You thought work on the canoe was done just because we launched last Thursday? Wayne spent a couple of extra days in Madison this week. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent putting some finishing touches on the canoe in preparation for its move (more to come on that next week), cleaning up the shop, and even speaking to a class in the business school.
On Tuesday, Wayne and the crew spent some time sanding the ribs and topwales to bring out the beauty of the grain in each piece of wood. It’s a time-consuming process, but one of those details that demonstrates the attention to detail that Wayne has when creating a piece of art like this birch bark canoe.
Later in the evening, Wayne spoke to the Arts Enterprise class being taught in the University of Wisconsin Business School this semester. He discussed the various art forms that he works in, even showing examples of his beadwork and artwork and towards the end of his hour-long presentation, Wayne sang a couple of songs. His message to the class focused on the history of Ojibwe art – specifically how it was originally only recognized as a handicraft to being recognized today as a truly beautiful art form.
On Wednesday, it was back to the woodshop. Wayne did some design work on each of the canoe paddles that he had fashioned earlier in the semester. Each paddle is now adorned with a thunderbird. With the final touches on both the canoe and paddle, Wayne added one last personal touch – his signature. And with that, the wiigwaasi-jiimaan is truly finished and Wayne headed home to Lac du Flambeau.