Tom’s interest in wood working was sparked at an early age. He grew up around an industrial machine shop and manufacturing plant, working with his Father and Grandfather on many projects and remodels. It was there that he was given his first introduction to craftsmanship and the medium of wood.
His interest in wood working has always been at the backbone of the person he is, and over the last forty years he has used it, and other materials to create a quality product that reflects the appreciation and respect he has for his craft.
Tom served his carpenters apprenticeship in New Jersey, and has built houses in California, Idaho, and Hawaii. He is currently a licensed General Contractor in the State of Hawaii, were some of his projects have even been recognized by national publications:
Publication: Honolulu Magazine, April 1997; Listed as Contractor of and
(ASID) Design Award for the Brooks Residence, Waimea, HI.
Unique Homes, February—March, 1983; Ziff-Davis Publishing Co.
Two page color layout of interior woodwork.
He has owned and operated a Cabinet and Millwork Shop, and specializes in many aspects of Fine Home Building and Fine Wood Working as well.
Working these trades over the last four decades has left Tom with what could be called, “a total satisfaction immersed in woodworking”. He is now semi-retired, and he and his wife Beth spend their time between the Big Island of Hawaii and the Central Idaho Mountains. He has workshops in both places, and is an avid collector and restorer of antique American made woodworking tools and machinery. Some of his restorations are over 100 years old, including his Yates American Equipment, and Oliver Lathes, which are also his primary woodturning machines.
Spending time in two such distinctly different places has broadened Tom’s interest in the different types of wood that each has to offer. The diversity of the native species in both places has been of particular enjoyment for him to work with, and have translated into many new and exciting design elements. Collaborating with his wife Beth who is a natural material basket maker, and using the techniques of her craft, they have integrated basketry embellishments into some of Tom’s turning designs.
All of his work is completely “Green” product. He salvages his wood from places such as the firewood pile, windfalls, standing dead, and from disaster clean-up. One of his turning specialties is producing uniformly and extremely thin pieces to the point of translucency. A wooden piece that can allow light to partially pass through it, while maintaining its structural integrity is difficult to produce. He also enjoys calling ducks and has started producing custom calls from exotic woods. Tom not allowing any waste calls this his, “Scrap Wood Project”.
Along with continuing to learn and progress as a wood turner, he spends his time being a proponent for the craft of woodturning. He is a member of the AAW (American Association of Wood Turners), an active member of the West Hawaii Wood Turners Association, and during the last three years has attended woodturning symposiums in Hawaii, Oregon, and Utah.
Representations of Tom’s work can be seen in Hawaii at the following locations:
Kamuela Farmer's Market
Every Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Isaacs Art Center
65-1274 Kawaihae Road
Kamulea, HI 96743