Thursday, January 13, 2011

Birchbark Canoe

I have nicknamed her Titanic, since she spends so much time soaking in buckets.

I discovered last summer that birch bark splits less when wet: it rained a lot last summer, and the bark was wet when I started working with it. The next day, after it had dried overnight, it was much more fragile. So now, whenever I think I'll have time to work on her, I soak her overnight. Once I take her out of the water, I get about an hour where the bark is workable. (Winnipeg air is *dry* in the winter.)

I need to have her done for Saturday, so that my parents can take her to my cousin, who paid me to make her. Tonight I had to stop for three reasons:
1. It was getting late.
2. She was getting dry.
3. Most urgently, I pricked my thumb with the needle, and started leaving pink spots. Whoops! Luckily those came off after she went back in the bucket.

Most of the sewing is done. I also need to add a center crossbar, and seats. I probably won't have time to make paddles, unless I just glue paddle-shaped bits of bark to twigs. (I may do that.) I'm also planning on gluing bits of bark over the insect holes... *after* she no longer needs any soaking, since the glue is water-soluble. ;)

I will miss her when she's gone. I think she's turning out beautifully.


umelecky said...

That's a really nice project you're working on there! I wish we had some of the white birch in my woods here. Next time I'm in New England, I'm going to bring back some fallen branches and bark. I just love the stuff.

odessa said...

Oh wow, that is beautiful! I hope you post some pictures of it all finished.

noricum said...