FRIENDSHIP — Duff Powell, a resident of Friendship, has been an artist and craftsman his entire life, and is sharing his creations made from driftwood found on Maine’s islands and coastlines through an online Etsy store, Driftwood Treasures.
“Everything that I have done in my life has led me to this passion of making beautiful handcrafted tables and furniture from ocean driftwood,” he said. “I really love the quality and characteristics of the wood; to me there is nothing that compares to it.”
Repurposing the driftwood that otherwise clutters Maine’s oceans and coastlines is behind what Powell says his what differentiates his business from any others.
“Therefore, not only am I making a one of a kind, hand crafted product that families will enjoy for generations to come, but I am helping to keep our oceans and coastlines beautiful for generations to come,” he stated. “To me there is no place like being on the water and the coastal islands; it is truly my inner sanctuary! Peace and delight.”
The decision to breathe new life into driftwood is simple, Powell explained: “I find the wood to have qualities and characteristics that no other wood has,” he said. “Seasoned by Mother Nature’s greatness, the wood really inspires me to continue to craft tables and furniture that I hope you or the person you buy for will enjoy for years to come.”
Being able to use his creativity to make a living is a dream come true for Powell, and part of what he feels is the most rewarding aspect of his art.
“Following the initial load of salvaged wood through the process of development into a beautiful piece of furniture that my customers will enjoy for generations to come is very rewarding,” he said.
Items listed on his Etsy store include small items such as cooking utensil holders, coat racks, and shelves to large items such as benches, desks, and tables.
Through his Etsy store, Powell is able to ship his creations — especially his tables, his best sellers — across the United States, including to many customers in California.
The time he spends creating each piece varies by the size, though the average time runs at two days.
The process to make each piece begins when Powell collects the wood and then involves several steps of processing the wood. Selecting the right piece of wood for the project is instrumental to his process, followed by selecting a pattern.
Next, Powell cuts the wood to the needed dimensions, assembles the piece, levels the piece, and then applies sanding and finishing before signing and numbering the piece, packing and shipping the creation.
“Every time you walk by a piece of my furniture you will think of the ocean,” Powell commented.