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Crafts that say "Hawaii."

You can find them at four galleries in Honolulu

TAKE A GROUP OF ISLANDS. Surround them with endless Pacific Ocean in infinite shades of blue. Add lava flows, towering green cliffs, a rainbow assortment of fish and flowers. Mix in a multiethnic population, strongly Asian-Pacific in flavor but with a global array of cultural traditions. This is the blend that inspires Hawaii's craftspeople.

Island crafts encompass an enormous variety of styles, media, and prices. But the best of them speak of Hawaii, whether they're bowls of koa or other native woods so finely carved as to be almost translucent; baskets woven with local twigs, roots, and grasses; or pottery that captures the shape and color of lava flows.

In Honolulu, you can find Hawaii-made crafts at shops, galleries, and studios; listed below are four located slightly beyond Waikiki but still convenient for visitors based there. All are worth a visit to browse, or to buy.


Nohea Gallery at Ward Warehouse (Ala Moana Boulevard at Ward Avenue; 808/596-0074) brims with beautiful objects, most of which are made in Hawaii. Rick Mills's glass works and Ricardo Dellera's koa boxes are standouts. Painted-silk fish pins by Gail Hughs are colorful buys at $12 to $14 each, and etchings by local artists ($30) make striking mementos.

Following Sea is smaller but has similar wares; it's at Kahala Mall (take the Waialae exit off the H-1 freeway; 734-4425). Among its best works are Ron Kent's beautiful Norfolk pine bowls (one of which was presented to President Clinton during his recent Hawaii visit); raku ware by Robert Troost; and Dan Skinner's Lava Eggs, made from a special type of Maui clay and reasonably priced at $25 each.

In two buildings along Waimanu Street (otherwise a neighborhood of warehouses and auto repair shops), Honolulu craftspeople have joined forces in a pair of collective galleries.

Waimanu Street Gallery (901 Waimanu; 591-1126) features wood bowls and sculptures by Jerry Kermode, raku ware by Jerome Heck, serigraphs by Janet Holaday, functional stoneware by Bob McWilliams, brush paintings by Joan Thompson.

At The Foundry (899 Waimanu; 596-2788), craftspeople create artwork as well as exhibit it. Look for ceramic vases by Dudley Smith, stoneware by John Bade, and more.


Fairs offer a good overview of the local crafts scene. Perhaps the biggest and best known is held four times a year by Pacific Handcrafters Guild, whose member-exhibitors are chosen by jury. For a wide selection of handcrafted items with an Island flair, visit the guild's Christmas Fair December 4 and 5 from 9 to 4 at Thomas Square (across from the Honolulu Academy of Arts).

If you spot a work you especially like, ask the exhibitor if he or she has a studio where you can see more--and perhaps even watch the artwork in the making. Some (though not all) do.
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Author:Reno, Lorraine
Date:Nov 1, 1993
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