Volcano Art Center Featured Artists

David Reisland

David Reisland

David and his wife Doni have lived on the Big Island since 1999. A fifth generation carpenter, he has been creating furniture since 1986. Their son Matt mills the logs into lumber that they use to build their furniture. David has attended woodworking and metalworking seminars and classes in numerous professional venues. George Nakashima’s book “Soul of a Tree” was a major influence in his decision to build art furniture full time. He began marquetry after attending a class taught by Silas Kopf.
All the Koa, Mango, and Milo used in their work comes from the Big Island. Each piece of wood is selected for a specific part based on grain direction and color. The skill necessary to produce curved joinery without glue lines or gaps takes years of refining to master. Marquetry as well takes skill, patience, and precision to create pieces without gaps or glue lines. Hand work and attention to detail cannot be hurried.
“The driving forces within me cause a continual striving for perfection. I seek to balance the aesthetic with the engineering to create an object of beauty never before seen. My best designs come from what I can’t build—yet. I design things without any attention to how I’ll build them. A piece may have a curved door and I’m told I cannot put hinges on it. Well, tell me something cannot be done and I’ll just have to figure out a way to do it. I combine the art with the craft so the spirit of the tree can live on as a piece of fine furniture enriching the lives of the people for whom it was created. I follow the wood; it shows the way. Koa was the wood of the Ali`i; it should be respected. I do my best.”
To care for the work, clean with a damp cloth and wipe dry. Avoid wax, furniture polishes, moisture, and harsh chemicals.

IMG_0664View more work by David and Doni Reisland by visiting their page on our online store here.