At Aaron's Beach the other day, all sorts of treasures had washed up on the shore. Some people might amble along and see the obvious: beach, sand, water, shells, seagulls, fish bones. But the Chesapeake Bay Children and I are slowly becoming avid treasure hunters, able to spend hours combing a small patch of beach and walking away with armloads of
Included in our treasure chest this time were many pieces of green sea glass (one of the less common colors); an arrowhead (oh is that a good find); sponges; driftwood and huge oyster shells. The oyster shells are interesting because it's rare to find really large oysters anymore, so these likely have quite a bit of age on them. In fact, I'm reasonably sure they're older than soap scum ring around my bathtub, but this is neither here nor there.
The arrowhead is incredible, and I'll talk about that some other day because more
Driftwood is exactly what it sounds like: wood that has spent quite a bit of time floating in the water until ultimately finding a home on the shore. All that time in the water renders it smooth and more interesting than your average chunk of wood. Sometimes there are worm holes or deep ridges carved on it, and the weathering process usually gives it a rounded, artistic shape.
(By the way, the trees lying on the shore above don't really qualify as the type of driftwood I'm talking about. Too big and still too tree-like. No, I'm talking about smaller pieces you can pick up that have taken on an entirely different look altogether.)
In fact, driftwood is often used in works of art or as decorative pieces in flower beds or homes. We have a local artist, Ben R., who uses driftwood as the foundation for some of his incredible--and I do mean incredible--bird carvings. He affixes the birds atop the wood, which gives a really authentic look. His creations are nothing short of spectacular, and you can often see him at local art shows and Mathews Market Days.
Yesterday I traveled back to the beach to look for more sea glass and to take more pictures. There were three small pieces of driftwood that beckoned to be taken home even though I'm not usually a driftwood picker-upper. They were begging to be made into something artistic, but I've never done anything with driftwood before--or anything artistic, for that matter--so I'm not sure what I'll do with them.
It would have made far too much sense to take pictures of these pieces and show them here, but they're three beautifully shaped pieces of very artsy looking wood, all of which can fit in the palm of your hand. As I said, I'm not artistic, but I have this strong desire to do something craftsy with them. (For the time being, I am ignoring the fact that any and all other crafts I have attempted ended in complete and utterly disastrous failure accompanied by several temper tantrums and a hefty dose of high blood pressure. But let's pretend right now that I can do something with these that does not include tantrums or off-the-chart blood pressure readings.)
If you had three interesting pieces of driftwood that had the potential to become something artistic, what would you use them for or make with them? Bird carving is not in my repertoire, but maybe gluing some shells or sea glass would work. Oh! I could shellac some fiddler crabs and glue them on!! That one really has some potential, except I'm in no mood to catch, touch or shellac a fiddler crab.
Have you ever seen driftwood used in art before, and what ideas do you have for using it?
Perhaps I'll take a picture of the driftwood and post them up here at some point. Or perhaps like most things I say I'm going to do, I'll get distracted and then forget about it entirely, especially after I lose the three pieces of driftwood and/or grind them up on the lawn mower after some kid throws them in the yard.
Happy Saturday - It's supposed to hover near 90 degrees here today. My type of weather.