Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Wreck of the Brigantine

I've been so busy with life I haven't been able to put together a post.  I wanted to put something up so people know I'm still out here so I went through some old photo's and came up with a short something to put out there.

First a few shameless plugs on upcoming posts and things.  I'm hoping to have a post up soon about putting seagulls in bottles.  I still have to get some photo's done and I'll have it up as soon as I can.  

Also if you've seen my gallery lately you may have seen my latest ship the Santa Maria.  I hope to do a post on that one as well but not until after September since it will be featured in the Bottle Shipwright a magazine created by the Ship in Bottle Association of America.  For more info on the Bottle Shipwright or to become a member of SIBAA check out the SIBAA website.  

So now a couple very old pictures.  This is a brigantine I built quiet a while ago.  Keep in mind this was early in my learning of the craft so the ship is not that great.  At least by my current standards.  

I show this to point out that some times things go wrong.  In this case horribly wrong.  I was trying to use a technique where I would pull the masts into place using a line attached to the base of the mast that then ran into the hole for the mast and out the bottom of the ship.  The technique worked great at first.  The ship was very easy to insert into the bottle.  The only problem with it was the amount of lines coming out of the bottle was tremendous and beyond what I could handle at the time.  

I began tightening the lines and got the foremast into place but couldn't keep all the lines tight.  I tried to resolve this by gluing a few lines and cutting them off.  Trouble is I glued the wrong line and the spanker mast would not come up at all.  I worked on it for a few hours before I decided enough was enough and there was nothing I could do.  At the time I didn't have the equipment to cut the lines that far into the bottle so I felt my only option in correcting the mistake would be to just pull it out and hope it didn't break to bad. 

I got it to the bottle neck and got some pliers on it and pulled it out.  It all but shattered.  The back stays got pulled too tight and tore the bulwarks off the ship.  Masts and yards broke into splinters.  To fix the ship now would be to rebuild it altogether.  

At that point I was done with the ship.  I had spent to much time to have it end so horribly.  So I kept what scraps were left and moved on to other projects.  I eventually came back to it and realized it didn't look like much any ways so it was finally disposed of.  My point of this post though is some times stuff happens.  A build goes horribly wrong or busts into pieces and then never sees the light of day, but you know, that's okay.  To perfect your craft you have to just keep going.  

I learned a lot from this failed brigantine.  It taught me to stretch my abilities and where to draw the line.  I learned what worked for me and what didn't, like a too many lines coming out of the bottle.  Each ship after has been the same.  I try something new adapt it if it works and leave it if it doesn't.  My hope is to make each build better then the last.  

There's only one thing I could have done differently with the brigantine which I probably should have.  Which is to stuff the piece's back in the bottle push them into the sea and call it a shipwreck in a bottle.  The fun of ship in bottle building is that even when you screw it up, it works.  

Good luck and keep learning.   


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