Sea this: Marine wood and metal sculpture on display at maritime center

PORT TOWNSEND — Sailboats, yachts, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans — they’re all found in art made by a pair of Port Townsend women.

Mare Tietjen and Margie McDonald, two who grew up on the Atlantic coast of Canada, are presenting “Sea-Change,” a show of marine wood and metal sculpture at a most appropriate venue: the Northwest Maritime Center.

The center at 431 Water St. will host an opening reception with the artists from 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Then, “Sea-Change” will be open daily from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. through August’s end.

Tietjen, a sailor, finds the wood for her sculptures on the beaches of the Northwest.

“Gradually, over time, I realized that the painted and weathered wood I was picking up was mostly pieces of boats that had been lost,” she said.

“My art aims to find meaning in the history and character of these bits of wood and to bring out their strange beauty.”

A writer, musician and teacher in her earlier life, she developed a passion for visual art during her career as an ad agency creative director.

McDonald, meantime, is on a lifelong exploration of the fiber arts.

She earned a degree in fine art with a focus on textiles and uses traditional techniques to turn them into sculptural forms.

Then, in 1998, she was introduced to wire splicing while working as a yacht rigger.

“This rigid fiber opened a new world,” she said.

“With this new medium and an excess of energy, my sculptures evolve through the process of fabrication, rather than a preconceived plan.”

During the show, 40 percent of sales will benefit the Northwest Maritime Center.

To find out more, phone the center at 360-385-3628 or visit

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