Sunday, July 15, 2018

Preview of WHCA paddle display

I've been frequently mentioning the upcoming WCHA Assembly in Peterborough, Ontario taking place from July 17th to the 22nd. All of my paddle projects of late have been designs to form an outdoor display for this event. The display is now completed and will focus on  Historic Paddle Decoration to go along with my short presentation scheduled on July 21st.

For the display, I chose 10 examples of Woodland paddles previously discussed on this site which feature unique decorations as documented in historic artworks, manuscripts and museum collections. It needed to be portable for transportation so I started off with a metal sawhorse with collapsible legs. I have a set previously used to make a pair of elevated canoe cradles (post here).
Mastercraft folding metal sawhorse

A four foot piece of 1x10 pine was bolted on top and 10 little paddle stations were drilled out with a large spade bit. I also made a backing of sorts with some wood scraps on hand and painted the thing with excess black paint collecting dust in the basement supply.

Sturdy base with room for 10 paddles

Two, 2'x4' hardboard panels were used for the upper display and attach at the base with bolts and wing nuts for easy tightening. The boards were also painted black to serve as a backdrop. Images of various historic paintings were printed on thick cover paper, glued onto bits of scrap wood and then sealed with a slightly glossy varnish. These art panels were then attached to the hardboard with some industrial Velcro so they can be removed and reattached for transportation. Some of the art pieces were mounted on thick wood others on thin stock so they give the display a bit of a 3D feel. Hopefully, these will add some interesting context to the visitor.

Small panels of Historic Artworks

My two page article on the Schoolcraft paddle (Wooden Canoe - Issue 205, Vol. 41 No.1) has been put into a protective glass frame that can be removed and read for anyone who might be interested. Here is the final display all set up...

Completed display of 10 Historic Paddles

The 10 paddles selected for the display (left to right) are:
Codex canadensis paddle
circa 1750-1780 Algonquin Paddle
Davies' paddle from 1788
• 1820 Schoolcraft Paddle
McCord Museum Eastern Woodlands Replica
• circa 1850 CMC Eastern Woodland Paddle
• circa 1850 Mi'kmaq paddle from Anonymous
Krieghoff paddle from Indian Wigwam in Lower Canada
• 19th century "Delaware" paddle
Green Passamaquoddy paddle (Peabody Museum)

If any readers are planning to attend the Assembly, feel free to drop by to check out the display and say hi!

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