RIPPLES is a contemporary circus performance about eco-grief and utopia, sailing across the Baltic Sea to inspire people to act for a more sustainable future. The performance will be played on the 19-meter-long sailing ship S/V Swallow which acts as a site-specific stage, accommodation, and means of transport for the group.
With the sailing ship “Swallow” as the stage, extreme acrobatics all the way up to the top of the 20-meter-high masts, a world-class international team of artists, and a soundscape blending in voices of climate activists all around the world, RIPPLES is a one of a kind performance.
Hawila Project is excited to present to you the artistic performance RIPPLES, born from its collaboration with the circus company Acting for Climate.
RIPPLES is a contemporary circus performance about eco-grief and utopia, sailing across the Baltic Sea to inspire people to act for a more sustainable future. The performance will be played on the 19-meter-long sailing ship S/V Swallow which acts as a site-specific stage, accommodation, and means of transport for the group
With the sailing ship “Swallow” as the stage, extreme acrobatics all the way up to the top of the 20-meter-high masts, a world-class international team of artists, and a soundscape blending in voices of climate activists all around the world, RIPPLES is a one of a kind performance.
Har du nogensinde undret dig over, hvordan en båd holder sig vandtæt? Eller hvad du kan gøre for at genbruge dine gamle t-shirts?Eller vil du bare vide mere om vores sejlskib, som blandt andet skal transportere økologisk kakao fra Caribien til Holbæk næsten udelukkende ved hjælp af vindkraft? Så kom og besøg os om bord på Hawila den 11. maj til en dag i tegn på respekt for klimaet og vores havnemiljø!
Have you ever wondered how a boat stays watertight? Or what you can do to recycle your old t-shirts? Or do you just want to know more about our sailing ship, which among other things will bring organic cocoa from the Caribbean to Holbaek almost entirely using wind power? Then come and visit us on board “Hawila” on the 11th of May for a day all about respect for the climate and our harbour environment!
As part of Hawila Project’s mission to advocate for environmental justice, we are looking for participants who would like to join “LESS – Living with Eco-Systems” an educational programme about sustainable lifestyles and relationship with nature.
All fees and costs are covered by the Erasmus+ framework.
The project is coordinated by Palma Nana (IT), co-coordinated by Resilience.Earth (SP), and in partnership with The Southern Lights – Το Νότιο Σέλας (GR), Octop’us (FR), Profilantrop Egyesület (HU).
The programme will take place as an online training from March 31 to March 19 and onsite in Sicily, Italy, from May 25 to May 31.
“Our focus is on what we can do. How do we want the world to look?”.
Our collaboration with Acting for Climate is founded on our mutual care for the environment, our aim to raise ecological awareness and to trigger a wider debate on sustainable development.
This summer Hawila Project and Acting for Climate will join forces again for the upcoming performance Ripples which will take place across the Baltic Sea and reach ports in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Estonia.
Read the full article to learn how creative collectives worldwide are committed to inspiring people to act for a more sustainable future.
Two pieces of solid oak, each of them measuring no less than 12m long.
After the 6 hours of steaming necessary to make the timber pliable, the heat and moisture softened the wood fibres enough so that the beamshelves could be bent and stretched to hold their new shape once cooled down.
The manoeuvre was challenging due to the size and length of the plank. The movement had to be fast, yet precise and synchronised, as the wood can easily crack when it cools down under such pressure.
Here is the video showing how we managed without a hitch!
In the beginning of November, Ben and Bleuenn, our shipwright friends with their amazing ship Swallow, came into Holbaek Harbour from Brittany. Beating to wind, they manoeuvred the ship under sail and moored alongside Hawila. They used only their huge sculling oars at the stern of the boat to steer the bow away at the last moment, as the vessel came to a comfortable stop.
Ben and Bleuenn were our master shipwrights last spring, leading the project of replanking much of the mid-section, forwards below the waterline, and our galboard. We were awaiting them to start on the next big step of the refit – the forward upper hull: replacing stanchions, beam shelves, upper frames, ceiling, shear planks and covering boards.
