Archive for July, 2012
I’m lucky enough to have an office on the banks of the river Great Ouse. Away from designing, I take every opportunity to fuel my passion for canoeing. Getting out on the water gives me a real sense of freedom and I love learning ancient canoeing techniques.
I’ve always dreamed of building my own traditional, wood and canvas canoe and I’m now fortunate enough to tick off one of my lifelong ambitions; earlier this year I went over to the North East coast of the United States, to spend ten days under the expert tutelage of Rollin Thurlow, the proprietor of the Northwoods Canoe Company, building a 15ft Cedar ‘Indian Girl’. (The photo was taken as the planking is being nailed to the ribs).
Now that she’s back in England, I’m going through the lengthy process of applying coat after coat of varnish and marine paint. Once finished, I’ll post some more pictures.
As part of this Blog we’d like to take time to introduce you to some of the art, architecture and design that inspires us:
N C Wyeth (1882–1945) is one of my favourite illustrators and as I’m a keen canoeist I particularly love this picture from a series in a 1907 issue of Outing Magazine. I particularly admire Wyeth’s thirst for first hand inspiration and was fascinated to discover that he travelled widely, working alongside real cowboys in Colorado and visiting the Navajo in Arizona. This was, in part, my inspiration for a recent visit to Maine where I learnt how to make traditional canvas canoes with a local craftsman (more on this later).
Wyeth was a fantastic artist and if you have the time it’s well worth checking out his other illustrations.