Stamp highlights the clinker boat tradition in Åland

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On 9 May, Åland Post issues a stamp highlighting the clinker boat tradition, now on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Making her debut as a stamp designer, artist Danelle Bergström from Australia has captured the construction of the sailing yacht Alanta and was fascinated by the sculptural form of the vessel.

The sailing yacht Alanta is a reconstruction of an Åland yacht from the early 1800s. At 14 metres long and 4 metres wide, the ship has been built in the traditional way in pine using the clinker method. One of the objectives of this hands-on project was to preserve and pass on the unique knowledge and skills of building clinker boats that were in danger of being lost in Åland. 

The clinker boat tradition is unique to the Nordic region, with roots that date back over 2,000 years. The hull planks are laid overlapping each other. So, the sides of the boat are not smooth, but stepped.

In December 2021, the tradition of building and sailing clinker boats was inscribed on UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as the first pan-Nordic tradition.Artist Danelle Bergström normally follows an intuitive process for her work, so this stamp project was a challenge.

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“It took me a long time to come up with the right approach, but it’s also good to take on a challenge and stamps were after all something I had never done before. My objective was to capture the quintessence of the workspace and the sculptural form of the clinker boat. I felt the colours were a distraction. Instead, I focussed on the bright negative light spaces behind the subjects. This brought the structure and the builders’ movements into the light. Paring back the details produced an interesting result,” Danelle explains. 

Facts about the issue 

  • Name of issue Shipbuilding Date of issue 9 May 2023 
  • Artist Danelle Bergström 
  • Design Johanna Finne 
  • Edition 45 000 
  • Denomination €1.40 
  • Price FDC €2.40 
  • Stamp size 40 × 30 mm 
  • Sheeet size 2 × 12 stamps 
  • Paper 110 g/m2 
  • Perforation 13 per 2 cm 
  • Process 4-colour offset 
  • Printer Cartor Security Printers 

Order stamp and first day cover in the webshop at alandstamps.com, by post to Åland Post Stamps, P.O. box 1100, AX-22111 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland, e-mail [email protected] or telephone: +358 18 636 639. 

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