With their arrival, chainsaws and axes emerged, and worn-out, tenacious timbers were removed at exhilarating speed. In a single week, so much was removed from the bow that our naval architect noted the stern was sitting in the water a centimetre lower than before. When major deck beams were removed, we had to install temporary supports to maintain the boat’s shape and integrity.
Deconstruction was followed by re-construction, and it came with similar velocity. The process of reframing a ship like ours, with double sawn oak frames, can be approached in various ways.
Stay tuned for a technical post coming soon, detailing the process that we have used for each frame, from templating to roughing out, fairing, and fixing in place.
[EN] Hawila is an 86-year-old, wooden built galeas of 35 m length, in renovation in Holbaek, Denmark, since September 2020.
From December to March the ship will be on the local slipway where we will change bottom frames from forward to mid-ship. Afterward we will continue with mid-ship upper frames, stanchions, beam shelves, beams, covering boards, and decking.
If you have professional experience in boatbuilding or carpentry and can stay with us for at least 1 month, we’d be excited to hear from you.
You’d be hosted on site and become part of a strong community of professional craftsmen who’ve been dedicated to this project for more than one year.
Does this sound interesting?
Then send us a mail to email@example.com or call Johan Bech at +45 22 89 18 02
[DA] SKIBSTØMRERE, BÅDBYGGERE ELLER ERFARNE TØMRERE SØGES TIL S/V HAWILA
Hawila er en 86 år gammel, træbygget galeas på 35 m, der nu er under renovering i Holbæk, Danmark.
Fra december til marts vil skibet ligge på den lokale bedding, hvor vi vil udskifte spanter fra for- til midtskibs. Herefter vil vi fortsætte med at forny dækbjælker, dækplanker, skanboards, midtskibs bjælkehylder etc.
Hvis du har professionel erfaring med disse, eller nogle af disse opgaver, og har tid og lyst til at prøve kræfter med vores spændende projekt vil vi meget gerne høre fra dig.
Du ville blive en del af et stærkt fællesskab af internationale professionelle håndværkere. Mulighed for at blive indkvarteret på stedet.
Lyder dette interessant?
Så send os en mail til firstname.lastname@example.org ring til Johan Bech på +45 22 89 18 02
Lørdag den 27. november inviterer Nationalmuseet, Kystliv Holbæk og Hawila Project til et åbent arrangement.
Programmet står på rundvisninger på skibene Hawila, Anna Møller, Bonavista, Swallow, og Ruth, korte sejlture i fjorden med sejlskibe fra Kystliv Holbæk (hvis vejret tillader), samt spændende foredrag og et serigrafiværksted.
Vi sørger for god stemning, frokost, snacks og lidt godt til ganen.
Sæt kryds i kalenderen og inviter dine venner.
Vi offentliggør snart det endelige program for dagen. Det bliver spændende og alt er helt gratis!
Vi glæder os til at byde jer velkommen på Holbæk Ny Havn!
On Saturday the 27th of November, the Nationalmuseum, Kystliv Centre and Hawila Project invite you to a free full day’s programme with guided tours around the ships Hawila, Anna Møller, Bonavista, Swallow, og Ruth, short sailing trips around Holbæk fjord (only in good weather), exciting lectures, and a printing workshop.
We guarantee good vibes, warm lunch, cakes & snacks, cold and warm drinks.
A full update on the programme will follow shortly, but mark your calendars and invite your friends – it will be fun and for free!
We are looking forward to welcoming you at Holbæk New Harbour!
To everyone, far, wide and near – here we present our amazing crowdfunding video!
Under our motto: ”Trade, education and culture by sail” our mission is to engage and bridge coastal communities using an innovative combination of CO2-free maritime transport, united with an onboard platform for cultural exchange and education.
And right now we ask for your support to help us finish the final stage of the current refit of our beautiful ship Hawila!
Last summer we faced a dilemma; how best to go about ensuring Hawila’s main mast was fit for purpose. Unfortunately, rot had developed in the top of the mast, and it would therefore be incapable of withstanding the huge pressures and strains that it would be subjected to when undersail. We had to decide whether to repair or replace, and ultimately we chose to repair. We found it was better to make an extensive repair as we were able to preserve a part of Hawila, keep costs down, and save a tree.
