Northwoods paddle


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I have recently taken delivery of my new Northwoods paddle made for me by Tim Rowe of Edenwood Canoe Paddles, of Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, UK. It is in solid maple, a good compromise between strength and light weight and a close grained wood which takes paint well. I have decorated the blade with a traditional chevron pattern as depicted in the painting of 1847 by Cornelius Krieghof 'Aboriginal camp in Lower Canada'. The historical notes on this painting mention that it was done at Kahnawake, on the south bank of the St Lawrence, and in all probability the paddle design is Mohawk or one of the Iroquois language group five nations peoples. I have also decorated the handle with a rabbit smoking a pipe, and on the reverse a panther (aka mountain lion) and then varnished it together with the shaft. The Passamaquoddy artist and canoe builder Tomah Joseph frequently used the rabbit and panther leitmotifs in his work. I have deliberately employed a naive painting and drawing style, and did not 'mask up' since firstly I feel that makes it more authentic in referring back to how it might have looked in the C19th and also as my paddle is a 'user' for my Huron cedar stripper, and not to be hung on the wall. May I also take this opportunity to record my thanks to Murat V for his wonderful blog which gave me the idea for the decoration in the first place and the link to Cornelius Krieghof.

Northwoods 2

Northwoods 3
Very funky!
And I must add that we recently acquired a couple of Tim's Edenwood paddles and they are superb. And for those of you in the UK and Europe be sure to check him out if you're looking for a handmade hardwood paddle.
Fantastic job Nigel! Such vibrant definitely now have a unique paddle with a fantastic back story to it. You'll never accidentally leave it behind at a portage now. Did you end up using acrylic paint and then seal with varnish or oil-based paint?