Arctic Artwork

For those of you who were able to attend Mark Epler’s lecture on the 19th, her are some of the finished works of two artists who participated in the same residency in previous years.

Interested in learning more about the residency? Check out their website here.

Apprenticeshop

THE APPRENTICESHOP IS AN EDUCATIONAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION LOCATED ON PENOBSCOT BAY IN MIDCOAST MAINE.
DEDICATED TO INSPIRING PERSONAL GROWTH THROUGH
CRAFTSMANSHIP, COMMUNITY, AND TRADITIONS OF THE SEA.

Kevin's 30 Year Anniversary at the Apprenticeshop

By Nina Noah

As the new year approaches, so does Kevin’s 31st year as an instructor at the Apprenticeshop. Most of us on the Shop floor can’t even imagine a pre-Kevin Shop. For 30 years, he has been a steadfast presence, shepherding apprentices quietly, graciously, with that humorous sparkle in his eyes, through their two-year crash course in building boats.

One of the things I appreciate most about Kevin is his ability to stand back and allow his students to make mistakes. Making mistakes has always been hard for me. I can be a bit of a control freak, perfectionist, or whatever else you’d like to call it. But letting go and allowing myself to try something without fear of the end result has never been my forte. That has shifted after my now three and a half years at the Shop. And I owe much of that change to the experience of making and to Kevin’s approach to teaching.

Kevin had a knack for coming by to check on me just as I had committed some ungraceful error, like tearing out the grain after getting a little too chisel happy, or accidentally missing my marks with a handsaw. When he would inevitably catch my eye, I would sheepishly smile, half hidden in my corner behind the stern of the Mackinaw. He would come over, grinning, and jokingly ask “Ok, what did you do now?” This little poke at me had a way of immediately taking the tension out of my shoulders. It made my error seem trivial, something to laugh off, an easily navigated problem, rather than the cataclysm it had seemed to me five minutes before. Moments like these have allowed me to relax into a problem. They’ve given me the confidence to tackle mistakes knowing I’ll come out of the experience just fine. And for that, I am very grateful because this skill doesn’t just apply to boatbuilding. It has allowed me to navigate those moments of losing control in life with more ease, and I’d like to think, more grace.

So many apprentices hold Kevin in great esteem. Former apprentice Ellery Brown had this to say about Kevin:

“As a bright-eyed first year apprentice, I was absolutely in awe of Kevin's boatbuilding prowess from the moment I saw him work. From lofting, to cutting a rabbet, to fitting a dovetail joint, it all seemed effortless and lovely in his hands, like he was born with that folding ruler in one and a block plane in the other. Ten years out of the Apprenticeshop, I've encountered other "naturals" in the boatbuilding world. I've done my best to learn as much from all of them as I can. Along the way I've realized, that yes, Kevin's boatbuilding abilities are remarkable, but his true gift is teaching. I have never met anyone so capable of helping others be their best selves. Kevin has so quietly escorted so many of us to the profound sense of pride and accomplishment that comes in launching a boat of one's own making. I suspect and hope that he feels those same emotions in sending his apprentices into the world to pursue this craft, or more to the point, to pursue our best selves.”

At our recent holiday party, we had an opportunity to pay tribute to Kevin, and, even better, give him a thorough surprise. We secretly donned specially designed tee shirts in his honor.

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While he was intently unwrapping his own shirt, which we had wrapped and placed under the tree with the rest of the secret Santa gifts, the whole crowd removed their top layer to reveal the custom Kevin Carney emblem on their tees. When he finally looked up to register the surrounding crowd, he nearly jumped out of his Carhartts. It was rare to see such a composed figure look so surprised!

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Thank you Kevin for sharing your head, heart and hands with the Apprenticeshop community over the past 30 years.

Apprenticeshop

THE APPRENTICESHOP IS AN EDUCATIONAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION LOCATED ON PENOBSCOT BAY IN MIDCOAST MAINE.
DEDICATED TO INSPIRING PERSONAL GROWTH THROUGH
CRAFTSMANSHIP, COMMUNITY, AND TRADITIONS OF THE SEA.

Underwater Archaeology Lecture

For those of you who attended the lecture this week, we apologize for the technical difficulties. For those of you who missed it, we couldn’t get our projector working (in all honesty, it’s a technological dinosaur and is ready to be retired).

Michelle Creisher, our speaker, did an amazing job of winging it. It was still just as riveting to hear her talk about the history of the field, as well as her own work. We were all impressed with her daring choice to eat a 1300 year old olive.