We first cut into the mast in little sections to investigate how far the rot has spread. From this we saw how much of the mast had to be replaced and we calculated the length of the scarf required.
A scarf joint is effectively a wedge which has a long gradient which allows for a greater surface area for glueing. This distributes the loads over a greater amount of glue and keeps the loads safely within the manufacturer’s specification of the glue’s capabilities.
It was necessary to cut into the mast on two planes, making it ready to marry up with the new section. We cut the two planes into the mast with a chainsaw by means of a carefully constructed jig, and then planed it to its final dimensions.
To produce the material for the new section of the mast we made two lengths of stock with a gradient on one side, roughly corresponding with the required ratio of the scarf, by laminating together lengths of pine with epoxy glue . These formed the basis of the two opposing sides of the repair, and we then cut and planed the scarfs to correspond perfectly with those prepared on the old section of the mast.
The two sections of the repair and the original mast were then bonded together with epoxy and clamped with custom made clamps: This part of the process had to be done during the night as it was too warm in the daytime for the epoxy to cure properly.
The new section of the mast then had to be rounded to join the shape of the old section of the mast. This is achieved by first planing four new faces into the new section to produce an octagonal or 8 sided object, and then this is repeated to produce a 16 sided object. These 16 sides are then blended into the required cylindrical shape of the mast by sanding.
The mast now awaits its return to the ship, and meanwhile it is being well looked after. Our dedicated volunteer Johanna has spent the last few days making sure the mast and its new repair is well oiled and tarred and looking its best.
Although the surface is still temporary, the beams are all new and fixed.
One of the main prerequisites here was to make enough space available underneath the sole to accommodate sufficient internal ballast, which is essential on a sailing ship like Hawila. It provides stability as it keeps the ship upright and steady, especially when under sail. The solution we found was to mount a large oak wedge on the keelson, which rises from 0 to 15cm over the length of the cargo hold.
Once the wedge was in place, we started templating, cutting and putting on the first and last sole beams. These were measured and cut with a compound mitre, to fit the position and angle of the frames they are attached to. This must be done carefully, as between them, they establish the plane of the sole. It must be level in relation to the waterline of the boat and not twisted.
We then added new ceiling planks on both sides for the intermediate sole beams to rest on. For this we first used two pieces of oak, protecting them with tar underneath, sanding and oiling them on their visible face. Some of Hawila’s old deck planks were used for the ceiling planks below the sole. Made of pine, they were coated with bitumen lacquer to protect them from the water and humidity in the bilge. Before screwing the planks to the frames, we overlaid the latter with a mixture of linseed oil, tar and limestone chalk powder, which has antifungal properties and beds the components down.
Stretching from one side of the ceiling to the other, whilst also sitting on the keelson and wedge, the intermediate sole beams were positioned in reference to the first and last beams. It was here of great importance that the beams were straight and had three support points, two on the ceiling and one on the keelson, as the sole will have to support 35 tons of cargo.
The method, commonly used by carpenters for ensuring that the beams follow the plane established by the first and last beam, is to nail a taught string line between the two, sitting on top of a 4mm plywood packer. This means that the exact position for the intermediate beams is 4mm below the string line. By placing a 4mm packer below the string line we can see if the beam is too high or low if the packer fits nicely without a gap. Once the beams were attached and painted with bitumen paint, we cleaned the entire bilge and painted it with boat soup as the frames were very dry.
Finally, we built a temporary floor out of plywood, with access hatches strategically placed above the bilge pumps. The final floor will likely be made of oak, although the exact thickness and material of the sole boards are yet to be determined.
I et år har Hawila været i Holbæk under ombygning og det har været en spændende tid, som vi gerne vil fejre med jer alle sammen denne lørdag den 23. oktober!
Fra kl. 10-16 vil der være ture rundt på Hawila, et printværksted, et oplæg fra kaptajnen om den igangværende ombygning, snacks, kager, drikkevarer og en masse god stemning – så kom og vær med!
