a look back at summer 2014

November 7, 2014

Where to begin. Summer has come and gone and fall is well underway…we’ve even experienced a brief (yet powerful) snowstorm…though, let’s get back to what summer brought us…

We exhibited in two shows. Both were juried, both went very well. The first was The Maine Craft Guild Show, on Mount Desert Island, and the second, was a fund raiser for the Laudholm Nature Preserve in Wells Maine.

Mount Desert is an incredibly beautiful area and while I don’t get much time to sightsee, Jenn (my partner) and Finn (our son) do their best to get out and about in between helping me set-up, mind the booth and break down…here’s Finn at the top of Mt. Cadillac. He LOVES when we go away for shows…

mdi show finn

This show brought me an amazing commission for a couple who own a large family compound on MDI. The land and the small cottages on it have been in their family since the 20’s and I am honored to create a piece for them. It will consist of driftwood and mussel shells collected from their property and will be complete in the summer of 2015. Stay tuned! Here’s a peek at their incredibly magical place…


look at all those shells

This pic was taken while I was collecting…do you see all those mussel shells?

the compound

What a spot! Truly incredible. Thank you to the family for inviting me to design and build a piece for them…

Now for the second show, The Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival. This was our first year exhibiting in this juried show and it was equally rewarding. Lots of incredibly helpful people, visitors, leads and wind! It was a hot and windy weekend, though that didn’t stop people from coming out and contributing to a fantastic nature preserve. Just after set-up (shows are a lot of work for a busy four year old), Finn decided to enjoy the daybed before everyone arrived – he was so excited for the ‘opening’, can you tell?

finn resting during show

laudholm show

A new gallery owner happened to walk by our booth and fell in love with Points to Sea (the large circular assemblage above), so much so that they requested it to be exhibited in their new gallery, Port Gallery, Kennebunk, Maine, and that’s where it now hangs…Check it out.

New works were commissioned and pieces were sold. All in all two great shows and one fabulous summer…

I couldn’t do any of this if it wasn’t for the support and help from my partner, Jennifer; she is  the business side of Designs Adrift, my organizer and photographer. And my son, Finn;  he keeps me smiling and is always willing to help. Thank you both.

A few more pics from our summer of 2014. What a summer it was!


finn with table photoshoot


more wood lying in wait


finn at sunset - home

wood lying in wait...

working with helper









wharf and channel

January 14, 2014

Winter is here, the holidays are over and 2014 is well underway…

Life sure has been busy (as I’m sure it has been for you too!) and I have a few new works completed as well as underway…here is one of the completed ones , which is titled, ‘Wharf and Channel’.

Driftwood and found lobster warp are what make this piece.

The warp represents the water and its’ ever changing colors…and the wood, well, is the wharf.

There are lots of wharves here in Maine, though unfortunately, many are becoming privatized…thankfully though, our town still has a few piers which are for its’ residents and the general public.

They are assets not only for the lobsterman and fisherman who use them daily, but also for those of us who enjoy being ‘on the water’ and everything surrounding it…sunsets, the hum of lobster boats coming in or going out, seagulls chattering, the lapping of the waves against the rocky coast or simply to watch the sun dip below the horizon…water access is important…for everyone…

Wharf and Channel.

Wharf and Channel

The process;


painted base

tacking out the sides

wood on

wood + paint

wwod + warp close-up

Wharf and Channel

Available now.


Maine Art Scene Magazine is an online magazine and virtual meeting place for artists and buyers alike. Its also a fabulous resource for galleries looking for talented new artists as well as established artists…the last few years, Maine Art Scene has put together an online, virtual gallery.

It is a brilliant idea.

It is a juried show and Designs Adrift was one of the chosen artists to include – the piece titled Zephyr, was chosen not only as part of the exhibit, but also as the ‘cover’ page for the gallery ‘showcase’…I am honored – to say the least!

Do be sure to check out all the other incredibly talented Maine artists as well as the incredible job Maine Art Scene has done creating this online virtual gallery…well done!

Go here to view the entire exhibit.

What do you think?

Spring Tide III

April 23, 2013

So while I’ve been busy working on the dining table base, I’ve also started another new project Spring Tide III. This piece will be smaller than the prior two Spring Tides, though still impressive.

It is being made for a local shop in Portland Maine, K*Colette. It’s a fabulous home goods store and the perfect fit for my work…

We’ve been looking into retailers to sell through, though it’s not always easy…so when Karen, the owner of K*Colette contacted us, we were thrilled. We will be selling a few pieces through her shop, but for now, Spring Tide III will be the first addition.

