Friday, June 22, 2012

steven's art: handcrafted paddles

My husband Steven started making handcrafted, custom made paddles earlier this year. It was a natural thing actually. He was a white water kayak guy for many, many years and he still loves flat water paddling. He always tells me that the paddle is your connection to the water. When we moved here, he spent much time with my dad learning woodworking skills he never had before, so he was in perfect alignment for this. I believe his paddle making started with my friend Cheryl Wilson, who gave him the idea to make a paddle for stand up paddle boarding. Here is Steven with his first paddles on December 31st, 2011! The SUP paddle is hanging right next to him.
And here's me and cheryl with her finished SUP paddle on January 7, 2012
Since then Steven has been perfecting his skills . . . 
He has even gotten out his airbrush, tried various kinds of wood and techniques.
His paddles are purposely extremely lightweight, weighing only 20-25 ozs.
They are also very beautiful.
These paddles are practically dripless (no water on your lap when kayaking) because of the way Steven shapes the paddle blades; see below. He uses tools that were my dad's to make these including some tools dad made, keeping dad and all he taught us in our hearts and our spirits.

The blue specked paddle above is Cheryl's new kayak paddle!

I have just finished editing and producing a set of videos that show Steven's process of airbrushing a "night sky" star design. One day I went to Lucas Boatworks where Steven works on these and other boat related things and filmed him as he worked. I will embed this first video here. There are 3 videos total and you can find them here on my YouTube site if you so desire a peek into his art! I am obviously very proud of him. There was a lot of raw film that had to be edited and I had to learn how . . .  but I did not mind the work at all. xoxo

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Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
  ~ Anais Nin


  1. I had never realized just how beautiful such paddles can be. Real works of art! Now off to go and watch the video and still so excited that I can actually do so now from the comfort of my own studio!

    1. That is so great, Frieda . . . I am really happy for you that you are off dial-up and onto broadband! Even if it is a slower broadband it seems to have freed you up to do more. In August we will be going to Canada (Wolfe Island, Ontario) and the only internet I will be able to get will be dial-up . . . I imagine I will only be using it maybe a few times a week!
      Yes, these paddles are truly a work of art.

  2. Absolutely beautiful! Steven has really developed his skills and I LOVE the paintwork, they're stunning. I'll be back to watch the videos later :o)


  3. What truly beautiful paddles-the artistry and airbrush painting is amazing. How incredibly wonderful that the timing of it all allowed Steve to learn more from your father and gain hands on experience, not to mention the passion of creating with wood. Loved watching Steve's processes. Nice video work too Ms Lenna :)



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