Our Storyat least to this point...
Tiffany DeEtte & Timothy Allan Shafto at their New Directions show at The Gallery at Hualalai in December 2013.
We first visited the Hawaiian Islands on our honeymoon in 2001 and were instantly enchanted with its incredible beauty. Three years later, we found ourselves drawn back to make Hawaii our permanent home. With Timothy’s years in stone, metal, and glass fabrication, and my years as an interior designer, we found a way to combine our talents and create together beautiful heirlooms from Hawaii. We’ve worked collaboratively and individually and produce a wide range of works from platters to vessels, calabashes, and sculptures.
But it all started with jewelry boxes and none of it would have happened without the inspiration we received from koa. Hawaiian koa wood, a species endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, has been the central focus of our work. The koa we use is reclaimed from dead, fallen, and dying trees—many of which have been lying on the ground for decades. (We made a memorable trip to a mill site high on the slopes of Mauna Kea and you can read about it here.)
Its funny how an affirmation or two keeps you going – like the awards we received at our first two shows. We knew we were on the right path – one that has meaning and purpose. Oh, and DeEtte & Allan are our middle names in case you were wondering. Tim and Tiffany and just a smidge too cute for an art business.
Many things have changed for Tim and me since we began woodworking together in 2006. We moved to the Big Island from Kauai after our first koa experience. We were, and still are, completely enchanted by the grandeur of this Island and the beauty of seeing koa trees growing. Tim became captivated by woodturning and was blessed to be given his first lessons from master woodturner, Dan DeLuz. He then spent six months apprenticing master woodturner, Elmer Adams, who was best known for his enormous wooden Mediterranean vases. Now Tim’s an award-winning woodturner in his own right.
As we were taken in by this incredible community of woodworkers, I became more aware of the creative processes these wood artists developed in order to create their spectacular work—and I was captivated. In 2009, I co-authored, produced, and published the coffee table book, Contemporary Hawaii Woodworkers; the Wood, the Art, the Aloha. The book received a couple of national awards for best design and best art book, and even an honorable mention for best design from our local book publishers association. It never would have happened without my incredible co-author and editor, Lynda McDaniel.
Driven to make a difference, I’m a past president of the Hawaii Wood Guild & Hawaii Craftsmen, and a former director for the national Craft Organization Development Association. I’ve served as the project manager for Volcano Art Center’s Hawaii Island Network of Artists project and as the administrator for Hawaii Collaboration–an amazing event bringing artists together to create. For 2013, I was partner in The Gallery at Hualalai–representing some incredibly talented local artists and meeting some incredible people.
The experience led to Tim creating these wonderful abstract paintings and to me developing a second coffee table book and my own art agency. It’s an amazing journey and we are grateful to be walking this creative path together—supporting one another—and loving every minute of it.