Sunday, May 22, 2022 |
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LIHU‘E — New Year is more than a date on the calendar for the Kaua‘i Museum, which welcomed a new vendor to the Senda Gallery Thursday morning.
“We already had a pair of young girls who created some beautiful pieces,” said Keoni Pierson, also known as the “Puka Wizard,” who was picking through a pile of findings on a table while guests enjoyed the developing Filipino display. “It doesn’t take long for people to make beautiful pieces because there are a lot of things in the pile which can be used. If you dwell too long on a creation, it can drag on and on. The secret is to do it, fast.”
Pierson, who learned how to do his trade of jewelry designing and shell lei making from his dad, said Thursday’s appearance marked the first time for him to be at the Kaua‘i Museum where he is now scheduled to be available on Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
“I used to accompany my father when he went to do business at the resorts,” Pierson said.
“My job, I was just 5 years old, was to teach visitors how to make lei. I’ve been doing that ever since. That’s about 20 years now.”
He said prior to appearing at the Kaua‘i Museum, he spends three days a week at the Courtyard by Marriott at the Coconut Beach doing the same thing.
“People have a lot to choose from,” Pierson said. “When I design jewelry, the leftover pieces are added to the pile, so you know there are good things to be found.”
Ancient style fish hooks, honu, or turtles, puka shells, pieces of buffalo horn, polished kukui nuts, fused ‘opihi shells and even “sheep eye” beads are among the more prized findings in his pile, which is neatly spread out between a display of jewelry he creates using pieces from the pile.
An average bracelet takes about 10 minutes to create, he said.
“It (the lei or jewelry) can be real fast,” Pierson said. “Or, people can drag it out, taking it apart if they don’t like it, re-selecting items. The secret is to be quick. Those are the best pieces.”
Pierson can be found at the Kaua‘i Museum on Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or at the Courtyard by Marriott at Coconut Beach.
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