Saturday, May 28, 2016

New Paddle Company - Winnebago Paddles

Another new paddle company has come onto the scene, this one specializing in making custom designs laminated with various exotic woods. Here are some of the stunning creations of Winnebago Paddles...

A slide show on their homepage showcases additional photo closeups for those wanting more of their visual treats. As part of an incentive for the upcoming paddling season, Winnebago is running a giveaway for the month of June. The winner of the contest will get to design a custom canoe paddle of their choice to their exact specifications. More details and instructions on how to enter can be found on the June Giveaway page HERE.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Wool Blanket Kids Canoe Pack

After making the father & son set of wool tripping sweaters, some surplus blanket material was left over. I was wondering about what to do with these scraps when I stumbled upon a new 2016 collection being made by the folks at Duluth Pack. Seems like they've branched away from canvas as their only product material and are now making packs out of wool blankets.

Their prices are getting a bit too obscene for me, with this little pack retailing for $225 US before shipping. But at least it became the source of inspiration. There were just enough blanket remnants to make a small canoe pack for my older son.

My boy was involved in the process and wanted two important features to him - a pocket in the front to slip in paper for drawing stuff and some way to hold a blanket on top. This was because he saw a backpack like this being used in favourite cartoon show at the moment, Kung Fu Panda.

After doing some experimenting with the material, we had enough to make a box style pack (dimensions =  15" h x 11" w x 6" d ) and basically decided to mimic the style and function of my Canadian made Woods 200 pack. The seams are hand stitched but since this will be a light duty pack seeing occasional use, they should hold up fine. Of course it isn't waterproof but I've got an unused drybag that should fit nicely on the inside to keep contents from getting soaked.

Some leather straps and roller buckles left over from an unsatisfactory attempt at making snowshoe bindings were reused here. Below are some photos of the pack stuffed with clothes and other stuff to give it shape.

Front View

Rear View

Like the Woods packs, the side panels extend up a little to form flaps. Some grommets and paracord tie them together to partially secure the load. A large square of scrap blanket was sewn on the interior of the front side to form a slip pocket.

The long straps can be crossed over when closing like the first photo or be used to secure something on top. Here is a fleece blanket roll that we used for the photo.

I've since added a piece of oil tanned leather the the bottom to give it a little more protection and stiffness. He likes it and is getting more excited about our planned canoe camping trip this summer.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Historic Paddle Illustration - Henry Pooley - Rideau Canal, Ottawa River

A watercolour painting by Henry Pooley dated to 1833 shows a native encampment complete with wigwam, bark canoe and paddles.

Entrance of the Rideau Canal, Ottawa River, Canada, 1833
Henry Pooley
Watercolour over graphite on wove paper
34.9 x 44.7 cm
Purchased 1982
National Gallery of Canada (no. 28026)


I've never really found watercolours great at showcasing details, but Pooley captures the elongated spear shape of the paddle blades with the faintest appearance of some sort of bobble grip. The ends of the canoes look quite exaggerated however so there must be some artistic license with this image

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Circa 1900 Maple Penobscot Paddle

The May Current Selections of the features a hefty Maple paddle with a massive 8" wide beavertail blade and traditional Penobscot stepped grip...

Penobscot Canoe Paddle
This Native American maple canoe paddle has a wide beaver tail blade and a wide grip. The stepped handle is a traditional form that was made by Penobscot guides working in the Moosehead Lake (Maine) region.
Circa 1900
8" w, 72" h

The photos include a great lateral shot of the stepped grip, showing how the handle gradually tapers down in thickness. Might be useful for anyone attempting to replicate this style of comfortable grip pattern.

Penobscot stepped grip lateral view

Thursday, May 5, 2016

CCM Makers Paddle Video

Found a short video from the Canadian Canoe Museum showcasing a volunteer carving paddles in their museum workshop. In the quick, 1:27 long teaser, there are multiple shots of completed paddles adorning the wall.

There are two paddles on the wall which feature etched double curve motifs like the Peabody Museum's c1849 Passamaquoddy Paddle. On the right side, a few pointed paddles stand out with their painted black and red decoration. At the 0:19 mark there is a closeup of some more paddles, a few of which feature the lovely pyrographic artwork of Cara Jordan (previous post here)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Chis Lowry Salamander Paddle

Chris Lowry of Ecotone Productions has sent in one more of his decorated paddles. This one is a very cute kids paddle made for his son decorated with a painted image of a Northern Red Salamander.

Photo Credit: Chris Lowry 

 Photo Credit: Chris Lowry

Northern Red Salamander

For any reader who might have missed it, more of Chris' work can be seen in this earlier post.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Historic Paddle Photo: Department of Mines Exploration Paddles

Found some more vintage pics from These two images are from 1904 Report of the Ontario Bureau of Mines. An exploration party in Northern Ontario were searching for coal and other mineral potentials in the Moose River Basin. The first image showcases the exploration party posing on shore with their gear...

The second includes a crew on the Upper Nettogami river poling their canoes. The canoe in front is a sturdy looking birchbark. Poling is hard enough to balance with a single person. Tough to imaging the skill of these canoemen working to tandem upriver...

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