When the publisher of Maine Boats Homes and Harbors magazine called to tell me she had chosen an image of mine for the cover of their recent issue, I didn’t imagine it was the details of boat builder John Anderson’s hands at work. I had captured the image years ago when he was restoring a lovely Q-Class sloop called FALCON, designed by Burgess and built by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company in 1926.
I realized that I have been capturing these details of just about every boat builder I have photographed over the years, in both stills and motion. To me, the hands alone can tell the story of an artisan’s life. The way they look, with scrapes, cuts, callouses, scars (sometimes missing fingers) and the way they work the wood with force, agility and exactness.
Last winter, I put together a short film edit of these hands. l never posted it, and it got pushed aside as I was busy with other ‘paying’ jobs. When the magazine cover came out last week, I thought I’d take the time over the rainy weekend to polish it off and put it out there. Short and sweet, this is a testimony of some truly talented craftsmen in this industry.