Some canoes are just a way of getting from one side of a lake to the other, but a canoe by Tim Mahoney is a work of art.
Last year, his first at the Park City Kimball Arts Festival, Mahoney was named a Best of Show winner. He's back again, to show and sell his hand-crafted wood canoes.
The Park City Kimball Arts Festival opens at 5 p.m. Aug. 3, and continues until 9 p.m. that day, on the town's historic Main Street. The fest continues 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 4, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 5. Admission is $10 for the entire weekend, or $5 for age 6 to 18. Children age 5 and younger get in free.
More than 200 visual artists, from 25 states and Canada, will be at the Park City Kimball Arts Festival. Many more apply for a spot at the event, so the artists are selected by a jury of professional artists and collectors.
Craig and Karl Haaser, son and father potters from Ogden, were juried into the festival this year, as they have been many times in the past. Jim and Britney Stettler, of Pleasant View, will be showing their photographs.
Mahoney's canoes are fairly new to the art scene.
"I only tried selling them last year, for first time," he said.
Mahoney got a book about making wood-strip canoes about 15 years ago.
"I told my wife I'd build one eventually," he said. "I took about five years to get around to it, and I've been doing it ever since."
The Provo man works as a contractor, so he's had a lot of experience with wood.
"But nothing so meticulous, that takes this kind of time," he said.
An average boat takes around 300 hours to make. He usually works on two at a time, so he can be building one while the epoxy on another is drying.
"I'm building two now that are just about done," he said. "I've been working on them, off and on, since probably December."
Mahoney uses several types of wood to make his canoes.
"The best wood is cedar and spruce for the hull design," he said, explaining that they are more bendable than other types of wood.
He uses hardwoods for the trim work. Because they are hard, he has to use steam to bend these woods into interior ribs and other canoe parts.
Mahoney tries to use lightweight woods, to make them easy to carry to water, but he also picks wood for visual effect.
"I built a dark brunet boat out of burnt maple -- that wood did not have bending qualities at all," he said. "I had to steam-bend it quite a bit, but it was so pretty."
Because of the work and materials in the canoes, they range in price from $13,000 to $20,000.
Mahoney has added a new line to his artistic woodwork -- toboggans.
"I've got an old one hanging from a wall in the house, and I'd been staring up at it year after year, and I thought 'One of these days I'm going to build one, but I'm not going to build one like that.' "
His new design is about as wide as an old-fashioned toboggan, and it still has a big curl at the front end, but the basic shape is slightly changed.
"It's shaped like a ski," he said. "It's parabolic and it rises up on both ends, and has handles."
If a hill is steep enough, so you can get some speed, the new shape allows this toboggan to be steered.
"It turned out really cool," Mahoney said.
In addition to woodwork like Mahoney's, the Park City Kimball Arts Festival brings together ceramics, drawing, printmaking, photography, mixed media, jewelry, glass, fiber and metal. Chalk art demonstrations are scheduled on Aug. 4.
Musicians perform live music on three stages throughout the festival. Most of the performers are local, or from the region surrounding Utah. Ogden's Dan Weldon performs at 11 a.m. Aug. 4.
Park City's known as a great place for foodies, and in addition to vendors, the festival has added a new Utah Artisan Tasting area. Six Utah food producers will offer samples of their hand-crafted specialties at the top of Main Street.
Children's activities include learning to tie-dye, making ceramic jewelry, face painting, learning how broadcasting is done, heart education and activities, pottery wheel demonstrations, a scavenger hunt for prizes, and a student art show. Most activities are free, but there are a couple that cost up to $10 to cover materials.
With 55,000 people expected to attend the festival, organizers recommend parking in free lots at Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort, and using the free shuttle service.