Weaving of a two hulled Catamaran
This project came about after reading Stephen Clarke’s archaeological report on his finds at an ice age lake based in Monmouth in Wales. What interested us most was the suggestion that perhaps ancient Britons used a multiple of pods or vessels of similar sizes to sail across the lake. This was especially of interest to our group as we were at pains to overcome particular questions that would be resolved if the people of the Stone Age were using such methods to traverse the seas.
Over 140 hazel wands were sourced from both communities in locations near Newry, Slane and Annagassan. The Essential Company delivered the tarred Jute Twine and the weaving began. We decided to work on the two baskets here at the Boyne Currach Centre (instead of weaving one here and one up in Warrenpoint) as we came up with an idea to use the first pod as a mould for the second one. The weaving and binding continued over a series of months with members of both communities working side by side.
This first pod, 17ft long, was woven using the traditional methods of currach making. The second pod was not woven but instead moulded over and around the first. This was done in an attempt to save on time and reduce the overall weight. This was successful to a degree. The basket mould took on the shape of the first but the long lateral poles should have been put onto the initial basket and incorporated into the mould from the beginning rather than inserting them after the newly moulded basket had time to hog (straighten).
We would like to take this opportunity to thank An Roinn Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta for their support with this project, and to thank our friends from the Carlingford Lough Currach Club, for their participation. And finally we would like to thank Claidhbh Ó Gibne, who orchestrated the project, for his time and his patience and his expertise.