Vi vil også kickstarte vores crowdfunding-kampagne samme dag, så hvis du vil vide mere om Hawila’s fremtid, så kig forbi og spørg os om alt det, du gerne vil vide!Vi glæder os til at byde dig velkommen om bord!
Hvad er Hawila Project?
Hawila er navnet på et 32 m langt norsk tomastet træskib, der blev bygget i 1935. Det svenske Søfartsmuseum gav Hawila status som et kulturhistorisk værdifuldt skib, og hun blev også medlem af Træskib Sammenslutningen (T/S), den danske træskibsforening, hvis hovedformål er at fremme bevarelsen af gamle skibe.
I øjeblikket er skibet under ombygning i Holbæk Havn, så det kan blive ombygget til et kommercielt sejlende fragtskib. Vores mission er at engagere og bygge bro mellem kystsamfund ved hjælp af en innovativ kombination af CO2-fri søtransport, forenet med en platform om bord til kulturel udveksling og uddannelse.
For one year has Hawila been in Holbæk for her refit and it’s been an exciting time, which we would like to celebrate with you all this Saturday, October 23rd!
From 10 am – 4 pm there will be guided tours around Hawila, a printing workshop, a presentation by the captain about the current refit, snacks, cakes, drinks and a lot of good vibes – so come by and say hi to the crew!
We will also kick-start our crowdfunding campaign that same day, so if you want to know more about the future of Hawila, swing by and ask us everything you want to know!We can’t wait to welcome you on board!Your Hawila crew
What is Hawila Project?
Hawila is the name of a Norwegian 32 m long two-masted wooden Baltic trader, which was built in 1935. The Swedish state Maritime museum gave Hawila the status of a cultural-historical value vessel and she also became a member of the Træskib Sammenslutningen (T/S), the Danish wooden ship’s association whose main purpose is to promote the preservation of old vessels.
Currently, the ship is undergoing a refit in Holbæk Harbour for her to be converted into a commercial sailing cargo vessel. Our mission is to engage and bridge coastal communities using an innovative combination of CO2-free maritime transport, united with an onboard platform for cultural exchange and education.
The Annual TS Regional Meeting in Roskilde, October 16th 2021
Yesterday, October 16th 21, around 40 wooden boat people, mainly from Sealand, met at 10 am outside Roskilde Viking Ship Museum, life-vest clad for action, ready to board three of the museum’s reconstructed Viking ships.
Romed, representing Hawila together with Ankie and Lars, wrote about the experience they had on this special day:
If you think that sailing Hawila with a random, inexperienced crew is challenging, try this with a Viking ship! Already rowing out of the harbour with 8 people, was a revelation: the roughly 40’ slender boat accelerated like a canoe, reaching a top speed of about 7 knots within 30 seconds, even with a poorly synchronising crew of mostly greybeards (greyer than myself) at the oars!
Hoisting the pretty huge square sail was easy with the wind aback. But the first attempt at a tack failed miserably. Second time we tried, the skipper wisely decided to convert the manoeuvrer into what the Danes call a “cow turn” – like in cow-ardly turning by falling off the wind, a jibe by capitulation, rather than choice.
Wind at that time blowing with > 10 m/s, we reefed the sail by two reefs after which we got lucky the third time. But if you would ask me how the sail was brought leewards, I’d have to pass.
A square sail doesn’t luff naturally, you have to move and hold the sail a-haul by hand, but somehow we did manage without casualties. Which makes a point for that Vikings definitely didn’t wear horned helms…
After 1½ hours running ahead of the wind, we rowed swiftly back into the harbour.
Next, was a tour through the museum, with the resident leading boatbuilder Søren Nielsen explaining technical details of the 5 recovered Skudelev boats that were recovered in the fjord of Roskilde. Lucky for us, the late Vikings had deliberately sunk these 5 ships to create a defensive barrier in the then narrow straights of the fjord.
All of these 5 boats have been reconstructed by the museum and we sailed 3 of these reconstructions today. The largest reconstruction is the famous Sea Stallion, a longship of 30 m, built in Dublin around 1040, close towards the end of the Viking era.
