Girls Build Inspires Girls to Become Carpenters and Electricians

Photo Credit: Girls Build

Photo Credit: Girls Build

Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz about women in the trades. Women account for a small fraction of the workforce in fields like construction, plumbing, and, yes, boatbuilding. There are many reasons why - historical precedent, lack of exposure at an early age, social norms that dictate what kinds of careers people choose and who gets hired, to name a few.

But there are some organizations working to counteract that. Girls Build is a nonprofit organization founded in 2016 that teaches girls the basics of carpentry, plumbing, electricity, and other skilled trades. Their all-female team of instructors run a series of weeklong camps in Oregon and Washington in which they teach around 40 girls different kinds of building and making skills. ‘“If you want to help women get into the trades at an earlier age and start taking advantage of being in a career that they love—and working in a living-wage career—then you need to start engaging them at a younger age,’ said Katie Hughes, founder and executive director of Girls Build.” You can read more about them here or 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.

The Sea Rocket

If you’ve been keeping up with our newsletter, you’ve probably seen something about the Sea Rocket project our Maritime Skills students have been working on in partnership with Ocean explorer and submersible inventor Graham Hawkes (you can learn more about Hawkes and the Sea Rocket here).

Our students fabricated the parts and assembled the rockets. Now, they’re in the testing phase. The video below shows footage from the first drop. On the left, you can see the footage taken by the GoPro attached to the bottom of the Sea Rocket. On the right, you can see footage taken by instructor Terry Moore of the Sea Rocket as it is released into the water and comes back up again.

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.

Hand Plane Demo

Daniel has been doing short demos after lunch at the beginning of every week. Owen was kind enough to sketch a few of the things he learned about hand planes during one of the demos.

IMG_0231.jpg

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.

Fermentation Night

What do apprentices do on a Saturday night? Well, this past Saturday, a handful of them were elbow deep in pots and bowls of ribboned cabbage well on its way to becoming sauerkraut!

Sheamus’ bowl of purple cabbage, red beets, carrots, garlic, and ginger.

Sheamus’ bowl of purple cabbage, red beets, carrots, garlic, and ginger.

Following a primer on Kombucha taught by Maria, the group had a chance to try their hands at a little fermenting of their own. Each apprentice brought a mix of different vegetables, like carrots, ginger, apples, and beets, to add to the cabbage base.

Bottles of homemade Kombucha Maria brought in for everyone to taste.

Bottles of homemade Kombucha Maria brought in for everyone to taste.

We began by slicing everything up finely and adding salt. Then, we spent a good while massaging and pounding the vegetables to create juice.

IMG_0240.jpg

Once there was enough liquid to cover the kraut, we loaded up jars and placed a cabbage leaf on top to help protect the mixtures as they ferment.

IMG_0250.jpg

We’ll leave our jars to sit for about a month before opening them up and having a tasting party!

Our sauerkraut rainbow!

Our sauerkraut rainbow!

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.

The Village Canoe Floating Art Residency

By Chris Battaglia

Paddling at dusk, from the author’s first experience in a big canoe and on the Mississippi River in 2013. Photo Credit: John Ruskey.

Paddling at dusk, from the author’s first experience in a big canoe and on the Mississippi River in 2013. Photo Credit: John Ruskey.

In the fall of 2013, I hadn’t the slightest clue how four nights and five days on the Mississippi River would alter the course of my life. 

Those 100 miles on the Lower Mississippi River, between Greenville, and Vicksburg, Miss., led me to new lines of thinking about myself and my work, where I lived, and — somehow — led me on a seven-week expedition from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico in a 30-foot wooden, voyageur-style canoe. The following is a clip to try to express some of the feelings and perspective found between the levees:

This odyssey inspired me to create an artist residency and exhibition program that would mirror the virtues inherent in an immersive, outdoor expedition with strangers, and culminate in the creation of a space for the creative works produced or inspired during the expedition. Rather than on the Mighty Mississippi, however, it would take place on our coastal and interior waterways here in Maine. The project is called The Village Canoe, and it is happening at the end of summer/early autumn of this year, 2019.

