Since 1984 Demosthenes Dallas has been building in Volos, Greece, scaled models of famous wooden ships for discerning collectors, appreciators of marine architecture. These ships encapsulate the aesthesis of an entire era and its maritime traditions. Some have taken years to build with work of surgical precision. Extraordinary detail and a living sensation that tricks the eye and gives the impression of being right there travelling with the crews of old
Through his artful construction he injects life to the wood, ropes and rigging of these majestic ships that once dominated the high seas, awesome sights then to friend and foe alike.
The artisans workshop is packed with specialised tools and tiny articles of his trade, surprising to the uninitiated for their imaginativeness and used mostly in highly detailed jobs. Fretsaws, jigsaws, slicers, pulverisers, micro-lathes, planes, all shapes of pliers and nippers, tighteners, special glues etc. Some parts are extremely small, no bigger than a couple of millimetres! Some parts require several modifications for best results such as warming up and bending wooden parts, while the tying up of tiny ropes into nautical knots is done in exactly the same way as when these proud vessels were criss-crossing the worlds oceans.
The boats are exact replicas of the originals, wooden, made with every minor detail, of the highest aesthetics and museum quality. A representative sample of Demosthenes work is the Greek Bireme of 460 BC., which is on display at the Aegean Maritime Museum since 2002.
The construction of a middle sized model requires three hundred or more hours of painstaking work, while larger models may take as much as one or more years to complete.
Demosthenes Dallas has been building models for 20 years. He continues to spend most of his spare time in his small workshop, recreating world maritime traditions in scale.