After a lunch break we got a tour through the boatbuilding workshops where even more Viking ships are being reconstructed: Fishing boats, cargo ships and longboats of various sizes.
This was followed up with a lecture by Vibeke Bischof, a well known Danish naval engineer and expert in experimental archaeology. Vibeke told us in meticulous details about the reconstruction of the Oseberg ship, one of the best preserved Viking ships, measuring almost 22m loa. The ship dates back to around AD 800 end ended its life as a burial monument near Toensberg, Norway. It had been excavated in 1905 and. In 1987 a full-scale replica, “Dronningen” (the queen) was built. However, this copy didn’t last very long, it capsized and ended as flotsam already on its first trial at a speed of 10 knots.
Vibeke was then on the team analysing the calamity. It was found that a few small errors in the dimensions of the reconstruction, a misunderstanding of how side-rudders work and misplaced ballast were responsible for the loss. In 2010 a new replica “Oseberg Saga” was made, correcting the errors of earlier attempts and this ship became a great success.
Learning so many of the Vikings’ technical boatbuilding details, it became clear that it had been totally underestimated how sophisticated and high-tech these early warships actually were. They were built for velocity, with a very tight risk-calculation of speed vs safety, leaving extremely small margins for errors, just like with modern ocean-going racing yachts. Longboats were constructed as lightly as possible, with thin, split and hewn planks and sleek frames. However, the clinked and riveted planks combined with sideways bracing floor pieces and frames gave them an incredible flexibility and these boats could run through heavy seas as fast as the wind would carry them. Looking at technical drawings from these ships, they seem to resemble more model plane construction than boatbuilding. The Vikings however, did all this without scientific calculations and computer-aided design software.
The day ended with us boarding the Sea Stallion, one of the world’s most ambitious experimental archaeology project. Built in Roskilde from 2000 – 2004 with replicated tools and rediscovered techniques, a crew of 50 sailed the ship to Dublin after years of testing and training.
A clearly emotional Carsten Hvid (ropemaker, sailor and former educator at Kystliv Center in Holbaek) told us his story as the skipper on this amazing trip. These 50 adventurers, our dear Lars Toft among them, sailed through 6 rainy and stormy weeks, in what basically is a giant canoe with a 120 sq m woollen square sail. The only difference between then and now being modern clothing and that they brought along safety and navigation equipment instead of war axes and swords.
Most challenging though, so Carsten said, was neither wind and weather, but the social dynamics and psychological challenges with 50 men and women being stuffed together, cooking, eating, sh…ing, sleeping and otherwise doing what adult humans do, in such a confined but also totally exposed space for 1½ months!
Carsten was sharing his opinion, that these human challenges might have been a lot easier in the old days. Keeping a tight ship, he contemplated, might have been a lot easier under a strict hierarchy, where disciplinary measures like keelhauling were equivalent to a raised index finger and decapitating corresponded to “did you get it now?”
The answer to this would probably require yet another project of experimental archaeology.
Last week Thursday, September 23rd, Hawila Project had the pleasure to participate in Holbaek municipality’s launch of the Land-Sea Art platform. It’s the Danish contribution to the EU-project “Land-Sea Act” that strives for the development of coastal areas in the countries around the Baltic Sea.
About 100 people weathered the storm to attend this cultural gathering at the Kystliv Centeret in Holbæk. Employees of Holbaek Harbour introduced the various projects to the visitors. Hawila Project displayed an exhibition of the historical ship’s exciting journey through its rich history, from her Norwegian origins to her current refit.
This event was also an opportunity for our collaboration with Stenhus Gymnasium to be highlighted. Our dear Despina and her counterpart Camilla Lorentzen came together with the Visual Arts students to present their screen-printing workshop. Participants could acquire clothes and accessories printed with beautiful maritime motives, all designed by the students.
Along with it, another group from Stenhus Gymnasium got the chance to introduce their Pilot Project, carried out with Despina, Elly and Tom from Hawila Project. Using upcycling as their main process, these workshops aim to raise environmental awareness by using wood scraps from Hawila’s renovation to practise and hone the student’s carpentry skills.