While it may look like a simple project, it’s not as simple as it looks…it’s a puzzle of sorts – a mesmerizing puzzle – a puzzle with many pieces, though only a ‘few’ fit.

Dark will be contrasting light in a specific pattern –  specific to each individual piece, as well as the whole…

Spring Tide III underway;

assemblingcarvingpattern sticksMichael working on new Spring Tide

driftwood dining table

April 16, 2013

The weather seems to be turning, well, sort of…enough so that I am now able to work outside  (and not  be in a fully insulated suit), while listening to the crashing surf in the distance…at least while the chainsaw is off!

Time to get back out there and start collecting again, but until then I’ve started working on this piece which I think may become a base for a dining table…we’ll see what transpires…also hoping for some surf – my other passion!

What would you like to see made from driftwood?

Dining Table 1Dining Table 2Dining Table 3


Like this idea? Check out Designs Adrift for more driftwood table ideas…

February 12, 2013

My second running horse is now complete and in its’ new home in Washington DC. The client requested the cherry base and is something I wouldn’t have thought to use, though it’s a nice contrast and I’m pleased with the effect…now that my current commissions are complete, I can begin to work on new works. New works which have been on my mind for a number of months now and I am very excited to begin. Stay tuned for more…


running horse 2

Horse Complete

December 11, 2012

Another driftwood horse complete…this is a standing horse for a client with his own art gallery, in his home! His lucky partner is receiving it as a Christmas gift – what a brilliant idea!

Give art. Happy Holidays!

Laudner Horseback view

glass blowing

December 4, 2012

After a day of winterizing our house and finishing a few odd and end things that just couldn’t be put off any longer, we drove out to Dresden for an Open House hosted by Terrill and Charlie Jenkins – the owners and artists behind Tandem Glass Studio.  They are a pair of glass blowers living and working in Maine – they are artists, living as artists…the open house included a fund raiser, locally made mead and wine as well as glass blowing demonstrations, lovely appetizers and beautiful music – all while snow lightly fell outside…

So much of our daily life is consumed by Designs Adrift (and keeping this old house heated) that every now and again we need to be inspired and remember why it is we keep doing all that we do…and this open house sounded like a great idea. And it was.

Glass blowing is an incredible art to watch. It’s mesmerizing…and the studio from where they work, beautiful. It was a great reminder for us that it is possible to have a studio, gallery and storage for materials – all under one roof. This by the way, is our goal too – to own and work from a space where my workshop is next door to our gallery…eventual plans are to also include other local artists which compliment Designs Adrift and more! But for now, we’ll keep moving forward, where we are, until the financing and ‘right spot’ happen. Hoping this inspires other artists to keep at it…

Enjoy the photos Jenn took…getting the liquidanother furnacecutting glassgoblet baseheated glass tipattching more glassblowingfurnacegoblettools of the trade

Bike is Complete

November 13, 2012

The unusual request for a driftwood bike had me wondering in the beginning…though I was up for the challenge and I am so glad I accepted it. The commission and the challenge.

It’s roughly 3′ X 3′ and made entirely of driftwood…

It was a project many were surprised by – “A driftwood bike? – really?” My reply would be yes – it’s more than a bike, it represents one man’s love for cycling and life, his life

Next step with this project is to pick up the custom boxes, pack with care and then send off…

I couldn’t have done it without my helper, always at my side, always willing to assist…

Next project…3′ standing horse…


November 6, 2012

Elephants are magnificent, to say the least. They are not an animal one hears about often, particularly here, in Maine, though recently I’ve come across an artist who talks about elephants all the time – he even builds them – sometimes even out of driftwood. His name is Andries Botha and he is from South Africa. He creates lifelike and life size elephants from driftwood as well as recycled tires, steel and mesh (to name a few materials he works with). His artwork is not only made for the sake of making art, it’s also made to spread a message – one concerning the environment and the children of Southern Africa. I spent over five months traveling throughout South Africa in 2001 – it is an incredibly diverse and stunning country. Simply amazing to say the least. Though, the dark side of all this beauty, is poverty and homelessness, particularly, young children. I saw it myself – I experienced it myself. You can’t escape it. Andries Botha creates art for these children. He started, The Human Elephant Foundation for these children as well as for all beings of nature, including the earth itself. He says, “The elephant is a metaphor for the yearning for forgotten conversations between humans, the earth and living things.”
Andries’ work is incredibly moving not only for the work itself, but for what it represents.

This photo was part of the 2006 installation titled, You Can Buy My Heart and My Soul as a part of the Beautfort’s second Triennial of Contemporary Art by the Sea. Definitely check out his work as well as his foundations – he speaks for all of us.