News and reviews of made on Maui products and Maui-based companies and success stories. Also featuring island shopping guides

Posts tagged ‘glass’

Rick Strini – Art that Illuminates

blown glass chandelier by maui artist rick strini

The Jungle Chandelier

Rick Strini was one of the first artists to revive the age-old tradition of Italian-European glass blowing and bring it to the backyard studio movement of the 60’s.  After years of successful achievements in the art glass field, Rick moved into art glass lighting, designing “Art that Illuminates”.  In addition to being a master glass blower, Rick has been traveling the world, analyzing glass factories and studios as a glass consultant.

Rick is about to celebrate 50 years as a glass blower.

Maui Made: How did you get started with glass blowing? 

Rick Strini: I saw a teacher friend doing it and since I was already into pottery at the time, it seemed like a natural extension to go for.  My teacher friend had me build a potter kiln to fire my pots first before teaching me how to build a glass kiln.

MM: How did you end up on Maui?

RS: I’ve been coming back and forth since I was 14 years old. In 1978, I sailed here in a trimaran that I built, and went around all the islands and back to Santa Cruz. I’ve been here now full time the past 14 years.

MM: Your work has taken you around the world but you still call Maui home, what is it about Maui that you enjoy?  

RS: The water sports, and now kite surfing big waves.

MM: You are now offering your services as a glass consultant – what does that mean?

RS: My services and expertise are for hire.  I recently went to China to study a glass factory and analyze their problems and tell them how to make it more efficient.  I  also consulted on a studio in India.

MM: You got a lot of exposure when your chandelier was featured in the Hawaii remodel of Extreme Makeover Home Edition- how did that happen?

RS: I was contacted through my alliance with Forecast Lighting, and the then VP Brian Hart, by Michael Moloney the designer.  They were featuring a Hawaii home and they thought it would be good to have something made in Hawaii.  The uniqueness of my craft led them to film me working and it was edited into the show and became a hit.

Extreme Makeover Home Edition Hawaii Glass Chandelier

The Pololena Chandelier, created for Extreme Makeover Home Edition – Hawaii House

MM: What are some of your most popular products? 

RS: My Jungle Chandelier (photograph on top of post),  the Pololena (as featured on Extreme Makeover Home Edition- the above photo), Stemware, Lily vases, and Art nouveau work.

MM: What do you enjoy about the challenges of glass blowing?  

RS: The challenges in the glass is that its always moving and requires total control.  I have spent 50 years practicing the art of manipulating the glass on the blowpipe and am now considered a Master.

MM: You stay up to date on the latest technology with lighting, LED, etc, what are the challenges with creating light systems?   Does the new technology make it easier to combine with glass?  

RS: The lighting has numerous challenges including the color rendition of the glass to the light and making sure that the colors in the glass do not change and are represented accurately when you put the light to it.  Now with the new challenges of energy efficiency and LEDs in to the market it allows for major creativity that wasn’t possible before because of the “heat” of the incandescent bulbs.  Also the size, the small size of the LED can be hidden much easier as to not take away from the value of the art glass.

The biggest thing was the balancing of the gas in the LEDs to a richer more balanced Kelvin scale and color rendition.  The old Tube lights were a value of 4500K to 6000K and that was a real “grey” appearance and quite annoying. The new colors are down into the 2000k range which is closer to “white” and true color.   With the advancing technology even the LEDs are becoming more and more efficient and energy wise and well as cost effective.  Newer LEDs are even now more dimmable and come with very efficient diffusers to spread the light more effectively.

Red and Orange Glass Chandelier

The Pele Chandelier is made of 1000 pieces and is seven feet long.

MM: Where can people see and buy your work on Maui? 

RS: The pieces are available for sale at Dolphin Galleries and Maui Ocean Center, and I have pieces on display at Porto Restaurant in Maalaea, Mama’s Fish House and Milagros Restaurant in Paia.   People can also make an appointment to come by our Haiku studio

Porto Maui Art Glass artist Hawaii

Strini’s art glass and lamps on display at Porto Restaurant in Ma’alaea

MM: Can you offer any tips for artists looking to turn a hobby/passion into a career? RS: Follow your passion, be smart, and just do it.

