808 573-2297, 808 214-0738
Born in Waialua, 'O'ahu, in 1953, Tom grew up as the middle child in a family of four brothers and one sister. As the siblings were teenagers of the sixties, family discussions covered a wide range of topics, creating an atomosphere of curiosity and challenging of old ideas. Tom learned to question, and, more importantly, to seek out answers for himself.
Tom's search for meaning in life carries over into this daily woodworking. Finding the proper balance between design and the inherent beauty of wood requires conscious effort. The process can start with the physical labor of felling and milling trees into usable lumber, and continues through design, execution, and finishing. Tom has been known to produce pages of sketches in the process of refining and engineering an initial inspiration. "My work is deeply satisfying because it is a craft that keeps me physically, mentally, and aesthetically alive."
Although primarily self taught in woodworking, Tom credits his high-school art teacher for early inspiration. Noted artist Sydney Yee's encouragement and guidance provided an impetus towards experimentation and expression. Today, this reveals itself in Tom's passion for ingenious joinery, and intricate carving and inlay.
The use of limited and diminishing resources of indigenoius Hawaiian woods requires an effort to remain "pono"( which translates to "correct behavior "). This has developed into an involvement in protecting and encouraging the survival of native plants, thereby helping the Hawaiian Culture to also continue. This has led to a major role in the restoration of the "Mo'olele", Maui's 43' double-hulled sailing canoe during the mid 1990's.
Tom's work has appeared in juried exhibits of Art Maui, Hawaiian Craftsman, and the Hui No'eau Juried Members' show. The Hawaii forest Industry Association's "Woods of Hawaii" show bestowed Tom with "Honorable Mentions" in 2004, "First Place Furniture" in 1993, 1997, and 2002, "First Place Open" in 2002, and "Best of Show" in 1996.
Tom's work is currently represented by Hana Coast Gallery, Na Pua Gallery, Pritam and Eames, and he is available for private and public commissions.
(808) 573-2297, (808) 214-0738