Products, People, Places and Things Representing the Best in Coastal Living

Products, People, Places and Things Representing the Best in Coastal Living.
Welcome to our blog "Coastal Creations & Design." We hope that you'll visit us often and read about our favorite coastal destinations, beach-inspired products, inviting seaside spaces, original artists works and people living the coastal lifestyle.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Driftwood Lamps: Beachcombed Creations For Your Coastal Home

A day of successful driftwood hunting, Allen Graves paddles our findings home.

As the 2011 holiday season is now coming to an end with the new years is just a few days away, my current mind set is now focused on the new year and great endeavors that lye around the bend. Fortunately, a driftwood hunt with my good friend Allen Graves is just that. So in a few weeks, we plan to return to our favorite hunting ground and brave the frigid winter weather and icy cold water via wading and paddling a canoe along the banks of the Rappahannock River. Allen's cousin owns at least a miles worth of private desolate riverfront property along the Rappahannock, an estuary from the southern section of the Chesapeake Bay. Here's a link to the first blog covering a previous driftwood outing. Just click on the link here to:  Driftwood Art & Furnishings: Re-Purposed Beach Finds For the Coastal Home.

Our last one-day hunting expedition last fall turned out to be quite fruitful and we gathered a number of wonderful water worn and sun-bleached cedar that is found in abundance washed up on the empty beaches or toppled off a cliff from a harsh nor'easter. Exceptional gnarled and twisted pieces of driftwood, sun-baked to a silvery patina with rich aromas of spicy cedar. Magnificent- the perfect sculptured wood created by nature and it's changing  seasonal weather that produce these beautiful  torsos and branches of wood for us to work with.

So, before we get underway, I'd like to share with you a few of the driftwood lamp creations that we have recently produced  here in our Skipjack design studio located in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia. We hope to create other unique driftwood  sculptures and coffee tables, perfect for the coastal home.

Custom made driftwood lamp with burlap covered shade.
Close-up of cedar lamp base.

The first of the driftwood lamps (shown above) was produced from one piece of driftwood and has a broader, more horizontal appearance. Great gnarled cedar with light-brown color and sun-bleached appearance. Pieces like these require a larger table to display and use, though I love these as a counter-top or bar light. Stands 25 1/2 inches tall. Here's a link to the beachcombed driftwood lamp CJE002.

Cedar driftwood lamp with burlap shade.
Driftwood lamp base.
This driftwood lamp was also produced out of single section of a driftwood cedar with a silvery-gray sun-bleached patina. The center rod we've  used is painted off-white with authentic milk paint making it less obtrusive than brass. Comes with a custom-made driftwood lamp finial from the same cut of the cedar driftwood.  Measures 29" tall. Here's a link to the lamp on our website: Beachcombed driftwood lamp CJE003.

Driftwood lamp finial.

A cedar driftwood lamp produced in Skipjack's design studio.

Close-up of driftwood base.
 The next driftwood lamp, also produced out of  cedar is larger in scale featuring beautiful gnarled root section with great color and patina. We've sealed this lamp using numerous thin clear coats to enhance the wood color with a glossy patina. This lamp features an oval shaped beige fabric lamp shade that matches the color of the wood and comes with one of our handcrafted monkey's fist lamp finials.  Follow the link here for more information on this beachcombed driftwood lamp CJE001. Beachcombed driftwood lamp.

Cedar driftwood lamp with black base and shade.
The last of our recent lamp productions features a section of cedar selected from a larger piece to create a smaller lamp where size is a consideration.  We added a gloss-black painted round wood base with molded edge and a drum shaped black fabric shade to give it a more dramatic look.  Wonderful small size for an occasional or bedside lamp. Stands 24 1/2 inches tall.  Here's the link to this driftwood lamp CJE004.

Beachcombed sun-bleached cedar driftwood.
 We will post pictures and information of our newest furnishings created in our design studio from our upcoming trip to the Rappahannock River. Hopefully you may find just the right lamp, sculpture or table to use as part of your coastal home decor!

* Environmentally sustainable furniture is a fairly new concept in the marketplace, though here at Skipjack we have been utilizing this concept for many years. Simply defined, sustainable furniture and furnishings, also known as Eco Furniture is constructing furniture using materials which are recycled or re-purposed such as wood, metals and glass. The Skipjack design studio utilizes many shipboard items that are removed from retired ships in foreign and domestic shipyards as well as natural materials such as locally found driftwood, boards and vintage fisherman's materials to produce one of a kind nautical/coastal furniture and furnishings!  Here's a link to see other examples from  Natural driftwood sculptures, lamps and furnishings by C. Joseph Elder.


  1. Joe, the lamps you make out of the driftwood are truly works of art. I can't wait to see what you will make out of the wood from our upcoming adventure.

  2. I make the same thing, but out of Cedar, Black Walnut and driftwood. It's a fun hobby. Love your work