A self-taught woodturner since the early 80's and I'm a wood connoisseur/woodworker all of my life. As a person who enjoys beautiful artwork, whether it's a vase from the Ming Dynasty or an abstract wood sculpture from the 60's, I've tried to push the limits of my craft to create unique, artistic pieces of art. Compound this with the fact that I'm a native of Hawaii, who has experience the natural beauty of the islands and grew up in the Asian-Polynesian cultures and you begin to get an insight as to what has influence my work.
I draw an enormous amount of energy and personal satisfaction knowing that the piece I'm creating was destined for a dump or burial site, or used as fire wood; of course, at times, it still could end up as extremely expensive firewood. Much of my raw is obtained through bartering with tree removal companies and arborists, along with friends and collectors who have learned to keep an eye open during their daily travels for select, choices pieces of wood. The raw material that I collect is not always worked on immediately; some of it continues to age for as much as 1 year before I gain an insight or feel the soul of the specific piece.
The more I experiment, the more I explore, learn, study, and understand about the art of woodturnings, the more my designs evolve and mature; where this process will lead is purely dependent on my imagination and my courage to push the limits of this art form.
Puka Series #1 Yew Root Stock
This is another purely artistic turning created from an English Yew root - which was destined for the landfill - that I obtained from a neighbor’s yard. Sometimes I'm really blessed with great material, and it is a pleasure to have given it a second life. As a part of my "Puka" Series - Puka [poo' kah], loosely translated from the Hawaiian language, means "holes" or "perforations" - this piece is truly an unusual, distinctive, and once-in-a-lifetime creation.
7.25"T x 5.75"D
Photo by Peter Shefler
Pua Series #3 Flower Form
Salvaged and recycled English Yew Root Stock is fast becoming my favorite turning material. The difficulties in working with this material is that what one finds in amongst the roots, such as dirt, stones and other hard nasty material. As a native of Hawaii, and one who has spent a number of years traveling and living in Southeast Asia, those influences often stir my ...creative imagination in attempting forms unusual in woodturning. In the Hawaiian language the word "Pua" - amongst other things - also means flower blossom. In trying to bring this piece to completion one must be aware of the pitfalls in working with very thinly turned flower petal forms, such as concern regarding wood movement, how will the piece be displayed and how does one finish the turning without wrecking it.
Approximate size 9" D x 9" Long
Photo by Brad Knabel
Pua Series #4
Turned and carved from Spalted Maple
Approximately 7" across x 6" tall x 8" deep.
Puka Series #8 Yew Root Stock
All too often I'm asked where I obtain material which is through a vast network of friends, collectors and neighbors, and it gives me an enormous amount of satisfaction to give a piece like this a second life.
Approximate size 8.5" D x 6" T.Photo by Brad Knabel
Puka Series #10 Hollow forms
Salvaged and recycled English Yew Root Stock dug out of a neighbors trash pile. Bringing this piece to fruition gave me an enormous amount of satisfaction.
Approximate size 7" D x 10" T
Photo by Brad Knabel
Spalted Maple Natural Edge Bowl
Spalted material is a joy to work with it is like that famous Box of Chocolate "You don't know what you're going to get".
Approximate size 9 inches diameter x 6.5 inches tall.
Photo by Edric