JOURNEY HOME FROM OZETTE ISLAND ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED AK FRAME FALL 2014
Back in the fall of 1975 I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Ozette Island. While working at the Ozette dig, I met David Forlines who came up the coast from Hoh River in an eighty-year old whaling canoe (which, at that time, would mean it was made back at the end of the 19th century). Forlines lived in La Push and, although not a tribal member, was active in the Quileute community. Dave was a traditionalist and skilled at plant identification and usage. He later would be one of the people who helped organize the 1989 “Paddle to Seattle” and thus begin the annual Canoe Journey so vital to the tribes of the Pacific Northwest, The canoe that Dave and his crew paddled into Ozette village in 1975 was a beauty. He wanted to check out his old camp on Ozette Island and so I was able to hitch a ride when they paddled over to the island. I had never “pulled” before and was all but exhausted from doing my share of the paddling when we finally reached the island. Rejuvenated by reaching the island, we then proceeded to hike the southeastern side until cliffs prevented us from going any further. When it was time to return to the dig, the wind had picked up allowing Dave to put up the sail. It was such a wonderful trip home—riding like royalty in the “Cadillac of Canoes”—and no paddling necessary! Sadly, Dave Forlines passed away in 1991, but I will always remember that glorious day spent with him on that canoe and our trip to Ozette Island. I made the frame out of red oak using pegged, hand-joined, mortise-and-tenon construction methods. I used the Japanese technique (shou-sugi-ban) of charring and oiling the oak to finish the frame.