Monday, January 22, 2018

Arctic paddle making

It has been a long while since I was this far north last time. Actually, It must have been early August 2011 when I came by kayak on my way south:

http://kajakkspesialisten.blogspot.no/2011/08/exhibit-at-troms-folk-museum.html

Tromsø is for me a magical place. Located around the 69. degree of latitude. The city has the unofficial status of capitol of Northern Norway. Maybe even Northern Scandinavia... The surroundings are sure spectacular: Tall steep snow covered mountains, magnificent sea with whales and eagles, and of course the northern lights..


my first long stay was exactly 20 ears ago, January 1998. Back then I did one of my my very first kayak building classes away from home. I remember that stay as one week's party. With great, resourceful, goodhearted and very accommodating people.

This stay was no exception, even though we didn't have many days now. And the Northern lights and the whales were absent..

We had a really good time building paddles for two days. It must have been one of my biggest classes ever, due to massive interest. Through two long working days, 28 people made each their own Greenland style of Aleut paddle. I sure hope to come back soon and paddle with the great people of the "Storm" paddle society :)




Thursday, January 11, 2018

Kayaks and paddles come from wood

Right now, every bit of my body seems to be aching. L That comes from too hard use of my body for a couple of days.

Here’s a glimpse of where the kayaks and paddles I build come from:
This autumn was the time to thin out between the trees that grow around the old church in Fiskum. I was asked by the church community if I could use some wood…



There was quite a bit of everything there – mainly ash, elm, birch and alder. All great for parts of kayaks and paddles.

Trees were felled, giving space for new trees and better environment for the church that dates back to 1100.



Monday we moved 3 tons of snow by hand, giving space for storing the wood outdoors.
Tuesday my assistant and I went to the sawmill. The sawmill is part of a farm up in the hills. It is run by Ole Kolkind, a great guy who is in his seventies.



I was pretty scared of the volume of all the wood logs. I was seriously worried how my back would cope with lifting and mowing heavy logs around. The temperature was around 16 degrees below zero.



After two days of lifting, carrying and stacking wood, I’m very happy AND very sore in most of my muscles. Especially my back L

However, it can’t beat the overwhelming joy I feel when I look at all the great materials, nicely stacked and left to air dry. In manageable pieces ready to pick and use for all kind of woodworking projects…



I’m beginning to use some of the ash today already. Green wood is perfect for steam bending cockpits.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Finally home!

Coming from  30 degrees plus to temperatures around 0 came as a shock. Sleepiness and getting back into home world has been keywords from the week. I did get a few nice days on the water in sun and rain. Here is some glimpses:


and a short super fast edit video from Friday:



Sunday, October 8, 2017

All good things come to an end

Birdcage... site of qajaq and ixyaq build at the Delmarwa paddler's retreat


Just a brief update from the US. I'm pretty tired at the moment. It has been a super good and inspiring week with so many good people around. The kayaks came out beautifully. We coated them, made sea socks and finally we got to test them on the water.

Delmarwa paddler's retreat has been ongoing alongside out building project with lots of great things happening. I will post some grest pictures soon.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Qajaq and ixyaq build Delmarwa part II

We finished all the wood during Friday. John Huber came up from Norfolk Virginia to help out with the class. 3 pairs of hands is luxury when lots of thing needs to be taken care of.


 The bird cage is the kayak building site here at Delmarwa. We set up workbenches, sawhorses, tools and all, and during Friday afternoon most of the kayak builders showed up.


One thing we hadn't figured out was the masik question. It was solved by finding crocked trunks and branches in the woods and cutting them into finished masiks. It's so cool to have people like John around! 


Now by the end of day 2 it begins to look an awfully lot like qajaqs and ixyaqs in the birdcage. We'll try to post some pictures when we have time. 


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Kayak build at Delmarwa paddlers retreat

I was pretty anxious about travelling to the US this time.. My American friend Miguel suggested that I should shave off my beard to get through customs. And what about my Russian books that I was planning to carry in my luggage.... Would they make me look suspicious? Should I leave them behind?



I didn't shave and I brought my Russian books... and I got into the US without any difficulties - of course!

I was met by Chris at Newark airport - one of the finest Americans you can imagine.

We drowe down to Delaware yesterday and set up a workshop in Chris' driveway this morning. It looked like early Christmas at some point with yellow spruce sawdust carried by the wind all over the neighborhood :( Only that the temperature was around 30 degrees celcius!



I was kind of nervous about the foreign materials, but a day of handling, cutting and planing convinced me that this will make great kayaks for sure!

More cutting to be done tomorrow..... And then we'll probably meet most of the class at camp arrowhead by tomorrow evening.


4 huge sacks of sawdust and wood shavings, a bunch of materians and two tired men having a beer...





Monday, September 4, 2017

Paddle building class in Struer, Denmark

Just a short notice:
THANK YOU EVERYONE
who took part in the paddle making class in Struer, Denmark this weekend :)


It was a great experience. Everyone did outstanding work and managed to have a great time doing so! For me it was a thrill to work in the old factory buildings of Struer kajak. The place where legendary veneer racing kayaks has been build for generations. A great honor, actually :)
https://www.struerkajak.com/