Wooden Boat Show 2021
Summer's arrival in the North deserves to be celebrated! In this year of transition, we are planning to celebrate with gusto and safety. We will host the 2021 Wooden Boat Show both on campus, in person June 18-20 AND online June 3-25. Stay tuned: we will continue to shape our planning around the best safety practices available for our visitors, students, and staff. Community, craft, sparkling waters, northern adventures, and summer's light are at the heart of our efforts.
ON CAMPUS: Crafting on the Commons
Noon-4 Friday, 9-4 Saturday, 9-Noon, Sunday
Witness skilled traditional craft artisans as they join up in community over the weekend to celebrate the process of craft.
ON CAMPUS: Boat Builders at Work: Herring Skiff Build
In partnership with CCHS, North House Folk School is building a replica herring skiff, based on an original boat design that has been selected as a good representation of the skiffs built and used in the area.
ON CAMPUS: Wooden Boat Display
Wooden boat builders and enthusiasts from across the Midwest are invited to display their crafts on campus throughout the weekend.
ON CAMPUS: Family Drop-In Crafts
We’ll have craft supplies for all ages to join in the fun as we get creative on the theme of boats, water, and fish!
ON CAMPUS: Visiting Vessel: Pilgrim
This 42’ wooden lapstrake boat- visiting from Russia - will be on the North House docks and their model exhibit on display during this years’ Wooden Boat Show!
ON CAMPUS: Live Musical Performance: John C. Van Orman
Folk musician John C. Van Orman will sing a selection of traditional sea shanties, lyrical sailor songs, and nautical ballads.
ON CAMPUS: Community Paddle/Row/Sail on the Harbor! Small Craft Takeover!
Weather permitting, we invite anyone with a boat to join us for a row, paddle or sail on the beautiful waters of the Grand Marais harbor
ON CAMPUS: Sailing on Hjordis
The flagship of the Grand Marais Harbor, Hjørdis shares the name of the mythical Norse goddess of war. Take a trip on the flagship of the Grand Marais Harbor.
ON CAMPUS: Call for Volunteers
This event is made possible with the support of volunteers each year. It’s a great way to help support an educational, fun-filled event and an opportunity to meet other folks and be a part of making it all happen! Learn about volunteer opportunities here.
ON CAMPUS & ONLINE: Boats-to-Tools Auction
Find boats, unique craft, tools, books, and other treasures for sale at our annual auction!
ONLINE: Hudson Bay Bound with Natalie Warren
June 3, 7pm CT
Natalie Warren recounts her journey as one of the first two women to canoe the 2,000 mile route from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay.
ONLINE: Tools of the Rope & Canvas Working Trades with Des Pawson
June 4, Noon
Join Des Pawson, one of the world's leading authorities on knots, rope, sailors' ropework for a presentation on the tools commonly used by sailors, riggers, and sailmakers.
ONLINE: Canoe and Kayak Photography Tips with Bryan Hansel
June 10, 7pm CT
Learn how to safely pack and use your cameras and get tips for shooting effective and beautiful photos.
ONLINE: In Pursuit of Historic Craft Practice with Brittany Nicole Cox, Antiquarian Horologist
June 11, Noon
From old magic tricks to antique clocks, antiquarian horologist and artist Brittany Nicole Cox will share the history behind her work,
ONLINE: Danish Paper Cuts: Free Online Workshop
June 17, Noon
Join Torben Jarlstrom Clausen for this unique workshop in paper cutting. All you’ll need to have is paper, scissors, and zoom and you’ll be ready to participate!
ONLINE: Video Boat Tours
June 9, 16, 23
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of a few boat projects from around the country. From yard time “on the hard” to dock talks before getting underway, boats (and sailors) often have stories to tell.
ON CAMPUS EVENTS: June 18-20, 2021
We plan to host these on campus events in alignment with the current recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health, and request that anyone not vaccinated please wear a mask. See our guidelines here: https://northhouse.org/visit/coronavirus-covid-19-statement
Crafting on the Commons: Noon-4 Friday, 9-4 Saturday, 9-Noon, Sunday
Witness skilled traditional craft artisans as they join up in community over the weekend to celebrate the process of craft. Demonstrators will be on hand outdoors Friday-Sunday, welcoming your curiosity, questions and interest from a safe distance.
- Tara Austin: Rosemaling
- Emily Derke: hide tanning and basketry
- Northwoods Fiber Guild: Fibers
- Elise Kyllo: Felting
- Christine Novotny: Weaving
- Josh Tolkan: Boat Building
- Fred Livesay: woodworking
- Dick Enstad: Rope Making
- Lawrence Straley: Knot Work
- Cecilia Schiller: Automata
- Paul Linden: Carving
- Beth Homa Kraus: Basketry
Boat Builders at Work: Herring Skiff Build: 10am-4pm Fri-Sunday
The Grand Marais harbor and the whole North Shore was once dotted with fish houses and workboats of many small-scale commercial fishing businesses run by families. In the last half-century, the Cook County Historical Society has worked to preserve this heritage. In partnership with CCHS, North House Folk School is building a replica herring skiff, based on an original boat design that has been selected as a good representation of the skiffs built and used in the area. Boat builder Josh Tolkan will be hard at work with the help of volunteers bringing this historic craft to life. Join in and lend a hand as we build the skiff this summer! Learn more about how to participate here.
