As an outdoorsman, I am fond of spending time on the water- floating quietly along familiar shores or exploring those new to me. My favorite excursions have found me on the proper side of a wood and canvas canoe, with little to worry about other than the mosquitos on shore. These vessels near perfection, and early on in my boating career, I decided to have one for myself. For years I searched for the right project, as I thought it more romantic to fix up an old canoe and give it and myself some new life in the process- none came along. In the summer of 2002 my quest led me to an unusually derelict wood and canvas dinghy, and I could not turn away. The sculptural qualities of this craft were magnetic-even better than those of the canoe I desired, and I could not think of a better shape to explore the mysteries of wood-bending with. It was art, but it needed work. Despite my hopes for an easy lesson, the ensuing months proved to me that the most important studies do not come without effort, and I paid dearly.