Commonwealth Editions, 2002
I SBN 1-889833-35-5

"In the late 1990s, the legendary shipyards of Essex buzzed as they had a century before. Under the guiding hand of Harold Burnham, whose family has crafted boats in Essex for generations, the schooner Thomas E. Lannon was built. It was patterned after the 19th Century vessel Nokomis, one of the last engineless schooners to fish off the Grand Banks. Pat Lowery Collins was there. Now, through the magic of her memory and artistic imagination, a young boy sees it unfolding once again. Through his diary and in Collins's brilliant paintings, SCHOONER tells the tale of Essex shipbuilders in action and of a young boy who watched as a mighty vessel rose from keel to spars." (jacket copy)

January 10 Everyone is really busy. Jim and Dave are cutting curved pieces of wood called futtocks using big pattern molds. These will be put together to become the frames of the vessel. Fran says men used to "beat out", or chop out, the futtocks with a broadaxe. But today they use a band saw.

"Each frame will be made of two layers of futtocks," he says, "to give the vessel strength."
Some of the men are already fastening pieces together with funny-looking wooden pins called trunnels, or "tree nails." One day I watched them turn these on an electric lathe. They use an electric drill to bore holes for them. "A whole lot easier than in the old days," Pater says, "when the trunnels were made by hand, and you had to use a hand auger for each hole."

January 11 I hear the cry "Frame Up" as I park my bike in the mill yard after school. The men are raising the fourth frame and everyone drops what they're doing to come and help. When I do, too, Tom waves me out of the way. Well, just watching is pretty exciting. "We begin aft," I hear Tom telling a visitor, "And work to the stem."SCHOONER supports the curiculum in science, mathmatics, art and architecture, transportation,and journal writing.

"A Gloucester author and artist transforms a real-life diary of a schooner's fruition into a children's page-turner." –North Shore Sunday

Iris glicee prints of three of the original paintings from SCHOONER, "Scrollwork" "Oiling the Frames" and "Lunch Break", are available from the artist. The large size, 17" x 21.5",from a signed edition of 100,is $200. The smaller size, 11" x 13.75",from a signed edition of 200,is $100. These are archival, museum quality limited edition prints. Contact Pat at for additional information.