Available on commission for special events, gifts & awards
Presented to Sophie Gregoire Trudeau in 2015. Commissioned by The Ottawa River Keeper
The person in he bow of the Voyageur canoe was called "L’Avant". They were the lesser known heroes, but their job was critical - to ensure a clear path for the canoe, avoiding possible obstacles that lay ahead. This seemed to me a fitting paddle for Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, being the wife of Canada's Prime Minister.
The paddle of L'Avant has a slightly smaller blade than the Gouvernail (who was at the back of the boat steering), for their somewhat more subtle work.
Made in the traditional voyageur style, the wood in this paddle is truly Canadian. The waving flag is comprised of both hard, curly maple and soft, wavy or flamed maple. The shaft and edges are ash, basswood and cedar - all beautiful woods found in the Ottawa Valley.
Commissioned by Students On Ice Foundation which furthers exploration and education around the polar regions, this paddle was made in the traditional Greenland paddle style.
The north and south poles are unlike any other map on the planet. Their lines of longitude converge on a centre point and the latitude lines radiate out in concentric circles, forming what appeared to me as a sunrise.
From the unique position of the south pole, everywhere points north; and from the north pole, every direction is south. For this reason, the compass symbol for north is on the south pole blade and south is on the north pole blade.
The white coloured inlay is walrus tusk, still available for some Inuit hunters. Traditionally the Greenland paddle would have a whale bone tip and edges but with whales being endangered, I chose to use a curly maple burl in its place.