Announcement   Celebrating the spirit of the tree by combining modern and rustic styles to create contemporary driftwood art pieces and furniture.


Last updated on Jun 20, 2016

Celebrating the spirit of the tree by combining modern and rustic styles to create contemporary driftwood art pieces and furniture.

Jennifer Schwalenberg

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Jennifer Schwalenberg


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Modern + Rustic + Santa Fe = LOVE

"I search for exceptional pieces of driftwood lying on the shores of the Rio Grande and reawaken their spirit into functional art."

I had my aha moment in May of 1999. HGTV featured a bed made out of tree branches unlike anything I had ever seen; in contrast to the log cabin style, these were beautifully twisted, barked limbs stretching in every direction: raw, unruly, unrefined. I felt an instant connection and thought, "I have to have that bed!" The very next moment it hit me. "I have to MAKE that bed!"

I was living in L.A. at the time so I drove to the beach that weekend, collected as much driftwood as I could find and created a headboard. That was my start. Later that summer, I spent a week in New York with Daniel Mack, a well-known rustic furniture maker, and found even more inspiration. A year later, I left L.A. for the blue skies and stunning vistas of my dream town: Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Searching for driftwood along the Rio Grande is an artistic process all its own, exploring through piles of driftwood in my canoe to find just the right pieces that speak to me. It's a thrilling treasure hunt and one of my favorite parts of the process. I am constantly awed by the distinctive characteristics: beaver-chewed ends, beaver bite marks, and the colors that emerge upon sanding, stunning hues of lilac and green.

I use traditional mortise and tenon joinery and hand-cut dowels, so most of my work is free from any nails or screws. To further encourage the life and energy of the tree to remain, I do not use any stains or sealants. The results are raw, organic, functional, modern, rustic pieces of art ~ and truly one-of-a-kind.

To view my full portfolio: visit
However, please note that my pieces are only sold through this Etsy shop.

Fall 2015:
In keeping with my contemporary + rustic aesthetic, I have added lip exfoliant and hair powder/dry shampoo to my store ~ inspired by simple ingredients and the natural elements of Santa Fe.

Jennifer Schwalenberg
Santa Fe Rustic

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
American Diabetes Association (ADA)

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  • Jennifer Schwalenberg

    Owner, Artist

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Last updated on March 13, 2011

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