A warm hello to all our friends and followers, this bright winter’s day. We are visiting friends and family (Jethro in Scotland, left; Seila in Spain, right) and recharging our batteries for the excitement of January.
The exciting news is: we have found an excellent work space and will be starting work on THE BOAT in mid January – we are also looking forward to some more creative workshops while we are there.
We hope you are all having a nice toasty time with your loved ones, and enjoying the spectacular return of the sun.
Best wishes and looking forward to seeing you soon
Jethro and Seila
Looking forward to the gathering on the 6th of December. If you are coming, please download and have a look at the image and short texts below, as inspiration for discussion!
Click here to download PDF
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
(from the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”)
Following the trail of the Somerset Flatner, we discovered a set of plans to build it had been drawn up by enthusiasts at the Watchet Boat Museum. That was how we ended up in Watchet, looking for the plans, and hoping also to see the real boat. After an interesting journey, getting to know a few more people along the way, we arrived in Watchet – possible birthplace of Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner. An interesting small town on the coast which that day was blessed with remarkable and irrational weather…
2:00 pm: the museum opens… and we get to enter this fantastic space packed with floating inspiration, independently created and curated by a passionate and inventive local group, Friends of the Flatner. Bruce, a founding member, kindly met us at the museum and we had our first tantalising glimpse into the world of knowledge the group have accumulated over the years. We begun to realise just how complex the project is – the boat we want to build, the “Flatner” is a whole spectrum of plan variations depending on their functionality, context and owner. A couple of hours’ explanation opened windows and even doors, to look at the making of this fascinating project. Finally able to explore its history in depth, and being able to touch and handle the actual boats, we started to see the boat take shape in our minds’ eyes.
Thank you so much to Bruce, on behalf of the Watchet Boat Museum and The Friends of the Flatner. So much passion in one little shed – so much knowledge to learn from!
The following text is reproduced from a forthcoming notice in the next edition of the Langport Leveller with thanks to Janet Seaton.
Artists Seila Fernandez Arconada and Jethro Brice are working on a project with community groups in the Langport area, to recreate this iconic local boat – a flat-bottomed craft valued for its stability in a changeable landscape. Please get in touch if you have information, stories or pictures relating to the traditional Somerset Flatner and its smaller cousins, the Turf boat, Withy boat and Flattie. We are interested in collecting local memories to flesh out what we know from museums and archives – and perhaps even finding an original boat in somebody’s barn!
For more information about the project please visit http://www.some-when.co.uk.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Mannering, J (2008), The directory of inshore craft: Traditional working vessels of the British Isles, Barnsley, Seaforth Publishing, Pen & Sword Books Ltd