by Sean Freeman
It's not just about koa anymore. Sure, the lustrous native hardwood is still virtually synonymous with Hawai'i's exquisite woodworking tradition, but, increasingly, Hawai'i's wood artists have also been highlighting the grains of other locally grown timber, including Norfolk and cook Island pine, mango, kamani, milo, and various types of eucalyptus.
"We have well over a hundred types of wood here and each of them has its own special qualities," says carver Bob Holden, co-owner of Holden Wood Design, whose sculptures are perennial award winners.
Each September, a broad range of Island woods and a stunning selection of entries from many of Hawai'i's most highly regarded woodworkers are showcased at the prestigious HFIA WoodShow. For more information about Hawaii's wood industry, including a directory of artist and galleries, visit hawaii-forest.org.