We were invited by our friend Adriane Colburn from the Lamar Dodd School of Art at UGA to come down as visiting artists in the Foundations program and do a project this spring with the students there. Our crew of one just returned from a lovely week in Athens, culminating with the launch of four little boats last Friday, April 12th.

The students of Jacob Brault’s 3-D Design Class did an amazing job building three of the boats on their own. There were two really cute Portuguese dinghies made after this design–and one of our own Liberum Dories. Having made a few of these before, I was impressed (and a little relieved) that it came together so nicely and proved its seaworthiness immediately.

The fourth boat was a collaboration between Mare Liberum and a number of the undergraduate students from Adriane’s Foundations drawing classes and several other students and classes in the art department. It was also the very first PapeREI Canoe to hit the water. (Needless to say, there are a handful of forthcoming corrections to the instructions we published for Conflux, but we will get to that soon, I promise.)

The students contributed scores of drawings of native plants they had collected. The drawings were made on 2’ long, 4” wide strips and glued in place on the first and last layers of the hull. The seats, the stems, and the floorboards were all cut on our new friend Michael Olivieri’s CNC router, and–once attached to the gunnels–made the boat plenty stiff. This makes it a lot easier to build, and the boat did great once on the water.


This project couldn’t have come together without everyone’s help. I’d especially like to thank Adriane Colburn, Jacob Brault, Michael Olivieri, Steve Arnold, Chris Hocking and his son Finn, as well as Iris, Loughton, Eric, the UGA grad students, and the very helpful UGA staff.