Summer is nearly upon us, but don’t get too warm just yet. This amazing documentary shows master Latvian woodworker Rihards Vidzickis building a dugout canoe. The entire process uses mostly traditional tools and the level of precision and skill necessary is just incredible. But beyond how impressive the whole thing is, perhaps the best part of this video is the zen-like calm that will wash over you as you watch it. It’s just so soothing to see this guy build a canoe. It’s hard to describe and sort of surprising, but it really reinforces the value of self-made, artisan goods. The soothing acoustic song “When a River Parts” by Alan Gogoll and Jason Lowe helps too.
The whole process is fascinating, but perhaps my favorite part was when they put the dugout canoe in the frigid waters of a nearby lake, before taking it out of the water and heating it up on the fire. It was also so satisfying to see them hollow out the canoe by hand. The whole thing is just so cool–and so zen.
Have you watched it yet? Because I just did and all I want to do is zen out. And while I don’t know if I’m going to go out and make a canoe myself, I do know is that I already miss winter and I really, really, want to float down the river in a canoe right now.
The video was produced by Northmen, a guild of master craftsmen from Northern Europe who create handmade, artisan products. In an age of conspicuous consumption, waste, and disposable shopping, these products are built with quality in mind and built to last. They have a collection of products from woodworking tools, aprons, axes, knives, and wood products to choose from. They even sell swords. Check them out here.