Sunday, February 26, 2012

The 1845 iqyax (baidarka)

This week I've had a little time to work on the new 1845 Iqyax replica that I build with my friend Alexander.

On friday it was sushi for lunch, and the chopsticks worked fine as dowels....Thanks for both lunch and valueable materials Geir!

Alex came by on saturday and did some work on the deck beams. we made grooves in them and painted the grooves blue. We don't have the slightest idea why the original was made this way, but it looks nice. We thought of using the outmost fringed part of whale baleen instead of the "hair" that was used to decorate the original iqyax inside.

I bent the cockpit coaming from a nice piece of ash, using steam to soften the wood. Alex had printed a perfect cockpit shape, and the result was perfect too.

Finally, the bow began to take shape - it looked incredibly small, but the measures are right. The sun came through the workshop windows, and the whole thing looked really beautiful. Here you see Alex lashing the deck beams to the gunwhales.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


If someone happens to be in Rome on 1. of March, please come and see my pictures from last year's great paddle expedition!

Thanks to Claudio Rufa for arranging this event!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I got an award!!!!!

Now it's official. I got the "Iqyax of the year 2011"

Michael Livingstone writes:

"Five people were nominated for "Iqyax of the year 2011", including some who have dedicated decades of their lives to researching and building these unique sea kayaks. By an overwhelming vote, your paddling of a traditionally built Unangax iqyax with a wooden frame covered with organic cotton and paddling 3063 Km. (1903 nautical miles along the coast of Norway stood head and shoulders above all other entrants. For your outstanding iqyax work, you are being awarded a Sacajawea coin by Randy L'Hedow Teton, the only living person portrayed on US currency. You are also being awarded a commemorative coin bag sewn by Glenice E Teton. You have, single-handed, done a great deal to keep the tradition of building and paddling iqyaq alive. Many generations of ancient Unangax iqyax builders are smiling down upon you."

I am very thankful for the award and these beautiful words. It is most enchouraging, and I really appreciate that. I promise that this will not be my last long iqyax journey. Building ancient craft is one thing, but we really start to learn when we actually use them also.

Thank you so much. A beautiful piece of art has come in my possesion also. It will hang on my wall and remind me to keep up the good spirit of working and paddling ancient craft.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Greenland style paddle building

Today 9 students attended a day course i Greenland style paddle building. We started at 8.30 with a plank of wood, and ended the day at 16.30 with 9 bright new wooden paddles.

It was a mixed group with many students from the outdoor studies in Bø, Telemark (my old school!). All were enthusiastic, and well skilled for the job. I really hope to see some of these people at one of my kayak building courses this year!

It seems that everyone were quite satisfied with today's work!