Collecting Driftwood – My Process

The lovely thing about creating my characters is there are so many elements to them that I can decide what to do based on the weather.  I’m not saying that I head to the beach on every glorious day, but I certainly have the option to ensure that I don’t go when the weather is wet and gloomy.  The photos I’m going to use on this post are from a visit to Seaham beach in April 2015. The weather forecast was promising, so i left home early with Gareth, dropped him at work and headed to Seaham in torrential rain, oh dear, maybe I had misheard the forecast.  By the time I arrived, the rain had stopped but I couldn’t see any sign of the sunshine I’d been promised.


I headed down to the beach with my bucket and bag and walked up to the far end. Experience has told me not to go near any possible driftwood hotspots on the way along the beach, I simply can’t resist picking up any pieces that catch my eye and I end up carrying it twice as far.  I’m generally looking for body parts, something I think has the potential to make a good head, curvy arms and legs with feet hanging off the end of them. I do also get distracted by anything I believe to be useful, could I make it into shelf? Is it potential material for a box? Or can I make little podiums to sit my characters on?  The unpleasant thing about collecting driftwood is it tends to gather at the same point as all the rubbish, I’m usually the only one sifting through it all but it doesn’t make sense for me to collect rubbish and driftwood at the same time, I need to concentrate on my task in hand.  I have however signed up to join the team of beach cleaners that sweep the beach as I want to give something back to the place I get my materials from and leave it a better place for others to enjoy.


After a couple of hours on the beach, I’ve collected about as much as I can carry and the weather is beginning to brighten up, must be time for an ice cream!