Innovative Designs, Expertly Handcrafted in Fine Hawaiian Hardwoods.
As a fifth generation wood worker, I figure it was my destiny to make custom furniture and perfect my marquetry skills. But not long ago, I learned my connection to wood and artistry goes even deeper.
My brother traveled to Germany and did some research, it seems the skills I have go back even more generations. The Reisland's, which is a rare name, were the traveling tinkerers of southern Germany - we repaired everyone's broken possessions. I never understood how I just knew how to do new techniques I'd never done before. Now I do - it's in my DNA.
For decades, I've been working with the tiniest pieces of wood, painstakingly laying them onto dining room tables, hall tables, and blanket chests to create stunning images.
And still I'm learning. I keep pushing the medium: more and more parts, smaller and smaller pieces, more shading. The precision and artistry of my marquetry calls for incredible patience and skill. I have to decide for each piece which direction the grains needs to go; is the grain the right way I've positioned it?Lately I have pushed the medium to what I call "the point of blasphemy," and I'm only partly joking. I create the scene with the marquetry and then add the transparent colors over the top to enhance the natural colors and bring out the figure in the grain. Adding color is not traditional.
The color allows me to achieve something I've been wanting to fo for years; create brightly colored fish such as Mahi-Mahi and tropical flowers. This adds even more to my creativity and enhances my work.
As an artist, it takes so much to get to this point. Even though it's in my DNA, it's not easy work. This life takes dedication, time, talent, years of experience and a shop full of equipment, tools and materials. It takes people who support me. What I create seems to bring people joy. This has been my dream for as long as I can remember and now I am living it.
Our studio is located in a one hundred year old coffee processing building near the community of Holualoa. It is in this studio that the creative process begins, culminating in the furniture you see on this website.
A new design starts on the sketchpad and then moves to a full size pattern, which is reworked until all the proportions are balanced and pleasing to the eye. Every piece of wood is then hand selected for color and grain direction for each part of the piece of furniture. If veneer is to be used it is hand cut and sanded.
The individual parts making up the completed piece of furniture go through the process of cutting, jointing, and planing, and then appropriate joinery is cut. Each part is individually fitted and sanded before assembly. Clamps are used to make sure that each piece stays exactly aligned during the gluing process. This is especially important for the curved designs that I build so often. After assembly the entire piece is sanded again. Finish is applied to all surfaces, in and out, top and bottom. This stabilizes the wood and adds to the long life of the furniture. The finish I use is a synthetic acrylic and is more durable than standard lacquer finishes. Before each new piece of furniture leaves the studio it is hand rubbed and buffed.
I strive to create a piece of furniture that is pleasing to the eye and silken to the touch, a piece of furniture that will last through time for the enjoyment of future generations.
Koa (acacia Koa) exists naturally only in Hawaii and the finest comes from the Island of Hawaii above the 3500 feet elevation. The growing conditions at this elevation are more stressful and the tree develops a great variety of color and intricacy of grain.
The grain varies from straight to curly, to wavy and bubbly. The color ranges from light brown to deep red and brown hues—some as dark as chocolate.
Koa has the weight and strength properties similar to Black Walnut. Acacia Koa is a legally protected wood in the state of Hawaii.
The Koa wood that I use comes from sawyers who legally harvest only trees that are dead or dying. The Koa roots are often loosened with a bulldozer and then the tree is pushed over slowly and lowered to earth. When the Koa is harvested in this manner there is no loss of wood caused by traditional logging methods. In addition, the harvesting allows the young Koa trees light and air to sprout and grow. After falling, the wood is then cut and air dried for one to two years. It is then placed in our kiln for up to another year before it is ready to be made into furniture.
P O Box 1800 Kealakekua, HI 96750