Winter Storms 2

Here is the finest salvage yet – a magnificent length of timber, presumably washed away from the old Rapid Bay jetty. Recent storms have shaken the remaining structure;  bits and pieces drift with the current which runs northwards – and these gifts from the ocean are delivered almost to our doorstep….a few hundred yards to the south, where the beach comes to an end.

The length measures 8 1/2 feet by 8 1/2 inches by 3 inches. I think it is what the trade calls ‘Australian Oak’ – which might mean Mountain Ash, or Alpine Ash, or Messmate Stringybark: they have similar characteristics.

No doubt the trees were cut from pristine forests way back, when our native forests seemed never-ending; when there was no notion of careful/selective harvesting and replanting.

All the more reason, now, to treat the driftwood with respect,and use it only for noble purposes. By that I mean: wooden boats, the best of which are surely the most beautiful examples of functional sculpture ever conceived.

I take all these gifts as an unequivocal Message. It is time we revived our boat-building skills, as far as they go, and look to the various castles in the air, inherited and otherwise.

Which is not to say my lute-making is forgotten. On the contrary – in the coming days I hope to glue the Endclasp to the Lute body. It has been a tricky job shaping the correct pattern; fining and refining and muddling through; getting a little bit anxious – but it’s the next and unavoidable step:  it has to be  taken, so I had better take it.

6 thoughts on “Winter Storms 2”

  1. I’m not sure what part of the Tancook Whaler these magnificent pieces of wood will become, but they have sailed the seas already, and safely made landfall, so I’m confident that they will do the job.

  2. Hi Chris,

    I’ve already told you, they are meant to be galley seats for oarsmen on a replica Greek trireme! 🙂


    1. Greetings Ian. Well, we can happily take that idea – that castle in the air – on board (so to speak).

      I will put Trireme on the List.

  3. Their worn grainy textures are so beautiful, primal almost, the result of working hard on their last task in the water.

    Seems a shame to cut them albeit for a Splendid and Noble Boat Sculpture.

    To celebrate their patinated surface and elegant shapes I see them grouped to create a place and left as they are now, set vertically into the ground close together a width apart, almost as you have them stacked here … their different lengths mixed together juxtaposed forming a meandering see-though line of beam characters, like a sculpture fence, between here and there, to walk past, be dwarfed by, to touch & embrace some tall some short … for plants to grow amongst …

    But then I am not a boat builder.

    1. I understand what you are saying, Lucy, and fortunately we have enough driftwood to satisfy both inclinations. And the wood keeps drifting in.

      I will soon be posting images of the Tancook Whaler – most striking of all wooden vessels – and you will see for yourself what great beauty there can be in setting wood free….

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