All Washed Up. Playing with Driftwood.

Time to kickoff a new summer art event: All Washed Up! – Vermilion’s First Driftwood Art Contest, coming August 10th to downtown Vermilion.  

Wait. It’s April. What’s the rush?

Simple. If you want to create an piece of amazing, creative, unique driftwood art in the contest, the time to start preparing is NOW!

Here’s why…

  • In case you haven’t noticed, Lake Erie beaches are loaded with driftwood that accumulated over the winter months. Now is the best time to get to the beach and pick up the most beautiful and inspiring pieces. If you wait, the perfect piece might be swept away with the next day’s wind and waves. It’s the nature of Nature, people!  So grab a friend, take a tote bag, and start your search.

  • Two words: beach cleaning. Yes, the beaches will be cleaned and groomed from mid-April through mid-May in preparation for the summer season. So make it a priority to get to the beach before all that lovely driftwood is hauled away. So sad! (Of course, driftwood will continue to wash up throughout the year, so all is not totally lost!)

  • Last, but definitely not least, driftwood needs time and preparation before it’s ready to be transformed. Tom Winiasz, Vermilion artist and expert driftwood carver, wants everyone to follow his #1 Rule, “Don’t take fresh driftwood into your house! It could be home to ants, termites, or assorted mystery microbes.” For that reason, Tom recommends that you leave your pieces outside, undercover for 2 to 3 weeks. While it’s outside, get after it with a stiff brush to remove sand and loose bits. Then wash, sanitize, dry. (See the links below for detailed instructions). Eventually, you’ll be rewarded with clean, dry driftwood, free of lifeforms.

Cleaning and Preparing Driftwood

So get to the beach, find some cool driftwood and start the preparation process. You’re welcome to share your experiences in the comments, below.  Questions are welcome, too!

Wait! There’s More,

We’ll bring you more helpful ideas and tutorials to prepare you for All Washed Up. Stay tuned for Working with Driftwood 101 – I Can Do That!

Thanks for your interest in All Washed Up! For event details and registration click here.

Author, Maryellen Cudney, Event Coordinator

All Washed Up is sponsored by the Vermilion Arts Guild.