Sunday, July 09, 2006

Ships in Bottles

Jim Goodwin, creator of traditional ships in bottles, set up his tarpaulin, tables, & shelves in the front yard of the Village Craftsmen on Thursday & Friday. Lined up in front of him was an assortment of dowels with small razor blades set at various angles, knitting needles bent this way and that, pliers, tweezers, & stainless steel medical instruments. He also brought modeling clay (for "water" & "sand"), paper (for sails), dowels (for masts), thread (for rigging), a number of partially completed projects, empty bottles, and samples of model boats in different states of completion.

Folks stopped by all day to watch him work and to hear him explain his craft. Jim is a wealth of information about the vessels, including when & where they were built, who the captains were, and how they met their ends (often on the shoals of Ocracoke or elsewhere on the Outer Banks).

Look for Jim's ships in bottles on your next visit to Village Craftsmen. There are only three people making these in North Carolina, and fewer than one hundred of these craftsmen in the entire United States.

The Thomas W. Lawson, the only 7-masted schooner ever built (she capsized off the isles of Sicily, England with only two survivors on Friday, December 13, 1907):

You can read our latest newsletter here. It's about Ocracoke Islanders and "tokens of death."

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