After nearly six weeks paddling from St. Louis, our crew made it to the Bonnet Carre Spillway in early May, 2017— just 30 miles north of New Orleans. Due to severe weather conditions, we decided to suspend our final push to the Gulf for another time. Upon my return to Maine, I caught wind of a duo making an art/Shanty boat bound for the Mississippi River that year, their journey beginning in Minnesota and ending in New Orleans. I reached out, met Morgan, one half of the pair, and she suggested visiting The Apprenticeshop (where they were building the boat out in the yard). I assured her I would, as I had a canoe project in mind.

Several months passed. Our expedition resumed in November that same year, finishing with a 10-day trip from whence we left-off (just above New Orleans) and quietly arriving to the Gulf of Mexico, just below Southpass, Louisiana. Again, I returned to Maine, this time, with aspirations to bring elements of the journey— self-discovery, renewed agency in environmental stewardship, making meaningful social connection — back home. Someone along the way proposed I look into The Apprenticeshop in Rockland. I rarely shake my head at two independent nods in the same direction. So, on a drive from Belfast to Portland in mid-February, I chose to take the coastal route, stopping in Rockland.

Here I met the cohort of apprentices, in early 2018, who gave me an informal tour of the organization and its multi-level boatbuilding shop. With good fortune, I met Morgan’s other half of Carrier Pigeon Studio, Emily. We spoke quickly but excitedly about the strange connections cropping up between Mississippi and Maine and about various boat projects, buttoning up the conversation with plans to communicate about these things in the future.

Exploration on islands, teamwork setting up camp, and painting by headlamp during heavy rain and thunderstorms. Photo Credits: Chris Battaglia.

Exploration on islands, teamwork setting up camp, and painting by headlamp during heavy rain and thunderstorms. Photo Credits: Chris Battaglia.

One year later, The Village Canoe has developed into an immersive, outdoor, floating artist residency and exhibition. Structured as an expedition, the residence will take place from a 30-foot voyageur canoe, which holds space for up to six participants — chosen through an open-call application — and one or two registered Maine guides to paddle, camp, and make art for 10 days in late summer of 2019. The route will navigate from a tidal river, one which courses through the interior and flows outward, to the Maine coastline, following portions of the Maine Island Trail and accessible islands. At the culmination of the trip, artists will host a temporary, free, public, and interactive pop-up exhibition of the work produced during the residency. The show will take place outdoors in a movable bow-roof structure – the same enclosure in which the canoe will be built

the voyageur-style canoe, seen here carrying six paddlers and all of their gear, was used during the fur-trade to carry freight. The design is built for heavy cargo and excels at navigating the winds and whitecaps of the Great Lakes, as well as cruising down rivers. Photo Credit: Chris Battaglia.

the voyageur-style canoe, seen here carrying six paddlers and all of their gear, was used during the fur-trade to carry freight. The design is built for heavy cargo and excels at navigating the winds and whitecaps of the Great Lakes, as well as cruising down rivers. Photo Credit: Chris Battaglia.

By fostering an interdisciplinary cohort of participants, The Village Canoe aims to become an accessible opportunity for new creative voices, both emerging artists and established career artists, people who don’t normally consider themselves artists, naturalists, citizen scientists, anthropologists, and more.

John Ruskey explores fauna on a nature walk, with paddler John Abnet onlooking. Photo Credit: Chris Battaglia.

John Ruskey explores fauna on a nature walk, with paddler John Abnet onlooking. Photo Credit: Chris Battaglia.

An unfinished voyageur canoe in the shop at Quapaw Canoe Company. Built in the style of Ted Moores strip construction , these boats are nearly 30 feet long, weigh nearly 400 pounds empty, and can carry up to 8 passengers fully loaded with personal and expedition gear (in the author’s experience). Photo Credit: Chris Battaglia.

An unfinished voyageur canoe in the shop at Quapaw Canoe Company. Built in the style of Ted Moores strip construction , these boats are nearly 30 feet long, weigh nearly 400 pounds empty, and can carry up to 8 passengers fully loaded with personal and expedition gear (in the author’s experience). Photo Credit: Chris Battaglia.

