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Archive for March, 2010

Timber Fish bottom completed and rails started

Posted in: News, Projects, Surfboard, Wooden Surfboards & Alias by Richard Harvey on March 28, 2010

A  friend in Sydney, Peter Janecek, recently bought a Grain timber surfboard kit, a 6′ Wherry fish. After opening the kit and discovering the complexity of building one, he has sent it up to me and over the next couple of months I will put it together. I’ll be taking progress photos all the way along, and will load them onto the website when I have something to show.

The first step is to glue the keel and the cross pieces together. Ensuring the bottom of the pieces are straight and aligned. Even though the pieces are computer cut and small adjustments can be made without difficulty, care is needed, as a twist in the internal frame will be carried throughout the finished board. More pics as I progress.

Have now laminated all the bottom planks together. The first centre planks were done with clamps and timber cross pieces that stop the planks springing up.But the last two side pieces were done separately. For those trying it this way they will save the expense of clamps and it was help in place with good old masking tape. The technique is to tape the join lengthways on the side you want to be the outside of the deck. This will then fold down when moved over the edge of the bench, opening up the join for glueing but still keeping the plank in place. Once the glue is applied it is then taped back into place as per the photo. I think all the planks can be done this way.

Takes more time but gets a cleaner result. Like the old saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”

Had a change of plan regarding the construction technique, originally, the kit said a rocker table was needed and a bunch of clamps, quite a lot of fussing around. I thought it could be put together with a much simpler method and no need for all those clamps, just some pins and a roll of masking tape. Using new narrower planks, 4 mm thick and glued individually as the wider slab of 6 mm thick timber wouldn’t bend, but the 4 mm thick done individually worked well. So here are some pics of the bottom deck being attached then the rails have been started. Also some fancy laser cut logo inserted into the centre stringer. Still a long way to go, but coming together without the need for all the extra gear.

Shapers Workshop

Posted in: News, Surfboard by Richard Harvey on

It has been a good project and now has been completed. The Shapers Workshop DVD covers the shaping bay, tools, blanks, techniques for shaping both foam and timber Alaias. The price is $39.95 which include postage to anywhere in Australia. Overseas postage depends on the destination. Will upload a section of the DVD shortly

Graphic Design to the Surfing Industry

Posted in: Art, News by Richard Harvey on March 12, 2010

As a part of Harvey Surf it has always been my intention to provide a graphic design service to the surfing industry. With my 15 years experiences working with elite surf company Billabong it only seemed natural to continue this type of work, although now combined with the variety of making a few boards and doing some art.

One recent part of a corporate image remake was a project for Southcoast Foam. You may have seen their new delivery van driving around.


The Ferry to Banyuangi

Posted in: News, Stories by Richard Harvey on March 11, 2010

Gilimanuk, a small port on the western side of Bali, was the departure for the ferry to Java. Like most island ports it was a cacophony of people and bustled with various forms of transport. Horse-drawn carts pulled in among buses stacked high with passengers and luggage. Large trucks, loaded to overflowing, slowly made their way up a creaking gangway accompanied by directions shouted from those trying to squeeze more vehicles into the tightest of corners. The ferry gradually filled with buses, trucks and cars until the lower level was chock-a-block. We boarded up a long gangplank that ran up to the middle deck, which was allocated for seating.

Travellers of all types carrying their bundles made their way to a comfortable spot. Most found a place to lay down their load and relax on timber- slatted benches that were spread all over the forward and aft decks. To get a break from the crowds and the cockroaches running all around the floor, we decided to take the stairs and find out what was up on the top deck. To our surprise the open top deck was empty, the sun beat down from a typical mid-winter, crystal-blue Balinese sky. There were no seats up on top, just a simple railing strung with wire running around the captain’s cabin and the edge of the deck. Several silver-metal life rafts were stacked up on either side. Smokey diesel engines cranked up, the ferry pushed off and we headed out into the seemingly calm Bali Strait that divided the two islands.

Earlier in the morning four of us caught the bus from Denpasar, which was the first section of our journey that would end at the batik factories of Yogyakarta. We planned a simple trip, bus from Denpasar to the ferry, then the train from Banyuwangi on the Java side through Surabaya and then on to Yogyakarta. We had a map of where the batik markets were, all was organised, so for the time being we relaxed and enjoyed the view.

The Bali Strait that we were crossing was the link between the Indian Ocean and the Java Sea on the north of the Indonesian island chain and a huge amount of water flowed as the tide changed. We could see giant whirlpools swirling with a centre hole like water going down a drainpipe. One monster reminded me of aerial photos of cyclonic cloud patterns with that telltale black hole in the middle. Unperturbed, the captain continued on his direct line to the other side. He must have done this trip hundreds of times and seen it all before as the water below surged and twisted. Two oceans fought for supremacy in the battleground of the strait, but the ferry seemed oblivious to what was going on underneath.

