Thursday, March 17, 2016

Portela Irlandese - by Sean Jamieson

Thanks to guest-blogger Sean Jamieson for this perfectly appropriate
St. Patrick's Day post.

Last year about this time, we were launching Trifoglio -
a classic Bonaldo gondola that had been used years before in Venezia.

She's twenty four years old, so some pieces have some mileage on them.

The portela was coming apart in a few places.
I decided that since I'd never built an Irish one, I'd give it a shot.

The original portela served as a pattern.
I cut out three new pieces, and dipped them in Guinness.
I selected some scrap mahogany and cut it down to serve as the border. Everything received five coats of shiny varnish
and the whole thing sat for two weeks to cure.

Finally it was time to add the finishing touches: toucan and paint.

When I was in Ireland last September, I picked up several pints from various pubs, and even visited the Guinness brewery in Dublin. 

Standing in the brewery, I fell in love with this one toucan.
It was an impulse-buy, but I knew there would be a place for it.
Gondolier Nick Navatta added some finishing touches in the paint studio
and it was done.

It was an enjoyable task to complete, and thanks to the masterful work of Guinness, the toucan perches in the center.


Sean Jamieson is the owner of The Gondola Company
in Coronado, California
Visit his website at:

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