Tag Archives: Model Making

The Driftwood Boat

“The sea’s curious workmanship: bottle green glass sucked smooth and porous by the waves: wood stripped and cleaned and bark swollen with salt…gnawed and rubbed: amber: bone: the sea”  –  Lawrence Durrell – Propero’s Cell

After a gap of about  five years, maybe even more, this week I returned to the Driftwood  Boat project, found my old sticks at the back of the shed and set to to build a boat.

This is a box of driftwood and other bits and pieces that I collected on various holidays to the Greek Islands and brought home in my hand luggage.  Interestingly I never once was stopped at airport security or UK customs and asked to explain my unusual cargo.

So, it has been carefully assembled but now comes the tricky bit – negotiating with Kim on a place in the house to display it.

A year or so ago and two thousand miles from the Greek Islands I was in a seaside fishing village in Northumberland  called Seaton Sluice.

Not an especially attractive name I agree but it turned out to be a delightful place with a working port full of fishing boats, wonderful rugged coastal scenery and a curious gaily painted blue shed.

A timber treasure house full of riches washed up from the sea and fashioned into wood carvings, trinkets and what you might generously describe as exclusive souvenirs by the hippie owner/artist with grizzled beard and wild hair.  He might easily have been washed up from the sea himself.  I thought immediately of Hemingway’s ‘Old Man and the Sea’ and Norman Lewis’  ‘Voices of the Old Sea’.

Here I am looking for inspiration…

Click on an image to scroll through the Gallery…

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.”  – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Another Driftwood Boat

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.” 
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

In the shops earlier we had seen some souvenir boats made of drift wood and this gave me an idea.  It would be impossible to take one home given the restrictions on hand luggage so I decided that I would collect the bits of knotted wood and salt bleached sticks off the beach, take them home and, in an Airfix sort of way, make my own so I set immediately about beachcombing and starting my collection.

In the afternoon we strolled to the beach and went for a swim in the sea and I continued my search for interesting bits of driftwood.  Despite her earlier lack of enthusiasm even Kim was showing some interest in the project and by now we had the pieces we needed for the hull, the mast, the rudder and a cabin, some cuttlefish for sails and miscellaneous bits of twig and sticks for the sea.  Later as I scavenged the harbour for other useful bits a helpful fisherman provided some authentic cord which was going to be just perfect for the nets.

Read the full story…

The Latest Driftwood Project

Driftwood Boat

“The sea’s curious workmanship: bottle green glass sucked smooth and porous by the waves: wood stripped and cleaned and bark swollen with salt…gnawed and rubbed: amber: bone: the sea”    Lawrence Durrell – Propero’s Cell

So, it was an unexpectedly early start that day and so began a routine of a balcony breakfast followed by a morning at the beach where we played for a while, then walked for a while searching for driftwood and other suitable model boat building materials washed up by the sea and then rested for a while listening to the occasional drone of an outboard motor, the flapping of pedalo paddle wheels and the gentle plop or rowing boat oars spearing the limpid sea until it was time to take shelter in the taverna and order a bottle of Mythos.

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Greece and Turkey – The Boat Souvenir

I had some difficulty getting through the body scanner at passport control in Bodrum without setting it off so this left Kim by herself to deal with the request to open my bag that had gone through the scanner and caused some excitement.  I think she suddenly remembered the film ‘Midnight Express’ when a stay in a Turkish prison was decidedly unpleasant and mindful of this she blurted out ‘It isn’t mine!’ and raising a finger and clearly identifying me as the owner said ‘It’s his, it’s his!’  

The security guard was rather perplexed by my bag of driftwood and a few rusty nails but seemed to accept my explanation about the souvenir boat building project and he let us both pass.

The Corfu Souvenir Boat

Completion of the Boat Building Project

“The sea’s curious workmanship: bottle green glass sucked smooth and porous by the waves: wood stripped and cleaned and bark swollen with salt…gnawed and rubbed: amber: bone: the sea”     Laurence Durrell – Propero’s Cell

In the shops earlier we had seen some souvenir boats made of drift wood and this gave me an idea.  It would be impossible to take one home given the restrictions on hand luggage so I decided that I would collect the bits of knotted wood and salt bleached sticks off the beach, take them home and, in an Airfix sort of way, make my own so I set immediately about beachcombing and starting my collection.

In the afternoon we strolled to the beach and went for a swim in the sea and I continued my search for interesting bits of driftwood.  Despite her earlier lack of enthusiasm even Kim was showing some interest in the project and by now we had the pieces we needed for the hull, the mast, the rudder and a cabin, some cuttlefish for sails and miscellaneous bits of twig and sticks for the sea.  Later as I scavenged the harbour for other useful bits a helpful fisherman provided some authentic cord which was going to be just perfect for the nets.

Read the full story…