supCAT boards builds paddlecraft and provides materials and services that show people how to reconnect with their hands and the craft of building something they can use and enjoy on the water.
It's more than just a simple act of woodworking knowledge transfer. It is about relearning the act of patience. This most difficult of human traits is getting driven into extinction as more and more of what we want, we are able to get - right away, without the exquisite pleasure of watching something evolve as it is shaped by our own hands. The old ‘instant gratification’ thing. Personally, this very issue pops up every time I need to let epoxy cure, or glue harden, or a scarf joint dry. This slow movement through a project governed by things we cannot instantly control, is a value I appreciate more as I see how it is being lost in our culture.
Another aspect I enjoy is the time and effort to see something in my head, before it is built. It gets deeper than that the more you practice this imagining skill. You start to see where one part may conflict with another. You start to see where you should do something now (e.g. add a support stringer) before you add more deck pieces because it will be much more difficult if you do it later. Which in turn brings in patience, because I am anxious to get the deck done and I do not want to stop, but I do because I have learned that adding the, e.g. deck support stringer, now will make my life easier tomorrow, even though my desire for instant gratification is delayed.
Finding design outside of Photoshop is another part of this wood working and boat building world that brings joy to the builder, or at least to this builder. Reclaimed wood, especially, serves to remind me that beauty is found in unexpected places. The iron stains left behind in wood from old, hand wrought, iron nails is my favorite example. The organic, asymmetrical nature of iron stains left behind in wood grain, to my eye, is beautiful, but you have to be using the materials and then (re)shaping them by hand or with the right tools to even see these old marks left behind by another set of human hands from 150+ years ago. And that's just an experience from reclaimed barn board. Redwood, cypress, etc., also offer their own stories. Great stuff!
It might be more than a mission statement, it might be a desire to share an outlook on life that keeps people grounded and
enjoying the simple act of creating something with their own hands.
updated June 30, 2022