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Some New Work- Ohana, Laukolu, Puhi

Tom Mehau

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Aloha everybody,


Here are some new carvings from May. I hadn't carved anything since January and it was like these things came jumping out of the bone!




This was tattooed on a man's arm and he asked me if I thought I could carve it.

I photographed it, made a clean drawing, carved it, and this is how it ended up.

He said it was a Celtic Whales Tail design. I saw mothers and babies so it's called 'Ohana.




This one is the Laukolu design that I made before and then it broke.

I used my teacher's suggestion about leaving small shoring posts, hidden

in the spaces where the leaves cross over each other. Way stronger.




This one is the Puhi design I carved when I was in school and I wanted to try it again.

I like it better than the first one, which is pictured below.




Does anybody have any opinions about carving the same design over again? I was kind of troubled for reasons I don't really understand. Something about selling out or something along those lines. You know what though? Call me a sellout if you like, but it sure felt good paying off a big chunk of my kids' tuition.


A hui hou



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Nice work :) I carve pieces to sell to tourists, that supports my carving of other pieces. So I make a lot of dugong for example, but everyone is a little different, different posture, different material. What it means is the pieces I sell the most of I can make better, quicker and sell for more. I dont always like doing it because it can be boring but I see no problem with it- I see it as producing pieces in a similar theme. For example next time you do a moray, why not do two together?


Its quite common among carvers, even the great Donn Salt uses the same design repeatedly and the same themes.

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Thanks Lachlan. I've always liked the themed series thing. I did that a lot back in my drawing days. This is actually one of three puhi designs I've carved, but the first one I've repeated. Folks seem to like them. Thanks for the two together suggestion. Whether they're fighting or just slithering together, they're so danged awsome! Could be a nice carving.

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Hi Tom, Wow, those are so beautiful and have a really natural flowing quality.


Speaking of carving the same thing twice, since I work in wax I use my pieces as models for molds to reproduce but when I am working on that original wax model I often carve it twice. The first time I learn all the pitfalls and the second one turns out better.



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Thanks Rebecca.


So those times when you make a second wax carving, you would probably only make a mold from the second one yeah? The first one would be like a rough draft, sort of?


One of these days I'd like to try that process of making a mold from wax carving.


Anyway, thanks again.

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