Birch Bark Canoe Build Photos

    Sorry I never got to this before I left on my trip mentioned in the last post.  For those that wanted to see more photos of the 12 foot canoe I built last month here are some. With the completion of this canoe I'll have 3 sitting on the rack here at my place. I guess I find it easier to make them than to sell them. I'll have to try harder on that this fall and see if I can find a new home for this one.
    This project was much fun. I had a friend come and help who wants to build one for himself, so in exchange for the help he got all the info I could throw at him. As well as a few other folks that came to help at different times. Historically canoe building was often a family event.
     I have very strong beliefs that this old woodworking knowledge needs to be shared freely with the folks who want to know. Most of the time the people who may end up going farther with these skills don't have the resources to pay big money for workshops we do a work trades for projects like canoe building. I can't afford to do this all the time with all the things I make but it works for certain project.
     For me it's all about the use of these items, if we don't use them how are we to appreciate them for what they are? Canoes, spoons, wooden bowls, bark boxes, pottery, furniture, etc,and especially baskets are made to be used. How else are we to relearn, find, or acknowledge our inseparable connection with the natural world that we use every day whether we acknowledge or accept it or not, if not by using hand made items....handcrafted items? Or to come to terms with the fact the we humans have been users and makers of things from the natural world for 100,000's of years. We have evolved with handcraft it's part of our nature, it's who we are. Ok, Ok, I'm done preaching for now....

peeling some bark

splitting cedar with a froe

using the crooked knife to shave down ribs

hand splitting sheathing 1/8 thick

root lashed gunwales
pre-bending ribs in the bark hull
adding sheathing putting ribs in
adjusting rib length before hammering them in place under gunwale
finished end
on the water

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