LuRon Driftwood Artists use their "seeing eye" to recognize the artistic potential in a piece of weathered wood, gathered from rivers, mountain, forest, or beaches.
Once a piece has been selected, it must be cleaned and thoroughly scraped to get down to the hard wood where beautiful grain patterns are revealed. The piece is then shaped to bring out the best artistic features or imagery.
Using basic principles of design, it is the LuRon tradition to make any changes appear to have occurred naturally when shaping wood into sculptural form. Next, the piece is meticulously sanded with many succeeding grit levels. Burnishing with a smooth deer antler to close the cells of the wood and bring up the natural color and grain is basic to LuRon.
A mixture of beeswax and turpentine was the traditional finish applied before or after burnishing. Some choose to add natural oils in the finishing. The soft, hand-rubbed finish gives a lustrous depth to the wood.
Presentation is a very important factor: A good base will present the piece in its most favorable attitude, be in good proportion, and not overwhelm the sculpture. Accessories to a piece, such as shells, kelp or any other aggregates, are not permitted in a traditional LuRon sculpture. A finished LuRon sculpture will be a true original --never duplicated -- a stunning portrayal of nature's unique art.
The techniques for creating driftwood sculpture are best learned in a class, which offers instruction, inspiration, creative ideas, and a supportive community for information exchange. Each piece of wood is different and may require a different approach.
The club has been using the LuRon method since our group was founded in 1969. Today the club encourages exploration of all types of driftwood artistic expression.
Peninsula Driftwood Artists are always discovering and sharing new tools and new ideas. This art form is continually evolving.
Another western Washington club, the Northwest Driftwood Artists, has a website with more information on the LuRon method, including demonstration videos of various LuRon techniques. Visit their website at www.northwestdriftwoodartists.org.