Prime Koa Furniture Sale thru 7/21/24 (click to preview pricing)

Norfolk Pine Vessel "Mauna Wai Meli" by Ralph Michaelis

Norfolk Pine Vessel "Mauna Wai Meli" by Ralph Michaelis


Regular price $7,790.00 Sale

Hawaii resident Ralph Michaelis was born in Miami Beach Florida and raised on Long Island, New York. He learned to appreciate art in the museums and galleries of New York City and, later New Haven. This knowledge has been applied over the last decade towards the achievement of his own artistic vision. Working to perfect his craft and elevate it to art, he has helped change the turned wood scene in Hawaii.

After moving to Hawaii he discovered the beauty of the woods that grow here and the artifacts created from them. Ralph was struck by the timeless beauty of these ancient Hawaiian wood artifacts and began to see the possibilities of this rich and varied art medium.

"I am mostly self-taught. Hawaii is the permanent home to some of the world's most renowned wood turners. Spending time in the shops and studios of these great turners has given me an excellent education in the technical aspects of woodworking.

"For the sake of originality, I prefer to look within for inspiration. Art isn't art if it doesn't express something of the artist. All of my work is instantly recognized as a vessel. I feel that this is a primal attraction to humans, as is the wood they're made from. When I carve the bowl or vase, it is to accentuate the basic form and to add other shapes which compliment the wood and add to its attractiveness. This is why I turn out only one of a kind studio pieces. Even the smaller pieces are each unique. By not exactly duplicating a particular piece I am forced to continually evolve. This growth is reflected in the changing way I address the recurrent themes in my work which are: Lava, fire, the sea and, the amazing variety of organic life here on the tropical, wet side of the big island. This constant evolution keeps the work interesting and exciting for me.

"My pieces are intended to challenge the viewer to think about more than just the vessel and the beautiful wood: The medium from which my work is sculpted is alive; it grows from an earth that is alive, seething and moving beneath us. My most important goal as an artist is to remind people of this interconnectedness between life and art and, that here in Hawaii at least, the distinction between the two is nonsensical."


Norfolk Pine

12" x 20"