Mahalo to Rick Strini for taking some time to help spread some ‘light’ on his amazing work, and congratulations on 50 years!

Want to see more? Besides offering custom pieces, there are many pieces available for sale on his website, including Chandeliers, Ceiling Lamps, Jellyfish Lamps, Lily Vases (Jack in the Pulpit), Glass Pumpkins, and urns.

Pele Pololena Chandelier

The Pele Pololena Chandelier

blown glass funeral urn

Funeral Urn

Jellyfish Pendant Lamp

Jellyfish Pendant Lamp

(Part of the Masters at Work Series)

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Maui Made Weddings – A ‘make your own’ Wedding Guide

As a popular location for destination weddings, Maui has no shortage of talented people who can help make your wedding a unique and memorable event.  Once you settle on the big stuff, the venue, caterers, photographers, the groom, here are some of the options available to put the icing on the proverbial wedding cake.

Gown with the Wind {The dress}:  If you arrive on Maui without the perfect dress, fear not, since Maui-based designer Tamara Catz has a beautiful shop in Paia with a selection of bridal gowns that would be ideal for a beach wedding.  The dresses are available online as well.

One of the gorgeous bridal gown options at Tamara Catz

One of the gorgeous bridal gown options at Tamara Catz

From Ear to Eternity {The jewels}: Looking for the perfect earrings, or a one-of-a-kind gift for your bridesmaids?  Jewelry designer Valerie Dunne has just launched a bridal collection and will create custom jewelry for the bride or bridal party, whether you are getting married on Maui, or she offers shipping and gift wrapping if not!   Valerie shared that this line was “inspired by the beach, and designed for brides who love the islands.  They would also make great anniversary gifts.”  These designs would be the perfect compliment for your tropical attire, or bring a touch of aloha to any mainland wedding.

Something borrowed, something old {the props}: Perhaps we have Pinterest to thank for the current popularity of the wedding prop rentals industry. Maui is lucky enough to have Melissa Padilla, a talented event designer who happens to have an impressive collection of furniture and decor rentals for Maui weddings and photo shoots. Melissa’s new company Opihi Love offers a unique blend of Hawaiian, industrial, rustic, and vintage décor, with items ranging from local bottles and skeleton keys to steamer trunks and custom made floral living walls.

{and i know you are going to ask anyway: These amazing photos are by Tamiz Photography}

“All my tables are made on Maui,” stated Melissa, “the vintage items I find are all from estate sales and auctions on Maui, and I have collected a wide selection of Hawaiiana Treasures, including wooden dairy boxes from Puunene Dairy.  I try to bring one element to each wedding that is made on Maui even if I sneak in a Maui Soda bottle with some flowers for the powder room.” With Opihi Love at the helm of your décor, you’ll end up with your own Pinterest-worthy event!

A Touch of Glass {cake toppers, favors and gifts}: With all the ways to personalize a wedding, cake toppers are certainly no exception.  Kai Pua Gallery on Lahaina’s Front Street now offers custom made glass sculpted cake toppers.  Kai Pua also offers a wide variety of glass wine-stoppers, wine charms, and sculptures which would make unique gifts for wedding party, fun wedding décor, or memorable favors for your guests.

{even more amazing photographs courtesy of Natalie Brown Photography}

The glass items can be customized for your wedding, incorporating personalized color options and more: “Let us know your theme and we can create something special for your big day!” shared Anna Keay and John Lindquist of Kai Pua Gallery.

Pretty as a Painting {portrait of your bouquet}: For something a little different than the typical photographs, Anna Keay can also create a custom oil painting of your bridal bouquet, just supply a picture!

Bridal Bouquet Painting, Commisison

A portrait of your bridal bouquet by Maui’s own Anna Keay

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