By Léo Azambuja

BDmZeL4E8bnjKvzbHawai‘i Craftsmen’s Aha Hana Lima program will be offering a rare opportunity to learn from a visiting artist this week.

North Carolina wood sculptor Mike Gardner will be hosting a free lecture at an art gallery in Koloa this Thursday, and teaching a three-day workshop starting Friday.

“I work primarily in green wood, as it is readily available to me in quantity and size,” Gardner said in a press release. “This influences the work as not every piece I want to make can be made from any random log. So, in a way, working with wood the way I do is a bit like using found objects in sculpture.”

prbKlQNZThe Kaua‘i Director of Hawai‘i Craftsmen, Kat Cowan, said the Aha Hana Lima is an annual event on O‘ahu, but this year the nonprofit is making the program available to outer islands.

“Traditionally, they’ve always been on O‘ahu, so we’re lucky,” Cowan said.

On Thursday, Gardner is giving a free lecture at Galerie 103 at The Shops at Kukui‘ula, with a slide show at 5:30 p.m. The gallery’s address is 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka Rd.

0TEseufQThe worskshop will the taught at Kaua‘i Woodturners in Kalaheo Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m.

This class is intended to reboot the perception of wood as a material for sculpture, according to the release. Students begin with green logs and dry timber, utilizing several tools and techniques 
to find the most direct path from idea to form.

Gardner will teach techniques that utilize chainsaws, chisels, and other traditional woodworking tools and equipment. Surface treatments and textures — to enhance forms and ideas — will also be used.

The focus of the demonstrations and conversations will be on safety, efficiency and the nature of wood as a material. Electric chainsaws will be provided.



“I like that the material differs from species to species, and tree to tree, which presents new challenges and opportunities,” Gardner said. “I may have an idea for a piece and have to let it sit in a sketchbook until the right piece of wood appears. In other cases a piece of wood, its size and proportions, may suggest a particular approach to me and send me off in a whole new direction.”

He said he enjoys the process of discovery whenever he starts a new piece.

“There is a back and forth between me and the material as I try to find the best way to utilize what it has to offer,” Gardner said.

Hawai‘i Craftsmen is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting fine craft in Hawai‘i’s art community since 1966.

Gardner6and8Visit to register for the workshop. Space is limited.

Gardner has taught at Anderson Ranch, Arrowmont, and the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. He is represented by Signature Shop and Gallery in Atlanta. He has work in many national collections, including at the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the Yale Art Gallery and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Visit for more information.