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Artistic wooden kayak: Moon-raven, Cape Ann Exp. Sport, built in spring 2002

This kayak was a dream project: I had hoped that a client would ask me to create a hull with a lot of inlay. Noela ordered this kayak and provided the graphics already drawn to scale on graph paper. Via email we worked out what kind of wood to use in the various areas.

After constructing the hull with strips of matching grain and walnut stems, I inserted the veneer cutouts. The first sealer coat of epoxy was a very exiting moment, because all the colors came to life.

For those who are curious as to how it is done:

I temporarily attach the segments to my sanded hull, and score around the veneer with an exacto knife.

After removing the veneer, I must router within the score marks to recess the area to the depth
which equals the thickness of the inlay.

Here you can see the mighty "Zoober":
The vacuum pump holds the veneer assembly in place , while the glue dries. Also visible are the areas which have been recessed to receive the next section.
I use a dremel tool to rough out the fields, and finish it with a sharp chisel. It is a bit scary to cut into my "canvas", given that it took many hours to build, and a slipup would be difficult to repair. The white gear in the background is the inverter and charge controller, to power my shop using my 12V DC storage batteries.

For the deck I went through the same process to recreate the moon in wood veneer. This inlay is composed of walnut, yellow cedar, bubinga, ebony and mother of pearl for the eyes. The iris is paua, a shell similar to abalone.
As the whole collage is below the glass and resin layers, it is well protected from the elements.
The shell components are responding very well to being covered with epoxy, they lock permanently wet, and refract different colors depending on where you stand.

The maiden voyage took place in the icy waters of Emerald Lake in Yoho Park in the Canadian Rockies. Given the proximity to the glaciers I did not attempt any eskimo rolls, and even carving turns and testing the limits without a skirt, was pushing my luck. I stayed close to the shore....

Here in my own research and development front yard, with the help of my furry assistants I am less at risk of hypothermia.

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