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.