Fashioned by the motion of the waves and often bleached to a soft silver-grey by the sun, the smooth, weather-worn forms of driftwood carry a tangible sense of romance.
It never fails to bring back memories of beachcombing finds on childhood holidays and the mystery that surrounds its origins makes it all the more irresistible to the collector. For artists and furniture makers its naturally sculpted shapes make it ideal for creating unique pieces and accessories that are perfect for both indoors and out. In the Orkneys, for example, huge logs thrown onto land by the Atlantic Ocean are still transformed by local craftsmen into what are known as Orkney chairs.
WHERE TO BUY SCULPTURES AND ACCESSORIES
Artist Martin Scorey combs his local beaches, collecting driftwood to transform into tables, chairs and lamp stands. He also creates smaller decorative accessories, such as driftwood flowers and angels, and sculptures for his garden designs.
(01794) 323232 www.shorelinefurniture.co.uk
Natural Driftwood Sculptures
Has a huge collection of sculptures created from cedar logs rescued from lakes in Canada. Prices start from £20 for a small sculpture to several hundred pounds for a larger item.
(01202) 578274 www.driftwoodsculptures.co.uk
Heather Jansch works with the contours of driftwood to create animal sculptures. Her life-sized horse and a family of pigs are on display at the Eden Project; she also has an exciting studio.
Devon Driftwood Designs
Has a good selection selection of driftwood accessories for the home.
(01803) 882850 www.devondriftwooddesigns.co.uk
Sells traditional Orkney chairs, made from split driftwood logs.
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(01856) 872517 www.scapacrafts.co.uk
It is illegal to remove living creatures from the shore.