When I first arrived in Maine over 40 years ago, East of our farm was a 90 mile stretch of almost inaccessible spruce-fir forest. The few logging roads were rough and far flung. For those of us called by these woods, it meant snowshoes in winter, and a canoe the rest of the year. Nothing said Maine like a 16 foot cedar and canvas canoe, and an ash paddle that felt like a member of the family. Something about the feel of it digging in one that cold spring dead water, working your way upstream to a mess of brookies. Seemed all the old guides made a paddle style that was unique to their way of navigating a canoe. Back then, it never dawned on me to make my own, they were all so well done by the old timers, and easy to have one made just for you. More recently, its not quite so easy to find those old paddle makers, although there are a few commercial wood shops producing wood paddles, the vast majority of today's paddles are the high tech composite styles.
A longtime friend of mine has been making the old traditional paddles for years, I can't really call him an old timer, because he's actually several years younger than I am. His interest is not only in the old and varied styles of paddles, but in the absolutely beautiful working paddles and collectable pieces some of the more unusual woods make.
Recently, he offered to teach me the craft of paddle making, and it has been another enjoyable adventure. What you see offered is a wide variety of both functional and collectable paddles, made by either or both of us. Half the fun of learning this new skill has been locating just the right pieces of wood or trees to be able to work up as real showpieces. If you have an appreciation for the real beauty of wood, you're going to love these paddles.
Knotty Brown Ash - $85.00 (Left) and Flame Yellow Birch - $110.00 (Right)
Native Cherry - $110.00 (Left) and Cree Style White Birch - $100.00 (Right)
Birdseye Maple - $135.00 (Left) and Curly and Mineral Stained Maple - $110.00 (Right)
Brown or White Ash - $100.00 (Left) and Butternut - $125.00 (Right)