Soon there will be another opportunity to see their work in an upcoming event organized by Hawila Project!
To read more about the “Land-Sea Act” click here: https://land-sea-art.eu
Endnu en stor dag for Hawilas kulturelle og kunstneriske engagement!
Sidste uge, torsdag 23. september, havde Hawila Project fornøjelsen at deltage i Holbæk Kommunes opstart af platformen Land-Sea Art. Det er Danmarks bidrag til EU projektet “Land-Sea Act”, som har til formål at fremme udvikling af kystområderne i landene omkring Østersøen.
Ca. 100 mennesker trodsede stormen for at deltage i dette kulturelle arrangement i Kystliv Centeret, Holbæk. Medarbejdere fra Holbaek Havn gjorde gæsterne bekendt med de forskellige projekter, heriblandt Hawila Projects display og udstilling omkring skibets rejse gennem sit rige historie, fra hendes norske oprindelse til den igangværende renovering.
Arrangementet var også en lejlighed for at sætte fokus på vores samarbejde med Stenhus Gymnasium. Vores kære Despina og hendes makker Camilla Lorentzen havde slået sig sammen med en gruppe visuel kunst studerende for at præsentere deres Serigrafi workshop. Deltagere kunne få gratis tøj og accessories med smukke påtrykte maritime motiver, alle designed af studenterne.
Sideløbende fik en anden gruppe fra Stenhus Gymnasium mulighed for at introducere deres Pilotprojekt under vejledning fra Despina, Elly og Tom fra Hawila Project. Baseret på upcycling er formålet med disse workshops at fremme miljøbevidsthed ved at bruge restmaterialer fra Hawilas renovering til træne og finpudse de studerendes håndværklige evner. Snart vil der vise sig flere lejligheder for at se deres arbejde i en kommende begivenhed, arrangeret af Hawila Project.
For at læse mere om “Land-Sea Art” klik her: https://land-sea-art.eu
After two months of work and patience, our bulkheads are almost ready!
The metal frame doors that our volunteer and journeymen friends assembled in June are now completed, along with four bulkheads made of 15cm2 oak posts, reinforced, and sealed with 45mm x 40mm pine cladding.
The bulkhead posts positions were determined with a 360˚ laser. After positioning the central post, we used it as a reference for the 360˚ laser which gave us the outline of the bulkhead on the hull. These posts help support both the deck beams and the cladding that was put on after the beams had been painted with bitumen.
The cladding was then fastened to the frames, the bulkheads’ posts, and the deck beams with stainless screws. Oriented at 45˚ to the center line to provide extra support between the hull and the deck beams, the pine cladding boards are joined to each other by tongue and groove, and sealed with bitumen in between all the grooves and cladding so that our bulkheads are now watertight.
The cladding is now being sanded with a machine then by hand and covered with the well-known “boat soup”, a perfect blend of linseed oil (70%), tar (25%) and turpentine (5%). This mixture permeates the timber, and reduces the chance of the timber shrinking over time and compromises its watertightness.
While these four bulkheads add stiffness to Hawila and create compartments for our two convertible cargo holds, we are keeping the aft bulkhead unfinished for now to allow us better access to the generator and machinery. Eventually, it too will be completely sealed.
Our Hawila is getting ready to sail and transport cargo !
Have you ever come across a young man or woman, clad in black ornamented bell bottom suede pants, matching waistcoat, and a broad rimmed hat?
If he or she furthermore emits a distinctive aroma of wood, metal or masonry, you can consider yourself privileged, because you have very likely met a journeyman.
But there are much more interesting things about journeymen besides their distinctive and aromatic fashion.
Here’s their story and how it intersects with Hawila’s.
A centuries old tradition
The tradition of wandering craftsmen emerged in the late Middle Ages, in 15th century Germany. At that time, cities had grown to be a third factor in the balance of political power in the traditional feudalistic societies of Europe. Before, absolute political power was shared only by the nobility and the Catholic Church.
All technological and humanistic knowledge had been concentrated in, developed and exclusively owned, by the many monasteries. The monks were not only the guardians of religion and spirituality but also scientists, craftsmen, engineers and teachers.
