Driftwood artist Max Newhouse says the raw material he gathers is “on its way to the grave” when he salvages it on the windswept beaches of British Columbia. The east coast of Vancouver Island is his favourite place to find the bent, twisted and weather-worn pieces of driftwood he makes into everything from tables and chairs to musical instruments. He’s currently building a harp from a block of yellow cedar he scavenged.
“Yellow cedar is very precious, very hard to find,” he says. “But almost every piece of wood I lay my hands on I can use to make something.”
Mr. Newhouse, 66, began working with driftwood when he was 17 and it’s been “an obsession” ever since.
He has a recurring dream in which he’s dropped on a beach with a few rechargeable power tools. He walks along the shoreline gathering driftwood, creating pieces of art as he goes. Customers search him out, beach combing for his art, as it were.