King, Thomas

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“The beauty of woodworking,

is one of endless possibility,” says Thomas King.

Born on the Central Coast of California Thomas lived a somewhat nomadic life growing up, living in seven separate bio-regions and attending twelve different schools before graduating high school in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1972. It was 1985 when Thomas seized an opportunity to crew on a sailing vessel throughout the pacific from Australia and eventually landed in Hilo in 1986. “Before I even touched the shore I felt like this was home,” says Thomas.   After an apprenticeship with a sawmill above Volcano,  Thomas eventually found his way to the district of Ka’ū in 1990 where he still resides today. Adopting the trade name “Woods of Hawaii” Thomas struck out on his own in Ka’ū, creating jewelry boxes and craft work for the visitor industry, occasionally making time to dabble in a passionate musing for creating rustic pieces of furniture from the locally available woods, often incorporating geometric pattern designs commonly referred to as parquetry. Thomas’s designs have also evolved to incorporate marquetry and pyrography.  says Thomas. “I could keep learning new things for the rest of my life and barely scratch the surface of all there is to know about wood”. Today Thomas pursues rustic furniture from an ecological perspective, incorporating the enchanting curvaceous shapes of an alien invasive plant species “Kiawe” wood (Prosopis Pallida), and creating hybrid components utilizing vacuum veneering to fabricate laminated pieces, thus allowing for more conservative use of rare and precious figured woods. In addition, these techniques result in more stable and durable furniture. Functionality built to endure.  When he’s not creating in the woodshop Thomas will likely be found snorkeling in the warm Pacific waters, picking tunes on his guitar, or getting dirt under his fingernails in the garden.

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