once upon a time… where it all began

The first piece of timber was cut in 2009, the first paddle photo posted to the internet on Fetlife in 2010, and the first pixel of this website created in 2013.

However, my interest in fetish began much earlier. In fact it pre-dates the web. Like no doubt countless others at the time I didn’t really know how to learn more about these ideas floating around in my head. I met a couple of people with vaguely similar interests, but fetish remained largely a figment of my imagination.

Eventually I tracked down a fetish event, and discovered there were myriad other fetishists and kinky folk out there who shared my interests, and had an endless array of fetishes and kinks I had not even conceived of. As a result, much of my early exposure to fetish and bdsm was in person, before I’d read anything meaningful about it or seen the endless supply of images available on the internet today. It was definitely an unplanned leap into the deep end.

Paddles and canes were not even on my radar when I first began to discover kink. They were just two of the numerous implements and paraphernalia associated with the subculture, from rope and handcuffs to latex and pvc. However, once I did discover them, the opportunity to combine form and function into my own creations that bring such pleasure (and pain!) to others was too much to resist.

the timber epiphany

Until 2009 I didn’t have the slightest interest in timber. Wood was something that came from the hardware store, got used to make houses, and was burnt in fireplaces during the winter. Then one day on a whim I decided to teach myself how to make wooden furniture. Call it an existential rebellion against the flatpack, a desire to create permanence extending beyond my own fleeting existence on this earth, or perhaps most accurately, just a whim.

And so the interest was born.

The only problem was I didn’t actually know anything about how to make wooden furniture. I bought a few woodworking magazines, borrowed a couple of books from the library and rustled through the toolbox in the garage at mum and dad’s house, and soon realised I had a lot to learn, and that cheap rusty old tools do not a masterpiece make.

Whilst pondering all this new found lack of knowledge, a friend familiar with my interest in matters of a fetishistic nature suggested I try making a wooden paddle before embarking on my pipe dream of furnishing a house with masterpieces of my own creation. This seemed like an eminently sensible idea, and in keeping with my preferred dip a toe in the shallow end approach to trying new things.

Soon afterwards, paddle No.1 was born. It was far from perfect. In fact it was far from good, probably even struggling for eligibility into well below average. But although I didn’t realise it at the time, it did possess some of the key characteristics that have come to define the style of the myriad paddles which have followed it off my workbench over the past six years. It still sits proudly in my workshop as a reminder of where it all began.