It’s a rainy day and I’m breaking my rule and working in the shop and at my desk. “If you work Sunday’s then Mondays just another damn day”. That’s the rule, but, Saturday was beautiful, cool and sunny so I spent the day working in the garden and bike riding. When you work for yourself you have the option of sometimes flipping the days around to fit the weather.
Spring is here, the days are sunny with temperatures in the in the 70’s, flowers are starting to bloom and the summer teaching season has begun.
I’m starting the 2015 season with a class in my shop, a collaboration with Pygmy Kayaks building two of their Pinguino 145 designs. It’s a full week but we are making great progress and having fun as we bring these boats to life. I can already tell both boats will be used often once they hit the water.
A new kind of project.
Earlier this winter, before December’s frost, ice, and dustings of snow had morphed into the more than four feet still piled up around the shop, I expanded the list of things I’ve tried my hand at. A film crew, four consummate craftsmen, arrived for a three-day shoot in my shop.
The last month has been a grand mix of new places and old friends, new challenges in the shop, old skills revisited and a winter that’s coming in just a tad to fast.
This time of year I feel like I’m pulled in a dozen different directions each day. I pick the task that most needs to be attended to and have at it. I know, it’s like that for everyone and I’d like to think most of us enjoy the work we turn our hands to. I do, but sometimes, well there’s a lot that needs doing.
The last of summer
A few nights ago, when such a deep and early darkness seemed to have fallen outside, I felt with some certainty that we’re in for a short fall and a long and cold winter. If so, I look forward to warm fires, moonlight on snow and bracing days. My premonition it turns out was slightly ahead of the season. Last Sunday it was in the 80’s with just the first hint of red in the maples along the river. A magnificent day to paddle on the Salmon, a brackish river not far from home.
This seems to have been the summer of light – moonlight, starlight, golden evening light, and the pale warming light of dawn. I’ve basked in the steady light of midday as well as the defused light that sometimes shines through gray storms. I’ve admired the light shinning through thick green forests and reflecting off of quite waters. From shore, and less wisely, from the thwart of a boat, I’ve seen storm light dancing on tossed seas. I’ve marveled at the quality of light laying across summer fields or slipping at dawn through open bedroom windows. I’ve seen light reflecting off Osprey in flight, mountain ridges, rockbound coasts, and the faces of friends. I’ve seen light shinning from the faces of friends. I’ve seen light shining through the dust in the air of half a dozen different shops and the mist on as many island mornings. I’ve felt the warmth of light on my bare feet and the warmth of light held in stone, both appreciated in the cool of the evening or at the dawn of the day. This summer the earth and the heavens seem to be infused with the gift of light.
The classes I have taught so far this summer have all been extraordinary for me and I believe for my students. I’ve just finished the Chewonki project and the kids, accompanied by their trip leaders, are out on an extended kayaking trip in their new Willow kayaks. I had a blast working with the group and plan on meeting them out on the water towards the end of this week for a few days of paddling.
So far the weather, the feel and the pace of the summer have been ridiculously nice. Just the right amount of rain with warm but not hot days and cool nights. The weather might change, I know the pace is about to.
These past few weeks I’ve been churning through the projects. I’ve delivered a corner cabinet for a client and I’m close to starting the finish work on a Fox I’m finishing for a customer. Mattie, the Oughtred skiff I’ve been working on for the past several winters has enjoyed some attention and is at the paint and varnish stage. Looking at my schedule for the summer it seems prudent to try and have most of my kits ready for class by early June, so I’ve been making kit parts and scarfing planks when I have a spare moment.