Author Misao Dean, in her work Inheriting a Canoe Paddle: The Canoe in Discourses of English-Canadian Nationalism, writes, “The task of commissioning or building a canoe can be a great achievement in the health of a small community, signaling the growth of organizational ability, the ability to inspire young people and impose discipline, and the growth of hope and pride.”

The canoe tends to encourage growth of important personal qualities, while paddling in tandem with a boatload of other paddlers, including, but not limited to: teamwork, flexibility, self-and-other-care, accountability, and value of process.

This project aims to build on the rich canoe traditions of Maine — both historical and cultural — by adapting the traditional voyageur design to allow for flexible function, as well as to represent a variety of origins. The goal? To further reinforce this boat as functional art, an invitation to new opportunity, and symbol of community. It’s an art boat — a hybrid; both of these qualities are purposeful.

Here, in the heart of the Delta, Amanda Battaglia - who journeyed from Maine to Mississippi for two nights aboard the expedition - was one of the 40+ paddlers who joined the expedition for a short stint to help celebrate the completion of the  Rivergator . Photo Credit: Chris Battaglia.

Here, in the heart of the Delta, Amanda Battaglia - who journeyed from Maine to Mississippi for two nights aboard the expedition - was one of the 40+ paddlers who joined the expedition for a short stint to help celebrate the completion of the Rivergator. Photo Credit: Chris Battaglia.

The residence will culminate in a weekend-long pop-up exhibition, celebrating and showing the work made during and afterward by the artists. The show will take place in a 20’ x 40’ Stimson Bow-Roof shed (traditionally used for greenhouses and boat storage) because it is affordable, easy to construct, transportable, and aesthetically echoes the image of an overturned-canoe — thereby reinforcing the connection between audience and the project conceit.

Hopefully, this (admittedly ambitious) project will become a roving community-arts destination, host to a dynamic and novel art experience equally educational, interactive, and inspirational. The Village Canoe looks to the future as a multi-phase program to make more meaningful art and increase social engagement with the outdoors.

Want to get involved?

Sign-up for the newsletter to receive updates on the residency, exhibition, volunteer opportunities, community events, and more!

Make a donation directly to the project (follow the website link below) orto our 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor, the Belfast Creative Coalition, attn: The Village Canoe

Follow the journey online at https://villagecanoe.org, and on instagram and Facebook @thevillagecanoe.

Apply to be one of our artists-in-residence! Applications open on February 1 and will close on March 31, at 11:59 pm EST.

Support for The Village Canoe is provided by The Kindling Fund, a grant program administered by SPACE as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation For The Visual Arts Regional Regranting Network. 

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.

Break the Anchor is Lofting!

Many of you have already heard about Break the Anchor, perhaps from attending the fundraising auction the Shop held last March. Well, the project is finally underway. João Bentes, an Apprenticeshop graduate from Portugal (2016-2018) started "Break The Anchor - Partir A Âncora", a Portuguese non profit CRL with the intent to bring traditional boatbuilding back to Portugal.

In collaboration with the Apprenticeshop, he will reconstruct a Portuguese Sardine Carrier from the 19th and 20th century. After building, launching, and conducting sea trials, BTA will cross the Atlantic by way of the Azores, landing on Portuguese shores to establish an apprenticeship-based school of seamanship and boatbuilding. The Sardine Carrier will serve as an itinerant workshop.

Current Phase

João is currently lofting the boat in the basement of Steel House South. Lofting is one of the first steps of traditional boatbuilding. In this phase of construction, the lines on the plan are drawn out at full scale. The completed lofting will allow him make patterns for key components of the boat, such as the stem and sternpost, and will be an important resource as he begins constructing the vessel. João plans to involve current apprentices, as well as the local community. After the lofting is complete, BTA will gather funds to assemble the backbone and start planking later this year.

IMG_1864.JPG

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.

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.

56653739698__4C1F5855-5C28-4717-BCA5-F6C3EDE68CAF.JPG

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!

IMG_3195.jpg

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

IMG_0032.jpg

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?

My age. 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.