Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Plenty of Forcola...Plenty of Wedges Too!

photo by Tamás Fehér

This close-up of a forcola da poppa on a caorlina shows us how robust these pieces can be. 
With most forcole, form follows function. 
If it's carved to serve a purpose by Pastor, Brandolisio, or Furlanetto, 
then the beauty of it's form is it's functionality.
There are a few exceptions with some of the more "luxury forcole",
but you're not likely to see a luxury forcola on the back of a caorlina.

A caorlina is a stout vessel - often rowed by six vogatori.
Sometimes the rower at the back needs to bear down hard to get the boat moving back in the right direction.
A forcola like this one is built to handle that kind of pressure. 

Taking a closer look, we see the familiar signature of Saverio Pastor peeking out from behind some wedges.
It's a good guess that the person who seated this forcola had to spend some quality time with the hammer and wedges.
We do whatever we have to, to keep a forcola from moving around.

The forcola da poppa on a caorlina often has two rowing points, or "morsos".
Stern forcolas on many boats only need one morso, but in the case of the caorlina, the popier sometimes rows with a full crew (weighing the boat down a bit), and other times the boat is lighter in the water - making that lower morso a better place to row from.  I'm told this dual morso configuration dates back to a time when caorlinas were used more for transportation of cargo around the lagoon.

A lower morso, or morso de soto, can also be compared
to a lower gear when rowing a full boat.
Standing at a towering 5'6", I can see how that lower morso might also come in handy for short people.


Anonymous said...

Being a bit pedantic, in hopes of keeping you in good stead with your Italian friends.

singular: morso
plural: morsi

lower morso: morso di sotto
(de is Spanish, di Italian)
(when in doubt, double the Italian consonants)

staff said...

Hi Bob, in Venetian "morso de soto" is correct.

Bepi Venexiano said...

Bob, If you want a fun time type a paragraph of veneti into google translate. Then translate it to spanish, portugese, greek. Elements that don't translate to italian will produce a word in these other languages. Like us with words like rendezvous, the Veneti probably borrowed expident words from the ports of the med. Wahoo, good times!