Fledgling artist Darran White displayed his creations and garnered notoriety from judges and the general public during the Beachcombers Festival Saturday at Azalea Middle School.

White, who began making driftwood sea-life displays two months ago, won first place in the Natural Driftwood division and the Peoples Choice award. His was one of 101 entries submitted for judging at the indoor festival.

The driftwood art is created by polishing the wood and preserving the sea life he finds on the beaches. The work is assembled and finished with clear-coat, White said.

I want to give people an idea of whats under there, said White, who is an ocean diver.

Originally, he made about 60, which he said his wife kept. Then he began making them for loved ones. They became easier and faster for him to create, so he began creating them for sale.

White not only entered a piece for judging, he had a table where he sold his driftwood creations. Within four hours he sold all of his wall hangings and had about 20 pieces left on his table.

The school gym was surrounded by booths ranging from photographs, wood carvings, jewelry and kelp baskets. On display for judging was everything from minute hand-painted driftwood and rocks to an 11-foot Eiffel Tower, built by Ron Bodman, that seemed to dominate the gym floor. Attached to the tower was a blue ribbon in the Art of Driftwood and Beachcombed Materials division.

Near the tower, visitors could imagine leaving Paris on a train, the creation of Bill and Alice Sprowl.

Trains, wildlife and portraits were among Sprowls creations carved with a scroll saw.

Most of his creations were made from a myrtle tree he fell in his back yard. Sprowl said the wood was too beautiful to make into firewood, so he had a friend mill it.

He has been making the art pieces for the past three years, but this was his first public showing. He is planning to be in future art shows, he said.

Bernie Lindley, his family and fishing boat crew, were showing off their newest enterprising creation crab ring planters.

Crab rings are fashioned to stand on end and be filled with plants. It was an idea that came at the spur of the moment from a crew member, Lindley said. Making the nautical planters provides a means of occupation when fishing is slow.

Other booths included handcrafted jewelry created by Helen Wigginton and her daughter, Louise Shaw. At the same table were birdhouses created by Louises husband, Randy Shaw.

Next to Shaws booth was a table covered with sea kelp baskets made by Trudy Elliot, who conducted basket-making workshops at last and this years festivals.Workshops were scheduled throughout the day, including rock identification, driftwood polishing, marine mammals and marine coastal weather. Two workshops included field trips, neither of which was hampered by the rain.

Children and adults were entertained in the school cafeteria with activities led by Miss Dori of Chetco Community Public Library. People were given the opportunity to make driftwood creations, paint rocks and paint faces.

Four girls from Brookings-Harbor High Schools Bear Delights dance team were on hand to teach children easy dance steps.

High school girls also sold raffle tickets for two sculptures donated by Brookings artist Manuel Lopez. Proceeds from the raffle are to go toward helping Beth Edwards, a high school girl with a liver problem.

Erin Gardner and Courtney Wood said they sold more than $400 in tickets at the festival for the hand-carved steatite salmon valued at $1,500 and a bronze loon valued at $800.

Tickets sales continue at Chetco Federal Credit Union in Harbor through Memorial Day weekend. Tickets are $5 each.

The fundraiser is the girls senior project. Prior to the festival, the girls had a Jell-O wrestling event that raised more than $1,000, Gardner said.

Judging the art contest were Kathy Ramsey, Rick Gray and Elmo Williams.

Winners included:

Natural Driftwood Nancy Lee, second; Jeff Gallemore, third.

Finished Driftwood Harold Thiesen, first and second; Bill Hiltz, third.

Art of Driftwood and Beachcombed Materials Thiesen, second; Hiltz, third.

Textiles and Beachcombed Materials Joan Cooper, first; Pam Callaway, second; Ellen Burkhead, third.

Household Furnishings Richard Willis, first and second; Gallemore, third.

Miniatures Lee, first; Lyn Griggs, second; Thiesen, third.

Collections Gallemore, first; Alice Fuller, second; Lee, third.

Decorated Driftwood Boards Jeannene Yarbrough, first; Ann Moore, second; June Harvey, third.

Childrens Marisa Callaway, first and second.

Floats Thiesen, first; Jim Wickham, second.

Photography Violet Burton, first; Marrian Petrucelli, second; Thiesen, third.

Paintings Leonard Burton, first; Michaeline Stroud, second; Bette Sherbourne, third.