Rick and Paulette Hill of Sequim crafted these driftwood pendants

Rick and Paulette Hill of Sequim crafted these driftwood pendants

WEEKEND: ‘Aviary’ highlight of driftwood art show

SEQUIM — Handcrafted pendants and an “aviary” filled with bird figures will grace this year’s Olympic Driftwood Sculptors show, which will overtake the Dungeness River Audubon Center at Railroad Bridge Park this weekend.

Admission is free to the show, which will feature scores of driftwood sculptures on display, demonstrations and raw driftwood for sale from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the park at 2151 W. Hendrickson Road.

Olympic Driftwood Sculptors, a club that began in October 2008 with 13 artists, now has more than 70 members, and many are contributing to the weekend exhibition, the club’s fourth annual.

“Nature is the best artist; we take our inspiration from that and go forward,” said Tuttie Peetz, a club cofounder who has been sculpting driftwood for 15 years now.

Last year, the show included a theme table full of driftwood boat sculptures dubbed “the regatta,” and this time around, the theme display is an aviary — a collection of bird sculptures, added club spokeswoman Barbara Ralph.

She noted that a free shuttle car will be available to transport people from the Railroad Bridge Park parking lot to the River Center — and the event, in all its variety, will be well worth the trip.

“There’s a little bit of everything,” she said. “It’s just unbelievable.”

Driftwood pendants

The driftwood pendants are new this year. Their prices vary from about $10 to $50, with proceeds to go into the Olympic Driftwood Sculptors’ scholarship fund.

“There’s a whole range of styles. It was fun to see what people came up with,” said Peetz, who made seven driftwood pendants for the show.

Each year, the club presents a scholarship to a local student planning to study art, and in 2011, Sequim High School graduate Audrey Lichten received a $750 award and went off to Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore.

Ralph added that many who have come to the club’s annual show have been inspired to take a driftwood sculpture course from Peetz, who is an award-winning artist and certified instructor.

Much more information about her classes and club membership can be found at www.OlympicDriftwoodSculptors.org or by phoning 360-681-2535.

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Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3550 or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

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