Friday, September 23, 2016

Historic Paddle Photo: Dan Sarazin Paddles

in 1970, Denis Alford recorded the construction of a birch bark canoe for the National Museums of Canada. The builder was Dan Sarazin of Golden Lake (now known as Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation). Alford's detailed records of the build appear in David Gidmark's book Building a Birchbark Canoe - The Algonquin Wabanaki Tciman but the original photo slides are now preserved in the Archives of the Canadian Museum of History.

Part of the set features a group of 4 paddles of varying lengths from this traditional Algonquin builder...

Summary Four paddles in different woods made by Dan Sarazin 
Author Alsford, Denis B., 1929-2004.
Description 1 slide col. 35 mm.
Control no. S72-3088
CD File no. CD94-68

A few more photos reveal Sarazin's method of lashing the paddles to form a yoke for a portage demonstration.


 You can contrast that to an alternate lashing method of another builder from this photo in  Building the Chippewa Canoe by Robert E. Ritzenthaler.

"Chippewa Portage Method"

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Cherry Gallery: Unique Scroll Grip Paddle

Another fascinating paddle find has been listed by the folks over at Their September 2016 page of current items has a listing of a paddle with a very interesting, assymetrical scroll grip.

Scroll Grip Canoe Paddle
Circa 1900
7" w, 66" h

Here's their writeup on this unique piece which has already sold...

We have handled hundreds of quality antique canoe paddles, but never one quite like this example which turned up in a downeast Maine estate. It is a birch paddle with a rolled grip finished on the ends with concentric ring buttons. The grip eases into a gracefully chamfered flat handle. The tapered blade has flared shoulders and a pronounced center ridge which is characteristics of northeastern Native designs. The old, slightly crazed finish is superb.

Scroll grip closeup

Scroll grip closeup

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mi'kmaw Artist Edwin Benham Paddle Closeup

A quick followup to an earlier post on the paddle art of Mi'kmaw Artist, Edwin Benham.

The White Point Lodge has an additional post with a closeup of the decorative carvings. Turns out the paddles were commissioned to serve as elaborate door handle for their main entry.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Historic Paddle Photo: With Rod and Gun in New England

Here's another grainy photo from With Rod and Gun in New England and the Maritime Provinces, published in 1897. It features a profile shot of bark canoe with the guide on the far left holding up a paddle.

Samuels, Edward A. (Edward Augustus), 1897
page 295

Here's a closeup. It seems that the paddle has what looks like a knot or other blemish on the mid portion of the blade.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Woodworkers Journal "Northwoods" Paddle template

Missed this last year, but the June 2015 issue of Woodworkers Journal featured a tutorial by Dan Cary entitled, "How to Make a Canoe Paddle - Summer Fun Project".

For the time being, the article still also appears online on their website, albeit under a different title. It showcases a paddle making tutorial at the North House Folk School by instructor, Mike Schelmeske. Along with a detailed photo sequence and a quick YouTube video, the article includes paddle plans for a basic beavertail blade and standard pear shape grip. This might be useful for any readers wanting to embark on their first paddle creation.

The paddle plans are available in *.pdf format and can be downloaded by clicking here

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