Contemporary Oarmaking

Today there are three remèri in Venice. Part of our work is to keep alive the traditions that were handed down from our maestri, while updating them to satisfy modern rowing requirements. Above all we have kept to the principle of making unique items: each oar or forcola is tailor-made for the individual client. We use traditional instruments and are convinced that handcrafting oars and forcole is the only way to guarantee their quality and specificity while respecting the characteristics of the wood. Any savings gained from making our products in some form of industrial process would be insignificant. Our clients do not allow, and we do not want, large scale production.

When possible we try to use the types of wood used in traditional oar-making, but beech has been replaced by ramin, indispensable for its rigidity and relative lightness. However, as ramin is becoming increasingly rare we try to use it as efficiently as possible, sometimes using several pieces glued together or with other types of wood. Walnut remains the wood of choice for forcole and we use it, in single blocks, following the ancient principles of cutting and seasoning.

All three of us have benefitted from Giuseppe Carli’s teaching and the worldwide appreciation of the forcola as an objet d’art; we have tried to consolidate this aspect by participating in international exhibitions and important nautical events. This means that our workshops have a number of non-Venetian visitors who buy our surplus forcole or forcole with minor imperfections in the wood.

We will never to supply forcole to retailers: our products have ‘added value’ in that they are bought directly from the craftsmen who make them.

The remèr has always been at the service of the client: we build new oars and forcole but maintenance is another essential part of the remèr’s work, ensuring that these unique objects continue to function for several years.