Joan Burdett Ness
Fine Art & Wooden Boats
Why the boats?
It is likely that my dual ancestral heritage of Scandinavian seafarers and Yankee boat builders has inspired my innate love for the ocean and wooden sailing vessels. I also have a soft spot for big-lake canoes, kayaks, and row boats, especially those that are crafted by ingenious folk who bend wood.
The basic materials for these boats are pieces of bent wood, cherry slats, and other found things gathered along the way. They evolve on their own merits combined with silk sails, beads, and other bits. Being a scavenger by nature, the habit of looking for organic gems has been with me throughout life. Nature is full of them. A fine stick., bracken, pods, seeds, a broken shell, an old root with the perfect curve for a ship's hull. Gifts freely given for the open minded finder. The moment of discovering a fine remnant gives me a sense of abundance and appreciation for the awesome process that created it.
They are not intended to be replicas of real boats or even imaginary ones, but more a metaphor for what boats represent to us: keeping on course, weathering storms, safe passage, navigating through life, freedom of spirit. It fascinates me that there are people on this earth who can navigate the oceans by reading the heavens, feeling the currents, sniffing the air and watching the changing colours in layered depths of water.
I enjoy the convergence of materials, concepts, craftsmanship, accident, play and inspiration that occurs in making these boats. I hope you will enjoy them too!