Olympic Driftwood Sculptors’ Seventh Lavender Weekend Driftwood Art Show
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday, July 15-17
Where: Sequim Middle School, 301 W. Hendrickson Road
Includes: 150 sculptures on display, boutique, demonstrations, raffle of original sculpture
When a friend came calling, Don Berger was happy to help — or in this case, sand and shine.
Berger, a founding member of the Olympic Driftwood Sculptors, recently was approached by fellow club member Cliff Peterson to help finish a driftwood art piece.
“He’s had some pulmonary health problems and physicians told him to stay away from dust so he asked me to finish this piece for him,” Berger said.
A big portion of driftwood art is sanding, so Berger took over with the intent to finish and display it at the club’s Sequim Lavender Weekend Driftwood Show on July 15-17 in Sequim Middle School.
Berger and Peterson’s art piece will be one of about 150 sculptures on display.
Prior to the show, Berger has spent about 50-60 hours on the piece and once finished, Peterson plans to give the art piece to his health care administrator who has helped him over the years, Berger said.
Tuttie Peetz, a club instructor, said Berger’s actions exemplify the club.
“That’s the thing we do as a group,” she said. “We help each other. It’s why we don’t have any competition in our shows. It’s not who we are.”
New Sequim resident and club member Colleen Bittner agrees. She first saw driftwood art while visiting two years ago during Lavender Weekend. After moving here a few months ago, she joined the club.
“It’s by far the most gregarious and super-accepting group,” she said.
Bittner says she’s not an artistic person but she’s always loved working with wood and she was reassured in the short time she visited the driftwood show she could do it.
“Eight people assured me I didn’t have to be artistic to make it happen,” she said.
Bittner and her husband Kenneth took a class with Peetz and began creating driftwood art.
“It’s neat. I put pictures online at the beginning (of the process) and my friends ask what the heck is that and by the end they say I can’t believe you did that,” Bittner said.
“The wood is going to be what it’s going to be. You kind of release it and get all the crud off of it.”
Along with Bittner, interest remains high in the art form, Peetz said. She recently finished two classes with about 20 people and the members correspond from as far away as Texas and China with Li Xin entering a piece at last year’s show. Peetz said she conducted a class with him entirely by email as he sent in progress pictures via email.
As a whole, club members try to do things outside of the box, she said.
“Our focus is to be as creative as possible,” Peetz said.
Her latest experiment was using Gilder’s paste wax for a new sheen on one of her pieces.
“We’re always looking for new things. I found it (Gilder’s) in a catalog,” she said.
Berger, who will only submit Peterson’s art piece in the show, said he enjoys the entire process.
“The final product is rewarding,” he said.
“I take a lot of time. It’s very meticulous but I get a lot of self-satisfaction with trying to do a good job.”
For more information about the club and its show, visit www.olympicdriftwoodsculptors.org.