I’ve worked on five birch bark canoes now.  I guess it is the *thing* for traditional crafts.  Molding bark. Splitting, shaving, and bending wood, all by hand direct from the tree.  Tying it together with peeled and split roots.  Sealing it up with spruce gum and animal fat.  I guess what I’ll say about it is that it just feels like a good thing to do.

My first teacher, Michael Kohout of Dummerston, Vermont, has built somewheres around twenty of them.  He’s also a talented bow maker, and teacher of kids, and woodsman, and ain’t on the internet.  My next, Steve Cayard, builds canoes that you’re not sure you should touch, let alone get in and paddle.  I took a two week workshop with him, along with my friend Ian, and learned that when it comes to doing things right, he is a man that cannot be hurried.

Below are images from my own canoes.

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