I took over as our club’s coordinator for visiting demonstrators in 2008. How do we determine who the demonstrators will be? Most often, it is by networking and word-of-mouth. Often a demonstrator will send out a feeler saying he/she would like to be considered. Some will contact us because we are approximately midpoint to another gig in the Orient or Australia/New Zealand. Each of our clubs are independent, and whenever a demonstrator is put up as a prospect, the coordinators from each club will poll either the membership or executive committee of their respective clubs to decide if the club is willing to sponsor the demonstrator. Realistically speaking, we are talking about two successive week-ends. Multiple venues help to amortize the cost of getting to the middle of the ocean and the demonstrator (and companion, if not traveling solo), has a week of ‘play’ in between. On the Big Island, if both clubs choose to co-sponsor, a venue between the clubs is chosen to cut down on the commute time. ( They don’t call it the “big island” for nothing). A new club recently got organized on Kauai island, which presents an added wrinkle to the scheduling effort. Fees for attending the demonstrations and hands-on sessions varies from club to club.
The clubs have formalized a policy of not paying for the cost of a demonstrator to get to Hawaii. We feel that demonstrating in Hawaii should be considered a working or subsidized vacation, and he/she should want to visit Hawaii enough to consider absorbing the cost of travel to get here.
What follows are more or less candid shots of demonstrators who have been our guests. For a more comprehensive view of demonstrators since 2006, please refer to our club website: honoluluwoodturners.org, under the Events listing.
Mike and Jenni were married in Hawaii, so their return in January of 2008 was like a second honeymoon. I asked Jeni if she went with Mike to many of his demo gigs, as she has her own career. She said: “Only the good places”. They like the outdoors and did active things during the week days. Mike said what he enjoys is listening in the morning to the different bird sounds that we have when light first dawns.
David and Mike at the demo. Mike is an amazing turner that you have to see in person to really begin to appreciate his talent. What really impresses is the comfort level he has going from project to project during his demos.
Eli Avisera: May 2009
Eli really puts a lot of effort into his demos, and does not relax until they are over. But afterward, he could relax a bit and enjoyed a stroll on Kailua beach. He really likes Hawaii, and talked about bringing his wife with him for another visit. He was a great guest and seemed to enjoy his stay here.
Kip and Kim Christensen: July 2011
Kip is the second demonstrator to pay a repeat visit to Hawaii. I believe the first was Graeme Priddle. Kip went fishing in Kona for the second time, and he also bagged a billfish this time. He and Kim played tourist on Oahu most of the week days–our economy appreciates their contributions. Kip orders the same meal in a lot of places to gauge the food quality, in this case, Fish & Chips. Unfortunately he was not impressed with our local establishment. I emailed him later of another restaurant in Honolulu where he could order the same and have better results. Kip loves his ice cream after dinner…Kim regaled us with stories of their grandchildren…
Keith and Lisa Tompkins November 2011
With the advent of the Kauai Woodturners group, Keith was the first demonstrator to do the Hawaii Hat Trick–three islands in two weeks. Keith and Lisa started out in Kona, then went to Kauai mid-week, and spent the following week-end on Oahu. This was their first time in the islands, and I guess they enjoyed it. “Best vacation ever”, I believe is what Lisa called it. They stayed nearby with Sandy Rhines and Julie as our house was a sick bay at the time. We managed to get in some sight seeing and had the use of one of our vehicles to get around. At the demos members enjoyed how Keith shared his experiences and where he gets inspiration from. He is a very creative person and the people who were fortunate enough to attend the hands-on really enjoyed the occasion.
Foster Gardens is an oasis on the outskirts of urban Honolulu. With large, mature specimens of trees with soaring canopies overhead, you can almost forget the sound of the adjacent H-1 freeway. This spot is always a hit with woodturners, with lots of palm varieties, tropical ginger and heloconia, and exotics like the Cannonball tree.
On the day we went sight seeing we stopped for lunch at Nico’s at Pier 38. This place is always crowded because the counter service is quick and organized and the seafood is great. If you get an outside picnic table you can sit and enjoy the views of the fishing vessels nearby. Too bad I ‘foound’ this restaurant after Kip left, for he would have enjoyed the fish and chips!