When cities became economically independent, and politically powerful, all this changed, leading to a new world order. Feudalism was based on agriculture, where few owned all of the land and 95% of the population were forced to work in slave-like conditions for their noble overlords. This new world order led to the end of serfdom, the emergence of industrialism and, eventually, democracy.
Until the early Middle ages, 99% of the population of Europe lived in the countryside. Today, after almost 1000 years of urbanisation, 75% of the population on the European continent live in cities.
Soon merchants and craftsmen in the cities of Central Europe began organising themselves into associations, called guilds.
The guilds soon established their own professional standards, education systems and rules of conduct. If one wanted to learn a profession, he (women were not yet allowed to learn crafts) had to approach the local guild and apply for apprenticeship with a master craftsman. After a basic education of 3-5 years, the apprentice would, upon successful completion of an exam, gain the title ”Geselle”, or Journeyman.
Being a journeyman entitled you to seek employment with a master craftsman, but only in the town where you had learned your trade. In order to become an independent craftsman, you had to gain the title of ”Meister” – Master Craftsman. But it was required that the Geselle had to travel for a minimum of 2 years, the exact duration determined by the guild before they could call themselves a Master.
Sending young craftsmen on year-long journeys made sense: Travelling journeymen were the primary bearers of cultural exchange, from the Middle Ages until the end of the 19th century. By travelling and seeking employment in foreign countries, they not only could enrich their professional knowledge, but also gain valuable life-experiences.
Sending the young professionals away for a couple of years was also a convenient way for getting rid of undesired competition for the established master craftsmen. So that is why Journeyman where organizing themself in special guilds to have more power in negotiations with the master guilds, it was the begining of getting more workers rights. Although journeymen enjoyed international legal and political protection, travelling in the Middle Ages was still perilous. Food was scarce and there were robbers and highwaymen. One condition for the sanctuary state of the journeymen was that they were not allowed to carry arms.
After the wandering years, the journeyman could return home and apply for the title of Master craftsman, subject to passing the master exam before a committee of the guild. Then he would become a member of the guild and get permission to start his own business.
By the end of the 19th century this century-old tradition began to disappear, as the power of the guilds was broken by political changes and the transition into the industrial society of the 20th century.
In the 1990’s the tradition of travelling professionals began to resurface on the periphery of a ”back to the roots” movement. Young professionals, now both men and women, would rediscover these traditions and cherish the romance and adventure that came with them.
Today, journeymen, adhering to the ancient rules and traditions, are again travelling all over Europe, even all over the world. They have formed their own local and international organisations and enjoy growing respect for their high level of craftsmanship and work ethics.
Travelling was never about making money, but gaining experience. That’s why you today can find many journeymen and women working as volunteers in non-profit projects – like Hawila Project.
Journeymen on Hawila
We had the pleasure of recently hosting four talented journeymen and -women on Hawila. The reason being, originated from last summer, where we had the privilege to witness a journeyman being pierced with a long nail to the beam of Hawila in celebration of their rite of passage from the master. Here, everyone came together in a magical moment of song, celebration and tradition, a beautiful moment where the young journeyman was nailed to the beam for the ceremony. After this, the journeyman carved his name in the beam with the agreement that they would return to work on the ship.
This is exactly what he did. Travelling with three others the journeymen and -women made new hatches on deck, prepared the bulkheads and brought a great working spirit with them. The time shared with them made us reflect upon this broader idea of community, it was very inspiring to see the camaraderie, professionalism, skill and dedication of these craftsmen.
Under all circumstances, journeymen have a well-deserved reputation for being competent and highly qualified workers. Their lifestyle enables them to gain experiences others can’t even imagine. For many, this is a sound investment in their own professional and personal development and future.
We always praise ourselves lucky, when a journeyman decides to join our work, how briefly it may be, and so should you. We learn a lot from them and they can learn a lot of us.
We are proud to be able to support this great tradition and we’re looking forward to meet more of these fantastic and dedicated people.
Set of Iron Clad Rules
In the Wikipedia article ”Die Wanderjahre” you can learn more about their set of rules and code of conduct.