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Island artisans get access to koa wood supply

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association (HFIA) has teamed up with Kamuela Hardwoods and Paniolo Tonewoods to make processed live edge Acacia koa wood available to local craftspeople, woodworkers, instrument makers, and other artisans. The newly launched Kama‘aina Wood Market will help facilitate an open and transparent koa wood marketplace.

As an important initiative of HFIA, Kama‘aina Wood Market is in line with the organization’s goal of promoting the use of Hawai‘i-grown woods and ensuring that local woodworkers have the resources they need.

The Kama‘aina Wood Market aims to get processed and semi-processed Hawai‘i-grown wood, including koa, into the hands of local craftspeople and artisans.

Historically, koa has been sold in very large lots to buyers offshore including strong demand in the international market. The Kama‘aina Wood Market is making small bundles of Hawai‘i’s wood available for purchase to the local market.

“Today’s wood market has large koa buyers who purchase raw logs in large quantities while locally we have woodworkers who cannot gain access to purchase smaller lots of koa. “The Kama‘aina Wood Market changes all of that,” noted HFIA President Nickolas Koch. “It helps us bridge the imbalance for local craftsmen and artisans who need smaller quantities of wood. HFIA is thankful for partners who worked with us to produce a transparent and predictable process that openly reflects the cost of stumpage, harvesting, processing, and distribution.”

Follow The Log

The partnership among HFIA, Paniolo Tonewoods and Kamuela Hardwoods was born through a shared vision of wanting to create availability for smaller buyers with transparent pricing. With leftover logs, branches and treetops, Paniolo Tonewoods was willing to help HFIA source the wood and Kamuela Hardwoods participates through cutting and selling the wood.

“HFIA is looking to create avenues that source forest byproducts and makes bundles of wood available so our youth just starting out working in their grandfather’s woodshop have access for creative inspiration. This next generation will help grow interested in Hawaii’s forest industry,” Koch states proudly.

Paniolo Tonewoods

Paniolo Tonewoods collaborated with Kamehameha Schools and harvested mature koa from its forest in H?naunau last year. Paniolo Tonewoods, a collaboration between Pacific Rim Tonewoods and Taylor Guitars launched this new project based in Hawai‘i, aimed at bringing koa and other ethically sourced tonewoods to market for use in crafting guitars.

Kamuela Hardwoods

Under the leadership of President Alex Woodbury, Kamuela Hardwoods opened their doors and welcomed the first Kama‘aina Wood Market Pau Hana Sale earlier this month. Small bundles of koa are available for ongoing purchase at Kamuela Hardwoods, located in Waimea on Hawai‘i Island.

“We agree with the vision of getting reasonably priced koa into our local craftsman market. Internationally, koa has become a name brand wood, and that sometimes prices out access and makes it challenging for our artisans,” notes Kamuela Hardwoods COO Bridget Walker. “We see the beautiful works being created here by woodworkers trying to make a living here in Hawai‘i. Kamuela Hardwoods wants to support them and have wood available that’s not out of their price range so they can participate in the market too.”

To view and purchase wood through Kama‘aina Wood Market visit the website and contact Kamuela Hardwoods at info@kamuelahardwoods.com or (808) 657 4797.

Interested buyers must be current members of HFIA to participate in Kama‘aina Wood Market program. HFIA membership is nominal and applications may be found online at www.hawaiiforest.org

For more information contact HFIA Executive Director Heather Simmons at 808-933-9411 or email: hfia@hawaiiforest.org

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