What some people see as driftwood, old planks or even tattered flooring, others see as the exact materials as the raw stuff necessary to make art. Such is the case for the artist Diederick Kraaijeveld who was inspired in 2005 to re-create a vintage Mustang out of reclaimed wood – or “Oud Hout,” which is Dutch for “Old Wood.” Since then, he has carved everything from running shoes to teacups to dollar bills to US President Barack Obama’s face out of wood he gathers from old buildings all over the Netherlends and from gathering trips to countries like India, to the Mojave Desert and even abandoned basketball courts in Detroit, USA. As his website elaborates, that first inspiration has led to a prolific and succesful career.
Kraiijeveld’s work has appeared in galleries throughout the world, including France, the United States, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. Many of his finely crafted pieces, which strive to capture an ironic twist on pop culture, have also been purchased for private and corporate galleries. In 2010, he also won an award for ‘Sculpture‘ at an international street art competition.
Rather than hunting for a specific type of wood, Kraaijeveld is more interested in the colour and texture of the “Oud Hout.” As he doesn’t alter or treat the wood, the finished product always reflects the wood’s history.
Kraiijeveld and his work join a multitude of other artists over the world who use unusual, recycled material from old t-shirts, to toilet paper rolls, to recycled electronics for creating unique, green and Eco art. And who knows? Maybe the next time you visit the beach, you might be inspired to create your own art just by that ”right” piece of driftwood.