Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sochetto in Squero Canaletto

photo by Sean AntonioliThis is one of my favorite images from Sean.
He took it when he and Mathias Luhmann were working in Squero Canaletto.
That's Mathias back there - working on a sochetto.
The sochetto is a solid piece of Lime wood.
Sochetti are present in both ends of a gondola.

They have a number of purposes:
- they serve as mounting points for the deck planks,
- they add weight to the ends, giving the gondola better polar inertia (that means she's easier to spin around),
- they fortify the ends, adding to the gondola's "bludgeon-ability" (that means she serves better as a battering ram - hopefully not necessary).

If you look behind Mathias, you can see the gondola that the sochetto is intended for - it fits in that black cavity.

There's another gondola on the left hand side of the shot, and running from the camera to right ahead of Mathias, is a long plank of wood. This plank could be the nerva (a type of wood rub-rail) but my guess is that it's been custom-cut to fit into the side of that gondola on the left.
The plank is up on poles,
a torch is perched on a sawhorse,
and there are burn-marks on the underside of the plank.

Clearly someone has been bending wood with fire.

A hand-carved sochetto,
bending wood with fire...
Venetian boat-building is so cool.

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