October 16, 2019 – West Bend, WI – There’s a very nature-based theme with the current exhibits on display at the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend.
MOWA Executive Director Laurie Winter writes, “This fall, I invite all of you to join this city girl as MOWA goes Into the Woods. The museum will be transformed into a woodland fantasy with related exhibitions of Wisconsin-made canoes, kayaks, paddles, and duck decoys. be sure to wear your red flannel shirt and Stormy Kromer for the full North Woods experience.”
A portion of that Northwoods display comes from Winnebago Paddles, a Fond du Lac-based company that crafts custom canoe and kayak paddles.
Kevin Kowaleski and Justin Mosling are the artists behind the work. “We’ve been making the paddles the past three or four years,” said Mosling. “We use a bunch of different wood types and we try to make it more of an art than a factory-made product.”
The friends started making canoes but found more fun in making the paddles. “We’ve learned different techniques in gluing them up,” said Kowaleski. “We’ve used over 100 different wood species in the paddles and we try to use all the scrap wood left over to make miniature paddles and not waste anything.”
“The art of making the different design is what keeps us going,” said Kowaleski.
The paddles are named after different bodies of water; different lakes and rivers. One paddle on display at MOWA featured more than 20 types of wood.