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Champlain Model Shipyard - Philip Keyes

Philip inherited his love for ships and the sea from his father, and developed his modeling skills in the family workshop. He is inspired by detailed ships in bottles crafted by Ralph Preston of South Burlington, VT, those of Don Hubbard from California and by articles covering the craft and use of 1200:1 (unbottled) scale models by Theodore Gommi, published in “Popular Science” beginning in the 1930s.

Philip's approach to the maritime craft of ships-in-bottles is minimalist – attempting to use tools and techniques that echo those that may have been used aboard ship during a sailor's free time. Each glass bottle is recycled, and paired with a particular model. Window glazing compound, combined with oil paint provide the sea inside the bottle. Ship hulls are fashioned from pine or basswood, using a power saw to rough out the model's stand and the hull, which is carved with Exacto knives, files and sandpaper. Masts and yards are dowels and round toothpicks, shaped to size and drilled to accommodate rigging of thread in colors appropriate to their corresponding lines aboard ship. Sails are cut from white paper dyed briefly in tea to match canvas sails aboard ship.

The artist's models reflect his experiences, Vermont history and Lake Champlain. Philip's models recall Vermont's “western shore,” and that Lake Champlain played an important role in America's maritime and naval history, and that it continues to inspire today's artists and historians.


R.V. Regina Maris

3-masted Barkentine
1908 – 1988
1976 – 1985 Flagship for Ocean Research Education Society
Conducting whale research in both Pacific and Atlantic Oceans
Based in Gloucester, Massachusetts

See a series of images documenting Phil's process for "launching" the R.V. Regina Maris on our Facebook page plus other images as he completes additional models.


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