Artisan in the Making

Craig Saunders of ‘Driftwood Designs’,  has a rare knack of turning a piece of junk, flotsam, driftwood and recycled material into many highly sought creative pieces of artwork with a marine flavour.

He is one of those imaginative and colourful characters I love to meet who have a really interesting history packed with a  lifetime of  experiences.

English-born, he was fostered during his childhood and at 15-years-old he joined the British Navy. After a time he left to back pack for seven years around Europe, Greece, the Middle East and eventually to Australia. He came back to Australia thirty years ago, and his first job was an insurance agent, then selling Encyclopedia Britannica door-to-door before becoming a salesman for Berri Fruit Juice.

“I have always loved to tinker with my hands especially with wood and started working with a floor sander,” he recalled. After one month learning the ropes he decided to start his own business “Port Stephens Timber floors”, which was a very successful business. After 10 years and a thousand timber floors behind him, he sold the business to his employee also named Craig, and is still a going concern today.

He resides at North Arm Cove, a peaceful little hamlet off the Pacific Highway south of Tea Gardens on a small block with views across Port Stephens to Soldiers Point.

Story and Photography Marilyn Collins.