Grant and I sat and chatted about the waves we had been riding and about France, where he was heading after Bali. In the distance we could see the small shadow of some swells created by the water moving up the strait. They seemed stationary as the tidal surge pushed against them. Our imagination ran wild as we threw ideas at each other what it would be like to catch a wave like that. Three perfect peaks just sitting out in the middle of the channel hardly moving, going for ever. The ferry just kept ploughing on to the other side. We could see the wharf where we would be disembarking and it would only be another 20 minutes or so. The three swells also gradually moved up the strait. “Do you think the swells and our path look like they could cross?”  I asked Grant. No, the captain would see them, take a slight deviation of his line and we would get a great close-up of these swells. As they got closer we could see that their size had doubled from what they were when we first spotted them. And still the ferry kept on its line to Banyuwangi. The captain sure was leaving it late to change course around them. They were now within 200 metres and it had become obvious that the captain hadn’t seen the rogue swells. At least we would have quick access to the liferafts if something was to happen. By the time the swells reached the ferry, we were looking level from the top deck to the top of the first swell. I estimated it to be over 30 feet high. Fortunately not breaking as a normal wave would, just a huge clean face sparkling in the sun. It hit us broadside, the ferry tipping up on its side to about a 30 degree angle. We looked to the liferafts and quickly realised they weren’t tied down and had begun sliding across the smooth deck like huge bowling balls towards where we were standing. Three of them from one side were coming our way. The ferry reached the peak of the first swell then tipped over and headed down sideways into the trough and the second swell that was bigger than the first. All I could see was a huge wall of water coming towards us. The liferafts from the other side of the deck also started to slide and I think there must have been five or six large, heavy metal projectiles loose and heading in all directions. They crashed into each other as we hit the trough and again the ferry tipped back the other way. A crushing sound came from below as the second wave rushed into the bottom deck. People were screaming and running in all directions, it was mayhem. Apart from all the water that we had taken on board, cars had been washed under trucks and buses pushed sideways, jamming them even tighter than before. We grabbed what ever we could and hung on. Up to the top of the second swell we rose. It was an freakish sight, yet at the same time terrifying. Just to the side of the swells we could see giant whirlpools and I wondered what chance we would have in the water if we were to go down. I had heard of these overloaded ferries sinking and taking hundreds of lives, but never imagined how it could happen in such a way. Coming up to the top of the second swell we knew we only had to survive the next one and we would be OK. Down we went again and out of the corner of our eyes we watched for the careering liferafts. Fortunately the last swell was the smallest and all the damage had been done. By the time we were over the last swell we looked towards the wharf and realised that the ferry hadn’t moved off its line one inch. The whole episode lasted only half a minute, but had scared half a lifetime from me. We looked at each other in disbelief. Where was the captain? As we tied up at the wharf crew came running from everywhere and everyone was shouting at each other trying to work out how to untangle the mash of cars, trucks and buses. We slipped off unnoticed and headed for the train station. I hope the trip to Yogyakarta and the Batik Markets was going to be a little less eventful than that ferry crossing. I wondered if the smoking volcano in the distance was any kind of omen. Time will tell.


Noosa Festival of Surfing – Charity Auction

Posted in: Art, News, Surfboard by Richard Harvey on

As I have done last year, I am again donating a piece of art on a board supplied by sponsor Global Surf Industries to be auctioned off at the Noosa Festival of Surfing.

Called “Tip Time” it is what most surfers dream about, pleanty of empty waves to be shared with friends.

“The Old Track to Bells”

Posted in: Art, News by Richard Harvey on

Just finished a commission of “The Old Track to Bells” and am pleased with the result.

I am often asked what this style is that I have developed, this is probably the best explanation.

Based on a concept where having been to a surf spot, even many years ago, certain features stick in my memory. But painting from memory it is easy to miss certain elements. With this style I paint the strongest iconic features of the landscape to capture the feel of the spot. By elevating the view it allows me to incorporate a different perspective. The style, which I call “organic pop”, is then developed with smooth soft curving shapes that fit together to give a relaxed feel but still showing the iconic features of the landscape. The emotion of colour is something I have always used in my art and adds to the pleasure of viewing the piece. The smooth flowing lines of the ocean swell tell their own story.  A similar method is used by the Australian Aboriginals in their dreamtime paintings to describe landscape features, animal tracks although with a dot technique. My style can be abstracted to a point that only once the features are pointed out do they become recognizable.