Well spoken Brian. Defining 'authentic' is the has always been
the purview of a power elite and has mostly served to value early
and ancient artifact in their own collected coffers (museum and
collections) while devaluing current production by the culture,
often defined to just souvenir status maintaining economic
positioning by said culture.
This is an important critique (postcolonial) that has been in
discussion and debate among museums for the past thirty years,
numerous books written, resulting in the deaccessing and return of
many objects to the original culture of the makers. There is also
a recontextualization by historians of many of the narratives of
I think it is important to realize, as we make these objects, as
we have the benefit of many advantages that access provides, and
our understanding of what is authentic is limited at best.
Excellent advice. In my experience, here in New Jersey, there is
a wood supplier that deals exclusively with outdoor structural
wood, pressure treated, redwood and cedar for everything from
pergolas, porches for contractors through playsets (swings,
slides, etc). I had brought them a paddle I carved which they
found very entertaining (considering the projects they generally
dealt with) and usually helped my find good redwood for carved
(Greenland styled) storm and full length paddles.
I also coated them with a very light fiberglass and epoxy + UV