Monday, October 30, 2017

From STEM to stern.

Yesterday I began making center frames for Bevins Skiffs, which require making a plywood or cardboard template first. The template helps with the arrangement of parts, and getting them cut to the right angles, and the center frame is crucial to the construction of the boat at an early stage. I am held up going further on the center frames until epoxy glue arrives to attach gussets.

Having made the stems for the boats the day before, I'll give them some decorative shape, as there should be at least a point rising at the prow to touch upon my own Norwegian ancestry.

I have been attempting with the help of Knud in Norway and Barbara in Canada to understand some words in the Norwegian language. Snekke is the name given to a particular kind of Norwegian boat, and another correspondent in Norway had referred to his as "an old worm." If you go to and try the word snekke, the English translation from Norwegian is"worm." If you try the plural form snekker meaning two or more such boats, the translation is "carpenter." It means that, too, and it is confusing until one remembers that in English, one word can have a variety of meanings, and somehow we sort between them based on the context in which it is used and make whatever sense we are able.

STEM is an example. It may refer to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or it can mean to stop one thing (as in stem the tide), or be the start of another as in the stem of a plant, or of a pipe, or of a boat. In building a boat we must attend to the whole thing from stem to stern, not forgetting, of course, the center frame.

Perhaps this will help us to understand how and why it is so easy to confuse, befuddle and lie in words, and why to make something real, meaningful, useful and beautiful is so honest, truthful and pure in comparison. To make comes closer to the human spirit, than to make up, and yes, we love to do both.

Today I will deliver some boxes to the museum store at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and shape the stems of boats, to attain just a bit more beauty in my mind's eye.

Make, fix, create, and adjust schooling so that others may learn lifewise.

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