Maritime artisans are a fortunate lot in general; we get to sail in and work on beautiful vessels, and to practice the elegant, intricate arts that make those vessels work. We got to learn those arts because of the patience and generosity of our teachers. I believe we have a responsibility to pass those arts on to others, and I am not alone in that regard. Case in point: on the same weekend that our shop gave a rigging course, Carol Hasse and her crew at Port Townsend Sails held one on the design, construction and maintenance of sails (That’s Lacy Capel, one of Hasse’s crew, in the picture above, helping one of her students with a sewing machine puzzle). Hasse’s loft is upstairs from ours. Meanwhile in the back of this same building Emiliano Marino, author of The Sailmaker’s Apprentice, was giving a specialized class focusing on traditional sail handwork skills.
So over the course of a weekend people came here from all over, to learn self-reliance, practical skills, and an appreciation for the ingenuity, toughness, and resourcefulness of our forebears. In a world where manual skills are often being marginalized, these maritime trades can offer humans a way to make themselves personally useful. It doesn’t hurt that the resulting products are beautiful.
For more on this, here is an article from our local paper:
Many thanks to the Port Townsend Leader in general, and to reporter Lily Haight in particular.
Thanks to all of you who have written with nice things to say about Falling. It was fun to write, and it is fun to know that so many of you are enjoying it.