Words from a Canadian goldsmith
My sailing days began when we lived in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighborhood in the ’70s. We lived a block from the beach and I always felt a need of being off the beach and on the waters of English Bay. We started small with a Zodiac inflatable, and a 6 horse Chrysler outboard. It got us out there and we were immediately hooked on boating. We spent many afternoons enjoying the waters of English Bay . A friend had just bought a laser sailing dinghy and suggested I try sailing lessons at Jericho Sailing Club, which I did.
I remember the feeling when I first left the beach and the wind powered the boat forward in silence, no deafening roar of the Chrysler behind me. I knew I had found a new passion.
The laser sailing was short lived however, when we found a beautiful little 23′ Gaff rigged cutter, with a lapstrake hull… … We sailed her all through the Gulf and San Juan islands, up to Desolation Sound for several years. Then we went from wood to Fiberglass with a C&C 27, and later a brand new 1982 C&C 32, which we lived aboard for four years…..
We left the sailing world for too many years after selling “NW Wind” and moving to Ontario for a while, but sailing and boats are in my thoughts almost every day of my life. I get out occasionally with friends and have crewed on a few races, which we hadn’t done when we owned our boats. I’ve downsized to a 20′ twin keeled sailboat that I am slowly (very slowly) going to get ready for my retirement from the factory, when we can hopefully enjoy cruising at our own pace.
The connection with jewellery………..
I am focusing on sailing related designs as well as what my clients are asking for. Years ago, when I worked for a retail store, I made a limited edition series of six different sailboats in Sterling Silver. They were on silver stands, and one of a kind miniatures. I wish I had pictures of all six ( my favorite was the schooner, which sold quickly), but these are 3 of them.
I apologize for the quality of some of these photos, but my old scanner isn’t compatible with Vista so I’m having to photograph prints to upload here.
This is an assortment of Sterling Silver Sailboat pendants I also produced……
I am now combining woodcarving with silver seascapes, more sculptural, but still using precious metals……..
An example below is a cocobolo/maple box with a seascape/sailboat top.
……I made this as an entry for a gallery showing called ” Vessels “. When it sold it inspired me to begin thinking of creating more pieces along these lines.
A work in progress is the Silver and 14kt. gold Sailboat with a Cocobolo wood hull.
Another View ………
…..The funny thing about this piece is when my wife and I took it to the Vancouver Wooden boat show a few years ago, and had it displayed in a friends outside booth. It was a hot sunny day and I kept it in an acrylic display box. I had used shellac as a finish, and it quickly blistered and I had to completely refinish it. Live & learn.
Having removed the finish I decided to do a Silver seascape under the hull. I will post photos when it’s finished.