Category Archives: David Reisland

As a fifth generation woodworker, sometimes I believe the need to be in the studio is in my bones. My passion for woodworking has driven a career of over thirty years and continues to fuel my creative process.

My journey to becoming the woodworker of my heritage has often been the road less traveled. I have built scores of houses, stores, banks, cabinets, boxes and custom motorcycles. I have been a union carpenter, a long haul truck driver and a helicopter mechanic. I have tanned hides and dug ditches for pipe larger than me. I have flown old airplanes and helicopters. I have driven fast cars and faster motorcycles. I have an iron pterodactyl living in my front yard.

Along the way I developed a passion for Asian art and architecture and the designs of the Arts and Crafts movement. George Nakishima, Sam Maloof, the Greene brothers and Frank Lloyd Wright, have influenced me. I draw inspiration from the things that surround me, both natural and manmade. I have used these influences to create not only furniture, but also metal sculpture.

These influences and 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. This involves a thousand skills learned not only from my woodworking background, but all the various things that I have done. 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 have followed a dream and it has brought me here, to the Big Island of Hawaii. In this place I have put all the pieces of me together. Now I do the work I love. My wife works with me in the studio, my son surfs and we get to swim with the turtles. I enjoy the community of gifted artists here. Every day I get to work with “big boy tools” and chose the project that I will create. I follow the wood; it shows the way. I honor it and I try to find its ultimate use. Koa was the wood of the Ali’i (Hawaiian Royalty), it should be respected. I do my best.


Ku reliquery made of koa and assorted Hawaiian-grown woods Dimensions: 22″ x 56″ x 12″ Artist:  David Reisland

Plumeria Bench

Plumeria Bench made of koa Dimensions: 72″ x 34″ x 30″ Artist:  David Reisland

  • 2021 Hawaii’s Woodshow™

    Hawaii Opera Plaza
    848 S. Beretania Street, Honolulu
    Nov. 20 – Dec. 5