daily updates

email   twitter   facebook   rss



beach reads

coconut wire
h|h clicks

Entries in hawaiiana (48)


handmade block party


one of the best things about etsy is how it has made art more accessible. caren loebel-fried, the big island artist who creates some of the most spectacular lino block prints (and who happens to be one of my favorite island artists), has joined the etsy ranks to showcase her beautiful interpretations of hawaiian legends and culture.

my fella and i both agree that the storyteller deserves a spot in our living room's little gallery of block prints. and for those romantic souls who keep the lost art of written correspondence alive, i must insist you take a peek at caren's lovely notecard sets.

the storyteller

the romance of lauka'ie'ie

artwork is archival quality and has been individually printed by hand on handmade paper from japan. both color and b&w prints are available and prices are quite reasonable ($15-$260).

when on the big island, you can admire (and purchase) caren's work at the volcano art center. you can learn more about about the artist and how her journey to this age old art form came to be on her website.

fyi - nyc readers who wish to learn the art of block printing can attend a one day workshop with caren & her mom scheduled to take place on oct 27th. more details can be found here.


once upon an ipu

ipu hale

yet another traditional hawaiian art form is receiving some love in the press far beyond the ocean borders of the islands. case in point: the latest issue of craft to hit the newsstand features the big island's ipu hale which is part of a tiny community of local artists reviving an ancient hawaiian technique of decorating the humble gourd. while most of us are familiar with the curves (and beats) of the ipu, the decorative process is not well known outside the world of historians and artisans and so a quick overview to get you up to speed.

back in the day when the ni'ihau method was practiced, intricate designs were created by carving a relief into the gourd's skin which would then be filled with coffee to slowly dye the gourd from the inside out. time was allowed to take its course and, after patiently waiting for weeks or months on end, the design would eventually emerge. since the natural dye reacted differently with each specimen, a bit of alchemy occurred which resulted in the creation of a one of kind vessel.

and, with modern day artisans looking to the past for inspiration, traditional polynesian patterns à la tatau and tapa designs are making a return to elevate the ipu from a swap meet souvenir to something that reconnects us to a once forgotten art form.

elroy juan & georgia sartoris

alas, ipu hale is without a website so you will have to make your way to holualoa to admire their craftsmanship in person. while on the big island, you may also want to stop by the volcano art center and check out the work of noted gourd artists elroy juan & georgia sartoris who create hue wai pawehe (aka decorated water gourds).

learn more about this fascinating process along with a step-by-step tutorial in this excerpt from craft.


made in hawaii 2007

stacey lee designs + lani mala'ela'e

with the made in hawaii festival just around the corner, it's time to take our annual virtual tour through the uncrowded aisles and uncover a few under the radar local companies setting up shop at the blaisdell this weekend.

first up, prettiness shines bright with jewelry created by stacey lee designs. stacey recently returned to the islands after nixing life in silicon valley to kick off her own start up adventure. alas, no online shopping to be found however you can score your own sld creation at martin & macarthur and the ihilani resort. click here for the full line of stockists.

the lani mala'ela'e product line embraces a more youthful vibe with its fresh take on island design. take a peek at their pa'u skirt set which features pretty prints to sway in complete with a matching bag to tote your gear to hula class in style. tropical handbags and a small spa line round out owner maki nishiguchi's ode to hawaii.

be back tomorrow with a roundup of what's new for the keiki set.


the hawaiian quilt reborn


recently, h|h reader erin sent over one of the best tips ever about the modern hawaiian quilts designed by a member of her hula halau in san francisco. since this has been one of the more elusive items on my wishlist, my curiosity was piqued and with one click i discovered quilts created in the tradition of old hawaii but with a truly modern sensibility.

designer michael pechinski introduced kapa mua, his island style modern bedding collection, back in 2005. his work reinterprets the traditional symbols of oceania like tapa cloth, tattoo designs, even the iconic feather cape worn by the ali'i, and distills them into fresh designs perfect for the modern day home.


'ahu 'ula

if you want to wrap yourself in a kapa mua design, just know that quilts are made to order which allows you to mix and match fabrics to work with your budget and space. the end result is a piece of textile art that is both an homage to our island culture and will be treasured in your home for generations to come.

take a peek at kapa mua's ha collection here.

{mahalo erin!}


slice of island life

these lovely 'ilima notecards are taken from a series of work by big island artist eve furchgott who was commissioned by the hale kuamo'o center for hawaiian language & culture at uh hilo as a teaching aid for students enrolled in hawaiian immersion programs across the state. the images of what are essentially hawaiian word cards are so evocative of life in hawaii that they make me just a little bit homesick (but in a good way).

eve, who is primarily self taught, has a way of capturing the little moments that make life in the islands so unique. her plantation children monoprint reminds me of photos of my mom & aunties as small kids in their homemade dresses back in the day.

plantation children + the want ads

take a peek at eve's website to see more of her work (the want ads shown above) and to kick start the ordering process (email, phone & usps orders welcome). and you can feel good that you are helping to make a difference since a portion of the proceeds from sales of the 'ilima notecard set goes to further the efforts of hale kuamo'o.

see more from the series (which is numbered at over 300 images) via art in the iron works' website.