All Washed Up

Superior Driftwood Art by Bard Leschishin

Barb Leschishin, the owner of All Washed Up – Superior Driftwood Art, offers handmade items produced from Lake Superior driftwood.

Some of her products include trees ranging in height from eight inches to 42 inches, driftwood and sea-glass ornaments and plaques featuring an image of Lake Superior in various sizes.

“I also create Scrabble ornaments and shadow boxes with various sayings, inuksuit – the iconic human-made landmarks of piled stones – plus pebble art on driftwood,” says Barb, who retired four years ago before discovering Pinterest, where “a whole new world opened up for me.”

“I always wanted to work with driftwood,” she adds. “I love to walk along local beaches and collect my materials.”

Now in business for nearly half a decade, Barb added the second half of her business name – “Superior Driftwood Art” – while her friends suggested “All Washed Up,” referring to driftwood’s journey to the shoreline.

As an entrepreneur, she particularly enjoys seeing her pieces – “especially the trees” – take shape.

“It’s just so much fun to make things that I hope people will like,” says Barb, who wants her customers to know they’re getting products that are “made with care, durable and of good quality.”

Her inspiration usually comes as she’s collecting her supplies – those washed-up pieces of driftwood – which must be whole and not broken or rotten.

“When I am collecting driftwood, I always have several ideas in mind. I try to maintain a certain size for each piece I create.”

Small businesses like hers are critical to the local economy, Barb says, because they offer a distinct perspective on product creation.

“We provide quality artwork that is original and different,” she says, calling on people to “shop local” because “it’s easy to buy a special something that is not mass-produced.”

Barb is currently diversifying her artwork so it’s less Christmas-oriented. Keep an eye out for more products with general themes soon.