Hidden Elements

Full Size Canoes

Full size canoes are carefully built to replicate the traditional design, construction techniques and materials unique to the region and tribe. Working with the Heye Collection - a part of the Canadian Canoe Museum - for many years gave me access to a variety of canoes built by original Native craftsmen. My building experience includes Maliceet, Cree, Algonquin, Ojibwa, Mackenzie River Dogrib and various Fur Trade styles. These are authentic and great care is taken to honour the precise methods and details of the individual classes of canoe. In doing so, both the history and craftsmanship of these beautiful boats is faithfully preserved in each canoe and paddle ordered.

All canoes are built using only simple hand tools, axe, crooked knife and awl. Sheets of bark are selected with white cedar and birch structural pieces split, rived and shaped with axe and crooked knife. Care is used to be certain lashings, ribs, gunwales, sheeting and bark is worked by hand and fashioned into a tight and symmetrical canoe that is an exact replica of its traditional forbear. A few examples of the dozens of bark canoes built over the past 35 years are shown in these photos.

Click on any image for a full-size photo.