Wooden Boat Display: Friday, Saturday
Wooden boat builders and enthusiasts from across the Midwest are invited to display their crafts on campus throughout the weekend. Admire the work of others, get your questions answered and perhaps feel inspired to build one of your own. Register to display your boat here.
Family Drop-In Crafts: Friday-Sunday
Bring the whole family down to the Boat Show and drop by the Family Area. We’ll have craft supplies for all ages to join in the fun as we get creative on the theme of boats, water, and fish! Perfect for imaginative folks ages 2-102. We will host a number of short drop-by activities for family small groups on campus: outdoors and/or windows open, masks on.
Boats-to-Tools Auction: Friday-Saturday
Find boats, unique crafts, tools, books, and other treasures for sale at our annual Boats to Tools auction! Bidding will run online from Monday, June 14 through Saturday, June 19, with an opportunity to check out a selection of items during the on-campus portion of the event on Friday and Saturday. Please note that while many items crafted by North House instructors will be shipped to winners, most of the general items must be picked up from our campus in Grand Marais. Interested in supporting North House's mission by providing a donation? Contact Libby to discuss boat donations at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll begin accepting all other items in mid May - visit our donation link to learn more!
Live Musical Performance: Songs of Sailing, Sculling & Sinking with John C. Van Orman: Friday, 5:30pm
Come pull up a picnic table or BYO lawn chair for a live music performance on the Commons, weather permitting. Folk musician John C. Van Orman will sing a selection of traditional sea shanties, lyrical sailor songs, and nautical ballads while accompanying himself on concertina, guitar, and hurdy-gurdy. Such songs are the narratives of countless laborers who have worked on water, sailors of every kind, and the people with whom they interacted, heroically or not-so-much-so. They form a mythology of life on, in, and along the water. Masks and distancing required.
Community Paddle/Row/Sail on the Harbor! Small Craft Takeover!: Saturday, 7pm
Celebrate the longest days of the year on the water in our first ever Small Craft Critical Mass Paddle. Weather permitting, we invite anyone with a boat to join us for a row, paddle or sail on the beautiful waters of the Grand Marais harbor. Portage on down to campus and head out from our docks or use the Rec Park boat launch, with ample parking available. We’ll have live music from on board the Hjordis for you to enjoy! Let’s be social but distanced to celebrate the coming solstice! BYO boat, PFDs, and paddles.
Visiting Vessel Pilgrim
Brothers Sergey and Alexander Sinelnik spent two years building a 42’ wooden lapstrake boat modeled after an 18th-century Russian sailing vessel used by fishermen and merchants. They splashed Pilgrim in 2017 in Petrozavodsk, Russia, and spent the next three years sailing more than 12,000 miles, finishing their last leg in Petrozavodsk’s sister city of Duluth in the summer of 2020. Now, they’ve hit the water again, and are raising the funds needed to ship their boat overland to Seattle, WA where they plan to set sail again for Russia. Not only is their boat a historical replica, but they also have onboard a floating model exhibit of structures and vessels that represent Russian culture and history. See their boat on the North House docks and their model exhibit on display during this years’ Wooden Boat Show.
Sailing on Hjordis: Friday-Saturday
The flagship of the Grand Marais Harbor, Hjørdis shares the name of the mythical Norse goddess of war. Take a trip on this 50’ traditionally-rigged steel schooner and gain access to both the largest lake in the world and experience Grand Marais as it was approached in the centuries before Highway 61 — from the water. Book your sail now!
VIRTUAL EVENTS: June 3-25, 2021
While we would all like to gather together in person on campus, we know this isn’t an option for everyone. Thanks to the internet, we can bring aspects of the Wooden Boat Show to you. Check out speakers, tours, and performances all from the comfort of your own home.
We welcome explorers, builders, and storytellers to the virtual stage to regale us with tales of boats, travels and water, from the furthest reaches of the earth to our own harbor. Join us “Live” on Zoom at 7pm CT each Thursday night by registering at the links below.
Hudson Bay Bound with author and paddler Natalie Warren: June 3, 7pm CT
Natalie Warren recounts her journey as one of the first two women to canoe the 2,000 mile route from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay, a route made famous by Eric Sevareid in Canoeing With the Cree. In this presentation, Natalie intertwines environmental and social speculations, challenges on the trail, and heart-warming stories to tell the tale of this historic expedition and the enduring wonder of the wilderness.
Canoe and Kayak Photography Tips with Bryan Hansel: June 10, 7pm CT
Whether on a long-distance paddling expedition or a short trip to a nearby area, chances are that you are going to witness beautiful sunsets and immense landscapes that you will want to share. Sharing stunning photos can help instill a sense of wonder and awe for the beauty of wilderness and help convey the joys and trials of the trip to your friends and family. Unfortunately, practicing photography while on the water can be hard; water and electronics don't mix. Learn how to safely pack and use your cameras and get tips for shooting effective and beautiful photos.
