NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Thursday August 16th 2018

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Lake of dreams–boat-building & story-sharing workshops

A.S. MILLIGAN//N.M.MILLIGAN
A fisherman’s hook, used to lash wood together to form a frame for a currach, shown next to a completed frame.

By CARSTENS SMITH

Boats are a powerful metaphor and Ingebretsen’s is offering a 3-part workshop that uses boats, both literally and figuratively, as a way for people to tell their families’ stories and to express their hopes for the future. This will happen through actual boat-building and with the sharing of stories and images.

Sculptor A.S. Milligan and poet and novelist Nicole Mary Milliganwill lead participants through the process of making a currach, a small Irish “basket boat” that is built with a frame and covered with a fabric skin. The skin will have images from photographs and letters that participants share during the workshop. Upon completion, there will be a small celebration and the boat will be displayed in the store’s window. We invite you to join us on this journey as we learn about boat building and about our common ties.

In the first workshop, participants will hand-carve a fisherman’s needle, which is used to lash the boat frame together. This workshop is required before taking the boat-building workshop and no previous carving experience is necessary. This is held on June 16, from 1 to 4. It is $50 as a stand-alone class or $25 if you register for the boatbuilding classes.

The second workshop is held over the course of three Saturdays, June 23, June 30, and July 7 from 10 to 4. The cost of this workshop is $80. A.S. Milligan will lead you through the weaving of the currach, a meditative and community building experience (much like quilting.) At the end of the three sessions, you will have created a full-scale boat, which will hang in the window of Ingebretsen’s all summer long. You will also have the plans, and the skill, to make a currach of your own! Traditional music, snacks, and time to share family histories will be provided. No experience needed.

COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA
Stories abound about Irish Currachs; traditional, wooden, rowing boats. Boats are a powerful metaphor to tell families’ stories. This Currach, depicted by Captain Thomas Phillips, an Englishman, describes “A portable vessel of wicker used by the Wild Irish” implies that it was common in the 17th century. The keel improved the handling while the 20 foot hull remained flexible.

The third workshop is the story-sharing, which happens on the same days as the boat building. Ingebretsen’s invites anyone who would like to stop by the classroom and join the boat-builders from 11:00 to 1:00. Bring a sack lunch, copies of photographs or letters, and spend some time sharing your family history. (Please, don’t bring original photos or letters; they’re just too valuable.) Leave copies of the letters and photographs with the Milligans, who will transfer the images onto the boat skin for use on the final day. The story-sharing is free and you may come to one or to all of the meetings.

For details, please visit the Ingebretsen’s website and look under “In Store Events”, www.ingebretsens.com/events/in-store-events. Registration: 612.729.9333

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