top of page

Wright & Gail Smith

Wright Smith, born and raised in Wilson, North Carolina, is an award-winning craftsman. In 2018, he was recognized by "Our State" magazine as one of the top artisans in North Carolina as part of their "Best in Our State" annual competition. Wright's attention to every detail that goes into each piece adds to their special quality.


He currently resides in the Wilmington, NC area with his wife,  Gail. In 2012, they formed WaterLife Art to further their artistic pursuits.

Wright transforms nature's handiwork to create unique driftwood lamps, tables, and more recently, distinctive lazy susans, trivets, chargers, coasters, and pendant chandeliers. Most of the wood he uses is over 100 years old, having fallen off barges that operated on the Cape Fear River in the 1800's and early 1900's and sunk to the bottom of the river. The silt and lack of oxygen helped preserve these historic logs until they were disturbed by modern-day dredging, which caused many pieces to float to the river's surface and travel with the currents until they became lodged at various locations along the shore.

Each piece is carefully chosen to highlight its natural beauty and function. Once on dry land, they are power washed several times, then dried and seasoned for 1-3 years before the transformation into a unique work of art begins. This process includes cutting the wood at the precise location, leveling, brushing, sanding, shaping bases, accurately drilling for electrical cords, assembling the various parts, including the sisal rope-wrapped metal parts and hand-made finials, and finally applying polyurethane to seal the ancient wood.

Any decor - coastal, traditional, modern, or eclectic- can be enhanced by these beautiful pieces. Owning a Wright Smith original allows you to not only have a one-of-a-kind signature piece of coastal North Carolina history in your home or business, but also to enjoy the unique beauty of his and Nature's creation.

News Articles

Porters Neck Living Magazine, April, 2018

Porters Neck Living Magazine, October, 2019

bottom of page