Monday, 23 March 2015

Coracle pt I

I am attempting to build a coracle, my mum has a large pond to paddle around on and wants to have a coracle to reach the pond weed in the middle and I always wanted to try to make a boat. 
In the UK, coracles are traditionally known as being Welsh and that's how I knew them, however they are also found in South East Asia. When I was in Vietnam I saw coracles on the beach used for fishing and I thought they were rather beautiful and practical objects so I took photos, also just in case I wanted to try making my own one day...


 Before I started, I didn't do much research- 10 minutes on Google images and how-to websites showed me they can be made from willow, and we have plenty of that in my garden, so I decided to just try. This might not end well.
I'm showing part 1 here in the hope that once it stops raining for a few days, I can finish it soon. I also don't have any material for the waterproof skin yet, traditionally it's an animal hide but as they're rather hard to come by, I'm going to possibly try calico and bitumen, that's if it holds it's shape..
Here's how it's gone,... I think total time spent on it so far has been roughly 2-3 hours.

Using a stick and some string I roughly marked out a circle and pushed the ends of 16 freshly cut willow sticks into the ground.

Then I took the opposite ones and folded them over to make a cross hatch woven base. I am making it upside down to use the ground as support rather than using strips of wood to form a wooden ring, according to The Coracle Society they're called the gunwhales.

I didn't really know how I should weave them but this looked more stable than just to have them all crossing over each other in the middle.

I have started to weave around the rim to support the dome shape but it needs more work. I also need to decide how deep to make it.

Anyway, watch this space for updates...

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