Thursday, December 14, 2017

Tomah Joseph inspired paddle

Before picking up my latest batch of wood stock, I had a single piece of 5/4 cherry left over. Grain wise, it was very suitable for a paddle but there were some conspicuous knots that would end up in the blade section. This piece of cherry sat for years before I decided to make another paddle from it. This one was inspired by a paddle that was on display at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine back in 2012 (post here).
Photo Credit Link - OurAcadia

The paddle seemed to have a darkened tip and flattened grip area. Turns out the paddle was the Tomah Joseph etched paddle  borrowed from the Passamaquoddy Cultural Heritage Center. Featured in an article from the  Portland Press Herald, the accompanying photo didn't provide a closeup of the grip, but provided a clear shot of the blade tip and beautiful etchings on the upper portion.

Descendants of famous Passamaquoddy chief Tomah Joseph, from left, Joan Dana, Natalie Dana and Cassandra Dana show off a paddle made by Joseph and on display at the Passamaquoddy Cultural Heritage Center & Museum in Indian Township.
Image Credit: Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer
Portland Press Herald

Since the grip wasn't clearly shown, I carved what felt comfortable, a flattened grip with a distinct drip ring at the base. Unfortunately, this was another paddle where construction photos were lost on the defective memory card. After carving it down, I burned the grip area with the torch as well as the nearly half the blade. This worked out well because the dark scorching discretely covered the presence of knotholes in these sections. The remaining decoration was burned on the upper portion inspired by Tomah's Joseph's beautiful work so many generations ago.

Tomah Joseph Inspired Paddle

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