any last words

andrew malcolm's 2007 portfolio

Author's Notes

Creating Rideable Art was a longtime in-the-making. Board-artist – Nick Hutton-Jay – and I became friends long before I started freelance writing; and so, he's been the unfortunate subject of many pieces. This story explores his artwork and its strong ties to culture, nature, community and our beloved sport.

Creating • Rideable • Art

originally published by in•focus magazine, june/july 2007 issue

••• Full Article (PDF)

– Selected Passage –

Nick Hutton-Jay (left) talking shop with FusionBoardWorx owner – Benn Pridham (right)I wanted to live in a place where I could snowboard, surf, and skate…this was the optimal place, and where the people and the culture was my kind of game, he says. This is the spot, it’s pretty obvious.

Hutton-Jay’s move to the Valley five years ago was inspired by a dream to rebuild the oldest log home in Comox, then turn it into a community art studio and gallery (a dream that later turned into a logistical nightmare). Partnered with his father – Bill – they purchased the historic home for a dollar, bought a 2-acre lot in Merville, and rented a truck, hoping to transport the cabin before it was flattened by a condo development.Maple Teardrop, Nick Hutton-Jay, 2007

Under a looming two-week deadline, they frantically dismantled cedar shingles, hardwood floors, giant log beams, and enormous windows. Once the home was stacked into a pile of historic wood beside the Merville property’s doublewide trailer, father and son looked into the permits required to re-build a log cabin. This, they discovered, was a bit of a problem.

Homeowners face serious restrictions when it comes to building on their own land – particularly when building with previously-used materials, something they quickly discovered.Nose-grab and a drop to the ocean

For years, Hutton-Jay, his father, and friends sat around the drawing board, brainstorming ideas – the log home could be built as an attachment to the trailer; it could be built on a barge, in the middle of the Strait, where no municipal building codes exist.Nordic Pursuit, Nick Hutton-Jay, 2007 What if it weren’t a home, just an artistic installation that looked a whole lot like a log cabin? What if the log home was secretly built than dropped with a giant parachute from an aircraft? One day, it would mysteriously arrive on the property, quite literally, out of the blue…Would that not count as an act of God, and not a heinous crime committed by the owners?

For an artist, there’s nothing more frustrating than building codes; for Hutton-Jay and his dad, it was a frustration that burned in their creative bellies for far too long. Perhaps that’s why, shortly after the log home dream suffered its logistical death, Hutton-Jay started carving longboards.