Sunday, March 04, 2007

Boats to Build

Over the holidays gawilli and I went by to see Mjd and Daddy D, sing a little carol, and drop off some Peanut Brittle. That's it. In fact the caroling part was pretty spur of the moment. Much to my surprise, they asked us to step inside for just a second to gift us with the beautiful creation you see below made by Daddy D.

Daddy D thought it quite appropriate for someone who had a blog entitled Boats to Build. Of course he knew the meaning behind the name, and it was a metaphor he found fitting for many other causes.

When I was a kid or a least a younger kid than I am now, I marveled at the idea of a ship in a bottle. Like, who could make one of these and how could they do it? Well, now I know someone who can make one and I do believe he has more patience to build his boat than I.

According to Daddy D, no one knows who first put a ship in a bottle. The craft maybe no older than a couple of hundred years; the article I read said some time in the 1830's when bottle glass became clear instead of the dark and opaque. Daddy D explains it this way:
"Sailors may have gotten the idea in the Orient, where they would see intricate carving of pagodas in bottles. Sailors may have made some extra money selling their SIBs after time at sea.

I however, got it from a book by Donald Hubbard, " Ships-In-Bottles" in 1971. That book gives plans that are the right size as they are printed. The one that you have is of the kind that sailed in the mid-1800s. It is a Gloucester Schooner. The ship's job was to fish and then race back to port before others to obtain the best prices for their catch. It was a fast and seaworthy vessel. A ship of that type is the Bluenose. The Canadian ten cent piece shows such a ship. The real ships were probably not with a red hull. I did that for contrast with the dark blue sea of putty. That was just an art choice thing."
He's very artsy gentleman, precise and always pays attention to detail. This says nothing about his ability to put a scientific spin on almost anything. Makes me scratch my head in wonderment!

Daddy D said he thought of making and selling these. He made some inquiries and found the market was not there because so many were made overseas on the cheap. Probably a sweat shop full of very little people who climb in the bottles with glue guns.

Gawilli and I are honored to have such a gem. I am quite honored to have it connected with the name of my blog the way Daddy D has.

I'm gonna build me a boat

with these two hands

it'll be a fair curve from a noble plan

let the chips fall where they will

cause I've got boats to build

Thanks Daddy D. -willi


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful and thoughtful gift.

This says a lot about both you and Daddy D.

12:45 PM  
Blogger gawilli said...

I am still amazed at how intricate the workings are, not to mention the patience it must take to accomplish this task. I looked at the book online and decided that this was not a craft I could easily pick up. Many thanks to Daddy D!

4:59 PM  
Blogger graymama said...

Little known fact about graymama:

When I was little, my parents would go on many business trips around the world. They always brought me home a ship in a bottle to add to my collection. I have about 15-20 that are boxed away in my parents basement. I think it might be time to bring them out again :-)

5:33 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

I have watched the ship-in-bottle building process, and this is definitely a craft for only the most patient our Daddy D. By the way, the Peanut Brittle is absolutely superb.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

I've always been amazed by ships in bottles like that. They are just so cool. I'm pretty sure I'm not patient enough to do it myself.

9:57 PM  
Blogger daddy d said...

I am glad that that SIB is on a new journey with you. Some time in future I too will build more boats. But right now I am getting science students to sail on throught storms of chemistry and physics. It is all that I can do to keep that ship a float.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

Awww, the pics won't load for me!! I always wondered the very same thing, even as an adult, how DID they get that intricate boat in the glass???

9:50 PM  

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