Thursday, September 13, 2012

Historical Re-enactment Paddles

Issac Walters runs a site devoted to the history of The French in Wisconsin. I stumbled across his 2009 post showcasing his bark canoe and some decorated paddle blades...

Here are some extra details he generously provided...

The two red painted paddles are carved from white cedar and were made by John Beltman of Northern Minnesota. The decorative designs are fusion of different patterns from researching images of historical artists Thomas Davies (circa 1737-1812), James Peachey (active 1773-1797), Louis Nicholas (see my Codex Canadiensis post) and some museum canoe models.

The blue paddle in the picture was one that Scott Bowen (Southern MN) started carving and was going to throw out because it was cracking in the blade. Isaac finished the carving adding a Cross of Lorraine on the grip, then painted it blue. To combat the crack, the tip was reinforced with some copper.

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