Lucky for us, Michelle gave us her presentation to post here so you can see all of her lovely slides! The slides showing her doctoral work aren’t included since the work hasn’t been published yet. But you can enjoy the rest of her whirlwind tour of underwater archaeology.

Apprenticeshop

THE APPRENTICESHOP IS AN EDUCATIONAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION LOCATED ON PENOBSCOT BAY IN MIDCOAST MAINE.
DEDICATED TO INSPIRING PERSONAL GROWTH THROUGH
CRAFTSMANSHIP, COMMUNITY, AND TRADITIONS OF THE SEA.

Meet Bill and Jose

Bill Chen

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Where are you from?

I am Chinese but I was born in the Philippines, went to school in the U.S., worked in Cincinnati and San Diego for 30+ years, and then I retired in Portland, ME. 

What brought you to the Apprenticeshop?

It was almost an accident. My wife and I come up here a few times a year. Last year, we came up and stayed at 250 Main Hotel. We got chatting with the manager - asked her where to go to breakfast and she suggested Home Kitchen. We asked about places to visit and she said there was a place across from Home Kitchen called The Apprenticeshop. We got a tour and I met Bella and Kevin. I was struck by two things; at the Shop, everything we build doesn't have straight lines. At home, I had only built things with straight lines. I thought it would push me out of my envelope to build a curvy object. I was also impressed with the community learning. There is a loose camaraderie, which is fascinating as a teacher; it's good to get that perspective. Plus my wife wanted a rowboat. So I signed up.

What were you doing before you came here?

I have been retired primarily, though I still teach engineering and sustainability courses at USM. I taught engineering at SMCC. Then I was a consulting engineer for 30 some odd years before working on the Predator drone.

What do you like best about the Shop so far?

The work is physically and mentally challenging for me. You constantly have to think about things you're not used to doing. You make mistakes and then learn how to recover from them. Rockland and Camden are also beautiful - the whole package is great!

What has been most difficult for you in your first few weeks here?

Mage. I get tired easily and I forget. It's also hard to hear. I wish I had more energy.

If you could have any shop superpower, what would it be?

As you're building, lots of things aren't visible to you, so x-ray vision.

 

Jose Cherem

Where are you from?

Mexico City, Mexico

What brought you to the Apprenticeshop?

The desire to learn how to build boats and love of the sea.

What were you doing before you came here?

I was doing a Masters in Architecture.

What do you like best about the Shop so far?

The people. They have a very tight community. Everyone is willing to help each other and teach each other new things.

What has been most difficult for you in your first few weeks here?

Getting used to the rhythm of work and working with my body for extended periods of time. My body's aching all the time!

If you could have any shop superpower, what would it be?

An index finger that could fasten things like a drill - an index finger drill. Or, mind clamps, so I could clamp things just by thinking about it. Or epoxy saliva.

Apprenticeshop

THE APPRENTICESHOP IS AN EDUCATIONAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION LOCATED ON PENOBSCOT BAY IN MIDCOAST MAINE.
DEDICATED TO INSPIRING PERSONAL GROWTH THROUGH
CRAFTSMANSHIP, COMMUNITY, AND TRADITIONS OF THE SEA.

Rowing Regatta

This past Saturday, a group of intrepid rowers took our very own Cornish Pilot Gig, Spirit, to race in Come Boating!'s 18th Annual Regatta. The group consisted of Susan, a 12-week participant and longtime supporter of the Shop, apprentices Maria, Sheamus, and Eli, Janet, Susan's friend who has been a competitive rower in the past and came out of rowing retirement for this event, Taylor, a friend and supporter of the Apprenticeshop, and Nicole, who rows with Come Boating! in Belfast and was recruited at the last minute.

The regatta started at noon and ranged over a 4.2 nautical mile race course. There were a total of 9 gigs and 8 smaller boats participating, including an outrigger canoe. The day started off calm and cloudy, but as the start got closer, the wind picked up dramatically, creating a lot of chop. Still, despite the weather conditions, this neophyte team was rowing at a fast clip - around 28 strokes per minute for a total of 64 minutes.

The race was not altogether without drama. As the crew was going around the second turn in the course, they were abruptly hit by another boat (which subsequently apologized). They also broke one thole pin during the race that proceeded to get stuck in the hole. And veteran rower Janet got terrible muscle cramps. In spite of all these challenges, the team finished strong in 4th place in their division.

Apprenticeshop

THE APPRENTICESHOP IS AN EDUCATIONAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION LOCATED ON PENOBSCOT BAY IN MIDCOAST MAINE.
DEDICATED TO INSPIRING PERSONAL GROWTH THROUGH
CRAFTSMANSHIP, COMMUNITY, AND TRADITIONS OF THE SEA.