days - a lot faster than the negative technique. Here are the shots before oiling:

Completed Decoration; Blade Closeup

As a bit of an extra decoration, ended up using about 3 feet of leather lace to tie a decorative Turk's Head knot at the base of the grip, below my name on the paddle. Here are some shots of the grip after oiling...

Turk's Head knot; Decorated Grip; Natural Side

The side with the inferior grain pattern was chosen for the pyrography decoration. The other side with some nice grain lines and patterns was left natural. Here are the pics of both sides...

Final Paddle

Can't wait to dip this sucker into some water and get paddling season underway!

March 2015 Update: Refurbished the unburned side of this paddle into an heirloom height marker for my second son. See that post HERE

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the only comment that comes to my mind is STUNNING!

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