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Atikokan, Ontario, Canada
I was born and raised in Atikokan; a small town in North Western Ontario that has designated itself as the Canoeing Capital of Canada. My father worked in mining while developing his artisan skills until he eventually started a small business called the XY Company where he began creating handcrafted canoe paddles on a more permanent basis. After finishing High School I received a full Hockey Scholarship to St. Lawrence University in 1990. I graduated in 1994 with a degree in Sociology and then played hockey in the East Coast Hockey League until obtaining an injury. Following this I worked in the construction business until my father talked about retiring. As I have always had an interest in woodworking and helped my dad out during my childhood, I returned home to learn the art of paddle making. I worked along side my father at the XY Company learning and developing my skills as an artisan of handcrafted canoe paddles. In 2011 I became the sole proprietor of the XY Company.
I personally choose the wood types to be used for each individual paddle; handle, shaft and blade. I cut the wood down to a workable size before laminating together the pieces I require. Rough shaping the pieces is done by eye using the band saw. From this point on the art of shaping the paddle begins with me course sanding and then fine sanding it by hand. It is through my sense of touch, sight and equilibrium that determine when the paddle is ready for the final stage of coating. Each paddle is hand dipped three times with me hand sanding it between each finish. All shaping and finishing is done strictly by me alone. There is no hands off stage in the process, no jigs or forms are used, everything is shaped by hand and by eye. As a result, each paddle is individually unique.
Various types of wood (i.e. ash, poplar, mahogany, walnut), waterproof glue, and clear wood coating.
Shipping and handling costs are in addition to the product cost and based on location.