Lunch & Learns
We’ve lined up some terrific presentations from friends located in the further corners of the earth; grab your lunch and learn while you nosh.
Tools of the Rope & Canvas Working Trades with Des Pawson: June 4, Noon CT
Unravel the fascinating history of rope-- this common item may seem simple, but it wraps up most of human ingenuity and exploration. Join Des Pawson, one of the world's leading authorities on knots, rope, sailors' ropework for a presentation on the tools commonly used by sailors, riggers, and sailmakers.
In Pursuit of Historic Craft Practice: Conservation and New Making with Brittany Nicole Cox, Antiquarian Horologist: June 11, Noon CT
From old magic tricks to antique clocks, antiquarian horologist and artist Brittany Nicole Cox will share the history behind her work for clients and institutions, as well as her passion for new making by surveying a range of objects, materials, tools, and outcomes. A workshop tour will end the talk followed by a Q&A.
Danish Paper Cuts: Free Online Workshop: June 17, Noon CT
Join Torben Jarlstrom Clausen for this unique workshop in paper cutting. All you’ll need to have is paper, scissors, and zoom and you’ll be ready to participate! Free, but zoom registration required; limited to the first 100 participants. Please have on hand the following: five 4”x4” pieces of regular office paper, five 1”x2” pieces of regular office paper, any color and a sharp pair of scissors! Snip along with Torben to reveal the happy paper cut beings!
Video Boat Tours
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of a few boat projects from around the country. From yard time “on the hard” to dock talks before getting underway, boats (and sailors) often have stories to tell. Posted at Noon on YouTube and Facebook
Schooner Apollonia: June 9
Schooner Apollonia is working to build carbon-neutral sail-freight cargo routes along the Hudson connecting the Hudson Valley and New York City. Our robust 21st century model for delivering goods, weaves together our diverse communities and enlivens waterfronts along the way. In a time of petroleum-driven instantaneous last-mile delivery, we are showing New Yorkers there’s a green alternative. For over five years, we’ve pooled resources, hosted fundraisers and invested countless hours to create our region’s largest carbon-neutral freight vessel, the Schooner Apollonia, a repurposed 64-foot sailboat that can carry 10 tons of cargo. In 2020, we completed several proof of concept trips by delivering thousands of pounds of goods, powered only by the wind. As I write this our crew is preparing for our first cargo run in 2021, hauling 12,000 lbs of Hudson Valley grown grains to producers downstate and other assorted regional goods. We are planning regular cargo runs every 4-6 weeks throughout the 2021 season.
Schooner Hindu, June 16
Hindu was first launched under the name “Princess Pat”, by Hodgdon Brothers in Boothbay, Maine in 1925, for James W. Hall for use as a pleasure yacht. In 1938, William J. Parker bought the schooner and sailed her to India. It was upon first arrival there that William J. Parker rechristened her “Hindu”.
During World War II Hindu assisted U.S. Coast Guard Coastal Patrol along the Eastern Seaboard. Following the war, Hindu settled in Provincetown, Mass. in 1946 and remained there for decades, primarily as a charter vessel that eventually helped former captain and owner Justin Avellar pioneer the whale-watching industry on the East Coast in the 1960s.
When Josh Rowan and his father Bill bought the Schooner Hindu they knew that they were becoming stewards of a legacy; pursuing this stewardship in the summer of 2020 Josh brought Hindu to Maine. In a purpose built, timber-frame barn Josh and his shipwrights are rebuilding her from stem to stern, using locally sourced lumber and traditional methods. They will give Hindu another 100 years or more.
Acorn to Arabella, June 23
Acorn to Arabella is a boat building project taking place in Granby, Massachusetts. Steve and Alix started as amateur boat builders building their own 38' wooden boat in their backyard: designer William Atkin's Ingrid with a Stormy Petrel's gaff rig. Their videos follow the journey from tree felling, to lumber milling, to lofting, to the lead keel pour and beyond—sharing details of the woodworking, carpentry, metal smithing, tool building, and tool maintenance that wooden boats command. This ultimate DIY project will continue well past launch, when they will travel and learn to cruise aboard the boat that they've built.
A few notes about what’s not listed:
- Summer Solstice Pageant with the Good Harbor Hill Players: The planning and prep for this event requires a lot of close contact between dozens of people, not to mention a very large gathering for the performance. We are in dialogue with GHHP and the local public health officials. If the event becomes possible, we will be thrilled to welcome the puppets, performers and music to campus.
- Wooden Boat Parade: We are hopeful that with careful planning and good weather, we’ll be able to make this happen. Details forthcoming.
- Featured Speaker: Please join us online for this year's speaker series.
- Contra Dance: Won’t it be great when this is possible? Fingers crossed for 2022!
- Lake Superior Chowder Experience: We sincerely hope this will return in 2022!
- Harborside Picnic: You can almost smell the brats...they’ll be there in 2022!