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5/23/2013 3:00:00 PM
The art of a craft: 'Miss Belterra' moored at CAC
A 1/32nd-scale model of the “Miss Belterra” riverboat is now on display at the Community Art Center at the main intersection in Vevay. It took craftsman Larry Pence three years to construct the vessel, and Community Art Center director Meredith Luhrs said that the CAC is thrilled that the boat’s premiere display is at the center.
A 1/32nd-scale model of the “Miss Belterra” riverboat is now on display at the Community Art Center at the main intersection in Vevay. It took craftsman Larry Pence three years to construct the vessel, and Community Art Center director Meredith Luhrs said that the CAC is thrilled that the boat’s premiere display is at the center.

It took Larry Pence three years to complete his 1/32nd-scale model of the Miss Belterra riverboat; and now his prized piece of craftsmanship has been brought into public view for the first time.

On Monday morning the riverboat model was brought to the Community Art Center in the middle of Vevay, where Larry Pence and two other helpers carefully maneuvered the ship onto a large wooden table that will serve as it's docking place for the rest of the summer.

"It is truly a piece of art, and the craftsmanship that you have displayed is remarkable," Meredith Luhrs of the Community Art Center told Larry Pence. "We are so happy that its premiere exhibit is here with us."

Meredith Luhrs said that John Kniola gave her a tip to speak with Larry Pence about putting the boat on display at the center; and once contacted, the builder was more than thrilled for the public to see his creation.

The display table has been placed carefully as to allow visitors to walk completely around the vessel to see all of the intricate details; and its placement near the large windows along Ferry Street means that passersby can grab a peek as well.

Six feet long, two feet wide and 29-inches feet tall, the riverboat weighs just over 200 pounds. Although it's small in size as compared to the real thing, it is amazingly precise down to the smallest detail.

Larry Pence said that the hull is all 3/4-inch wood, while the decks are half-inch think.

He admits that he did have to buy the shutters that surround the replica windows on the model; along with some tiny spindles - but everything else was handmade in the woodshop of friend Frank Bandy near Bryant's Creek.

The windows themselves were another matter. With each one about the size of half a credit card, grooves were made in each one before paint was applied in the grooves to create the pains. Each window in the replica has 24 individual pains.

With more than 1,200 work hours in the design and construction of the riverboat, Larry Pence had hoped that Belterra itself would be interested in displaying the work, but he was still happy when Meredith Luhrs and the Community Art Center gave him the opportunity to put in on display downtown.

The Community Art Center is open from noon-4 p.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.





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