A Whale of a Boat

Woodworking Project: Sephira
Takes Maiden Voyage in Mystic
Congratulations to Mr. Michael Brolly, Moravian Academy Woodworking Instructor and internationally known woodturning artist, and his team of students boatbuilders on handcrafting such a fine 22 ft. St. Ayles Skiff, The Sephira, in the Van. S. Merle-Smith Woodworking Studio on Moravian Academy's Merle-Smith Campus. This past weekend, many people--including some Moravian Academy parents and Mr. George N. King, Jr. and his wife, Charliese--cheered on as she took her maiden voyage on the waters of Mystic Seaport, Ct. to participate in WoodenBoat's Boatbuilding & Rowing Challenge (BARC).

The Sephira is truly a work of art, but she holds a secret that distinguishes her from all other boats -- Sephira is also a musical instrument. Mr. Brolly first envisioned this floating stringed instrument while still in graduate school and today his vision has become a reality. Brolly has had a strong interest in handcrafting boats that can be musical instruments with the outside chance that he can eventualy learn to communicate with whales and other sea life. When giant strings are stretched across the boat from the carved "dragon" mast and clamped to the inside of the boat towards the back, "whale sounds" result when the strings are stroked with hands adorning special gloves.

For more information about Sephira, please see an recent piece by columnist Daniel Patrick Sheehan: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/burbs/mc-musical-boat-burbs-20120626,0,7272275.column

Mr. Brolly earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Kutztown University and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Wood/Furniture Design from the University of Massachusetts.
You can explore pieces from Mr. Brolly's collection of wood turned objects, videos of his work, upcoming exhibits, news, and more at www.michaeljbrolly.com.

Photographs were taken by George N. King, Jr.

Merle Smith Campus

Downtown Campus