Isle woodworkers come out tops at annual show

(Photo courtesy of Hal Lum | Hawaii Forest Industry Association)


The 20th Annual Hawaii Forest Industry Association Hawaii’s
Woodshow has announced this year’s winners, including top honors for two Big Island craftsmen – Peter Ziroli, Marcus Castaing and David Gomes.

Other isle woodworkers recognized were John Mydock, Michael Patrick Smith and J. Kelly Dunn.

Jurors for the show previewed works by Hawaii’s best wood artists and woodworkers and selected winners in various categories during the two-week show.

Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods sponsored the Best of Show award which went to the Big Island’s Marcus Castaing for his piece, Guardians of the Heart. According to judges, Castaing’s ability to allow the gorgeous figure and curl of the koa take center stage was what made his koa cabinet stand apart.

R. W. Butts from Honolulu was recognized with an Award of Excellence for his piece, Hibiscus Bowl on Stand. The work utilized bamboo in a unique and stunning way according to the judges.

Peter Ziroli's Center Table (Photo courtesy of Hal Lum | Hawaii Forest Industry Association)

Other awards were as follows:

Award Artist Title
 1st Place Furniture Peter Ziroli Center Table (Hawaii Island)
 1st Place Musical Instrument David Gomes Kaulana Ke Kuahiwi (Hawaii Island)
 1st Place Sculpture Keith Maile Ekolu Kanaka (Oahu)
 1st Place Turning Andy Cole Nesting Instinct (Oahu)
 1st Place Open John Sincerbeaux Sacred Pond (Texas)
 1st Place Novice Eric LeBuse Kaloa (Oahu)
 Honorable Mention Tak Yoshino Koh Dana (Japan)
 Honorable Mention John Mydock Koi Pond (Hawaii Island)
 Honorable Mention Michael Patrick Smith Yin Yang Fern (Hawaii Island)
 Honorable Mention J. Kelly Dunn Black Heart Mango Series (Hawaii Island)
 Honorable Mention Honolulu Furniture Co. Desk and Chair (Oahu)
 Honorable Mention Marcus Castaing Blanket Chest (Hawaii Island)
 Kent Award Luke Shaffer Wave Desk and Octopus (Oahu)
 Spirit of the Show Masako Schwalbenitz Many-Legged Stool (Oahu)

Master craftsman Vedad Kulalic won the People’s Choice award with his playful yet skillfully designed and crafted “Desk with Chair.” Kulalic, who lives on Oahu, utilized a combination of monkey pod and koa to mimic a soft fabric-draped desk that many onlookers mistook as sculpture rather than furniture.

David Gomes' guitar. (Photo courtesy of Hal Lum | Hawaii Forest Industry Association)

Prior to the show’s opening Peter Ziroli’s “Round Center Table” had received the 1st Place Furniture award designated by Woodshow Jurors. Participating artists agreed and chose Ziroli’s table for the Artist’s Choice award.

The table is based on an 1869 design by William Fisher. The table top is koa with a longon wood star and pheasant wood banding. Medallions on the table apron and base are longon and applied panels are of light koa and kamani. Ziroli lives and works in Ookala.

“I’d like to thank our team of volunteers for making the 20th annual Hawaii’s Woodshow such a huge success,” said Marian Yasuda, show coordinator. “The Woodshow would not be possible without the collective effort of many people. The generosity and sacrifices are greatly appreciated by me and all those who enjoy seeing such a fantastic exhibit each year.”

Only art pieces crafted predominately from Hawaii-grown woods are displayed at Hawaii’s Woodshow as part of its endeavor to encourage and strengthen appreciation for sustainable forestry through the planting of native species. Endangered woods and certain rare species are prohibited.

Many Woodshow pieces are for sale to the public at

Hawaii’s Woodshow sponsors included Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods, DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Kamehameha Schools, Ron and Myra Kent, Specialty Forest Products, Inc., State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Alexander & Baldwin and the Alexander & Baldwin Foundation, Halekulani Hotel, C. Barton Potter, Bubbies Ice Cream, Martin & MacArthur, and wood artist and HFIA Board President Tai Lake.

Jurors for the show were nationally-known wood artist Wendy Maruyama, artist and professor emeritus of the Furniture Design and Woodworking Program at San Diego State University; one of HFIA and Hawaii’s Woodshow’s founders, Peter Simmons, consultant, In the Woods; and Steven Hill from the University Of Hawaii School Of Architecture.
The Hawaii Forest Industry Association (HFIA) promotes healthy and productive forests and a sustainable forest industry. In addition to its annual woodworking exhibition, HFIA sponsors the Hawaii’s Wood trademark, manages several community forests, and serves as an advocate for Hawaii’s diverse forest industry.

Established in 1989, HFIA is a nonprofit corporation founded by and for people dedicated to responsible forest management. HFIA’s programs promote healthier forests, increased business in Hawaii’s estimated $30.7 million annual forest industry, and more jobs within the sector.

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