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Make Driftwood Art and Crafts
South Shore of the Great Lake Michigan
Driftwood is recycled, making jewelry beads
Making Driftwood Art Keeps Me Going Green
The wonder of the driftwood has captivated this artist for over 30 years. Time and again I have walked the beaches, from the Indiana Dunes to Chicago's Magnificent Mile, combing the Lake Michigan shoreline. My eye's peeled, seeking that one of a kind piece of wood. I use the driftwood in many of my creative designs. My all time favorite crafty projects are in making driftwood art. I am inspired to re-purpose materials for artwork keeps me going green.
Driftwood In My Day Dreams
Much of my life I have spent living near the South Shore of Lake Michigan. That is where my love for the rolled and tumbled, tossed and turned, driftwood started. I also have found myself far from my home land, without driftwood to wood burn, paint and glue. It never stopped me from thinking about the wonderfully textured pieces of wood I do so love. Over the years I began collecting and keeping driftwood at hand, to use when that creative urge came calling. Having driftwood available to make driftwood art was deemed a must.
Far Away From Lake Michigan
Recently I relocated my Adrift Art Studio to Las Vegas Nevada. It is actually in Henderson, NV which is just a few miles from Las Vegas. I brought some driftwood along with the rest of the studio supplies. Adrift Art Studio would be a sad place without a stockpile of driftwood. It was only a matter of weeks before my stock of driftwood seemed to be running short. I knew I would be headed back to Chicago within a few months of the move. I wasn't too concerned about the shortage. I would be sure to include some beach combing when I returned. Lake Michigan would be there waiting for me to gather driftwood from her shore.
Making Folkart From Driftwood Sticks
Stocking Up My Driftwood Supply
I loaded up several containers while hunting for driftwood this summer. The Chicago weather was perfect when I made the trip. Upon returning to Las Vegas I got myself busy making driftwood art so I could stock up the Adrift Art Studio shop on Etsy.com. That is a work in progress.
My driftwood supply allowed me to get started making seasonal decorations for the up and coming holidays. I even found I had more driftwood than I would probably use. It made me stop to consider how blessed we all are by the bounty of Mother Nature. Much of my recent artwork reflects my concern for our environment. The mere pleasure of holding a smoothed piece of driftwood in my hands always causes me to reflect on the state of our Mother Earth.
Using driftwood as a recycled art supply
We seem to be pushing our demand for supplies found on the Earth to the brink. It comes out in my artwork in many ways. One special thing is the re-purposing of driftwood in my artistic designs. We need to take care to recycle and re-purpose much more than we do. Working with the driftwood is one way to conserve. Using an otherwise wasted product lends a hand to help the environment. My stock of driftwood supply is looking sweet from that point of view. Recycling the driftwood into my artwork makes me feel better as it is one little way to help the environmental cause. I also like to add additional found objects that are re-purposed into my artwork. With a bit of imagination there are many things that can be re-purposed and work well with the driftwood. One can have hours of creative fun experimenting with mixed media and driftwood. It is a great way to work on going green.
Making Driftwood Supplies
Wood Burning And Color For Making Driftwood Art
Making Mixed Media Driftwood Art
Combining driftwood with other art techniques is so much fun. I like to imagine the driftwood as the work in a raw form. I then add other artistic techniques to develop what has been imagined. Wood burning or pyrographics is a great way to draw lines into the wood. Following the grain with the wood burner enhances the grain. Texture and depth can be added with this technique. It gives the wood feeling to touch and makes for a most interesting finish.
Going Green With Mixed Media Driftwood Artwork
Before I actually thought about what I was doing, I was going green with mixed media artwork made from driftwood. It just came natural to me. Using found objects collected on the beach made my projects more interesting.It is something I will suggest to everyone to give a try. Going green is a challenge I would like to see all artists attempt.
I have to admit I was going green with driftwood art and mixed media over 30 years ago. That was probably before the term "going green" caught on. Now it seems to be something more artists should consider. In the wake of the Gulf Oil Spill I feel motivated to stress the issue of going green and protecting Mother Earth.
Adding Color to Driftwood
My favorite way to color driftwood is with acrylic paints. I like acrylic paint because of the variety of ways it can be used. Acrylic paint dries rapidly too. The acrylic paint can be washed on very thin so the wood grain shows through. This is done by adding lots of water to the paint to make a wash. Different colors can be washed over each other just as the technique is used when painting with water colors. Some very nice finishes can be achieved with this method.
The paint can also be applied very thick to get solid blocks of color. Then there is everything in between the two methods of paint application. Adding some color or just a bit of color for high lighting depends on what finish is wanted in the completed driftwood art project. Experimenting with different painting techniques is the best way to learn.
The Beauty Of The Wood Grain
Drilled Driftwood Pieces
Jewelry Making With Driftwood
Driftwood pieces can be made in to unusual pieces of jewelry with a bit of imagination. I have used driftwood for many kinds of creative jewelry from pendants to beads. The wood can be used with additional findings to add interest to the design.
There is no limit to what can be done with small pieces of driftwood. The best part is that Mother Nature offers the driftwood as an individual, one of a kind supply to start with. All we have to do as artists is add our own imagination.
© 2010 C.S.Alexis