Gracefully Sculptural: Using Oars & Paddles At Home

Gracefully Sculptural: Using Oars & Paddles At Home

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Tess Wilson
Feb 2, 2012

For years, I've envied the oars that hang in my friend Leah's kitchen, as shown above. Then I discovered a new company that handmakes gorgeous paddles, and while I don't have $285 in paddle-money hanging around, it's nice to know they're out there..

The last few years have brought us incredible reimaginings of traditional tools, such as Best Made Company's axes and Fredericks & Mae's arrows. While I covet both of those, and would actually use them, oars and paddles are so....peaceful. Their gently rounded forms evoke a silence broken only by birdsong and the sound of water on wood. It's been years since my rowdy mess of cousins and uncles and I went canoeing, but I aspire to soon. With a paddle around, I'd be one step closer. I think this is why the oars work so perfectly at Leah's lovely home. She's from Saskatchewan, and it's like she managed to bring a bit of the Canadian wild to her garden-wrapped home in San Francisco. At any moment, you feel as if she might suggest paddling downstream to pick some chokecherries for a tart. My own apartment is not nearly as cozy, but as I've mentioned, I have some dreams...

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you: the amazing paddles you see in the 2nd-5th photos are all by Contact Voyaging Co. Though they have a designated Art Series, I consider each of their handmade, limited-edition paddles to be a work of art. The stained ones that allow the beauty of the wood to show through are my favorites.

(Images: 1. Photo by Klea Mckenna for In The Make. 2.-5. Contact Voyaging Co via Kitka Design Toronto)

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