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Sculpt your way to the beach

Local sculptors find inner peace from scraps.

Members of the Olympic Driftwood Sculptors meet once a month to scrape and sand pieces of wood into works of art.

"It is like a present nature gives you and you have to open it up," Tuttie Peetz, the certified instructor for the club, said about working on driftwood.

The group utilizes the "LuRon" method, which was adapted by Lucille Worland of Seattle. Worland spent time with members of the Makah Tribe in Neah Bay learning their process for crafting driftwood.

The "LuRon" process involves "eyeing" a piece of wood, looking deeper within. The artists rub the wood with a deer antler to compress the cells of the wood and bring out the shine.

They also make their own polish with beeswax and turpentine. Only natural products are used and bases for the art have to

complement it.

Members of the local club expanded on the "LuRon" method and formed "Beyond LuRon."

"This allows people to work outside of the box and try new things," Peetz said.

"Beyond LuRon" includes objects other than wood. One piece has a wine bottle held on its side. Peetz has a piece of art at home with dried kelp wrapped around it.

Projects range from a miniature, which can be a few inches, to extra-large. Some members are working on pieces more than 5 feet long.

Peetz prefers to call their driftwood "found wood" because most of their projects come from old clear cuts rather than a beach. In addition to a wood-gathering permit, she has pictures of finished sculptures in her car in case she needs proof when on her wood excursions.

Members range in experience from a few weeks to numerous years.

Bob Larsen, a member for three weeks, saw pictures of art in the Sequim Gazette and thought it would be therapeutic.

"It's definitely not the same thing when it goes from seaweed growing on it and all rotten to polished and done," said member Foster Thompson.

Some art takes only a few weeks to finish but others can take years.

"I leave a lot of stuff on it sometimes, because some of it is so fragile," said member Kay Kay.

"A piece might fall off and change the whole look and feel," member Barbara Ralph said.

Many members showed off their work with pride, asking if it looked like what they were calling it.

"The hardest part is picking a name," said Ginny Bullock, a new member.

"You never decide what it is going to be until you get far into it," Peetz said.

"We shouldn't try and give it a name because it limits you," Tony Ralph, said about the early process of sculpting.

The Olympic Driftwood

Sculptors formed in October 2008 and host 20 members at the Sequim Prairie Grange for their monthly meetings.

"We do it to share ideas and learn," club president Don Berger said.

"It shows me how wood flows and what to .... It also helps me get away from everything," Larsen said.



Olympic Driftwood

Sculptors

$15 a year to join

Required to take a class in six months to become a member

Meetings are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. the first Wednesday of every month at the Sequim Prairie Grange, 290 Macleay Road.

Prospective members are invited to attend a meeting to receive instruction from experienced club members. For more information, call 681-2535.



What: The Olympic Driftwood Sculptors' first art show

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 21-22

Where: Dungeness River Audubon Center, 2151 W. Hendrickson Road, Sequim

Featuring: More than 100 pieces of art, art presentations and unfinished wood and wreaths of driftwood for sale.

Month of April: Display at Museum and Arts Center, 175 W. Cedar St.





Matthew Nash can be reached at mnash@sequim gazette.com.



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