Local Driftwood Artwork

PNW Beachcruiser, by David Tinsley.

PNW Beachcruiser, by David Tinsley.

Santa Cruz beaches have been awash with driftwood following recent storms and large swells. With all the wood that’s been drifting to shore, there have also been plenty of creations taking shape into one-of-a-kind pieces of art.

These Santa Cruz locals take driftwood from the sand to the studio to transform them into sculptures, structures, and wall art. Their work allows the shape and scale of wood to take on new forms, turns the mundane into the special, and is a testament to the artistic inspiration and beauty of nature.


David Tinsley

My art focuses on the emotions we all deal with on a daily basis. The driftwood I use is unaltered by me, no cutting or sanding. Inspiration comes from the life source itself. I feel that the objects that make up our environment have a profound effect on our soul. They should allow us to relax with them and challenge us to make lofty ideas.”

Follow David Tinsley’s work HERE.


Jenni Ward

“I wanted to share sculptures from my Rock Candy Series which are handmade ceramic gems attached in intriguing compositions to locally found driftwood. These pieces are designed to be wall mounted.”

Follow Jenni Ward’s work HERE.


Kelsey Kulbarsh

Having grown up in Santa Cruz, I can’t imagine living very far from the beach.  From family bbq’s, bonfire with friends, Stand Up Paddle Board sessions, to long dog walks and watching surfers on Steamer’s lane.  The beach has become an integral part of my life. After a large storm my mom and I will hunt for driftwood on local beaches.  This driftwood becomes the foundation for my wall art that I place around my house and give to others as gifts.

Follow Kelsey Kulbarsh’s work HERE.


Walter Heil

I have selectively picked distinctive pieces of driftwood off the beaches from Carmel to San Francisco.  The wood consist of redwood, burl and other unique pieces which I clean, condition and attach together in a fashion to create pockets for succulents and air plants to grow and thrive.  I also add fossil stones and sea glass found and the beaches to accent many of the pieces. All local material. I started off making them for friends and family but I now have accumulated quite a collection which I am starting to sell in local nurseries. You can find my work at the Garden Company on Mission St in Santa Cruz. I am a local surfing enthusiast with a passion for the ocean, beaches and wildlife.”


Vickie Nam

Collecting driftwood brings me in touch with the ocean. There is joy in discovering how nature guides and inspires art making. Driftwood provides structure so that I can let go. Weaving begins with a single thread that eventually tells a story that is held together by small, intentional acts of love. Santa Cruz is my forever home.

"Small Acts", by Vickie Nam.

“Small Acts”, by Vickie Nam.

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