Joe Martin, Master Canoe Carver

Joe Martin’s father was a canoe maker and taught Joe and his three brothers the craft. Joe lives near Tofino and is a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, from the house of Nuukmis.

Tla-o-qui-aht people are part of the Nuu-chah-nulth language group, who live on the west coast of Vancouver Island and the most northern tip of Washington State.

Joe Martin uses a Mexican panga in northern waters

So far Joe has built 35 canoes, each carved out of a single cedar tree. The longest is 36’, the shortest 16’. Joe cuts a tree in the forest, then uses a chainsaw, axes, adzes, drawknives, planes, and a sander to create the final canoe. Once the canoe is hollowed out, it is steamed with water and hot rocks so that the canoe becomes pliable enough to bend it so it becomes wider. We hope to show Joe’s canoes in our book on Northwest builders.

Joe’s daughter does tours of Clayoquot Sound in the hand-carved canoes. The tours leave from Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island and focus on native culture and the natural beauty of the area. Information can be found at a very classy website: Tlalook Cultural Adventures (out of Tofino)

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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