JCHS First Friday Speaker Series - Boatbuilding + Functional Art with Bruce Blatchley

  • Nov 5 - 30, 2021
  • Digital - Livestream

    Port Townsend, Washington

Ticket Price $0.00-$10.00 This event is now over

Join us in celebrating the culture of maritime craft in Jefferson County with Bruce Blatchley of the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building. He will share his perspective on the value of hand-crafted functional art and extend an invitation for us all to consider its place in our lives and creative processes. The presentation will be intertwined with his personal experience of being in the boat building community, which he says is less about building boats and more about fulfilling dreams.


Bruce Blatchley has been an instructor at the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building since 2004, when he received a last-minute call asking him to fill-in for a few days. He ended up lobbying for the job during that time and landed it. After taking a sabbatical year in Bellingham, Bruce and his family returned to Port Townsend, and he has now been with the school since 2006.


Bruce’s discovery of boat building occurred thanks to a series of life events. Originally a carpenter by trade and a seasonal mountaineer guide, he eventually found himself working for a boat company alongside an avid sailor, and it was then he first became aware of how gratifying the work was for him. Later, as he was laid up convalescing from a major injury, his co-worker the sailor brought him a large box filled with copies of “Wooden Boat” magazine.  After reading them all cover to cover, Bruce’s interest was piqued, and there was no turning back. Within two years, he would begin his journey as an instructor with the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building.


He values a continuing process of evolution, combining wood with the modern materials like carbon fiber and employing techniques like resin infusion. He is passionate and exploratory in his work, crafting exquisite hulls for contemporary zero emission boats and more.


This program is generously sponsored by grant funding from the Port Townsend Arts Commission and by the Northwest Maritime Center.

Date & Time

Nov 5 - 30, 2021

Venue Details

Digital - Livestream

Port Townsend, Washington

Digital - Livestream
Jefferson County Historical Society