This Wednesday, I couldn't be wordless. It just wouldn't be fair to the builder.
Just so everyone doesn't go thinking that decorating canoes is a new innovation, I want to post some pictures of a canoe built by master builder Steve Cayard. (Here is a story about him and one of his students, David Moses Bridges from the Portland Press Herald.)
You need to recognize a few things about this canoe. The first one is fairly obvious. This is a birch-bark canoe. These boats are made from all-natural materials (bark, spruce root, cedar, etc.)
These boats are made using mostly traditional hand tools - axes, crooked knives, digging sticks and the like. They are not built over a form - the beautiful fair shape is a result of the skill of the builder. They represent the zenith of the Native American's boatbuilding technology and are objects of beauty and utility. Take the time to look at the detail on Steve's boat - particularly the designs that have been etched into the winterbark on the canoe.
The workmanship here is just stunning.