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

Posts tagged ‘Padilla’

Andaz Maui Features Padilla Designs Restoration

Maui Sculpture at Andaz Maui at Wailea

This past Labor Day weekend was a three-day holiday for many on Maui, but not for the employees of the just-opened Andaz Maui at Wailea.   The hotel, which is Hawaii’s first LEED-certified resort, has 297 guest rooms and suites, including seven villas with two to four bedrooms.  The resort will eventually feature two full-service restaurants: Ka’ana Kitchen, which is already open, and Morimoto Maui, by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. The resort is located at the site of the former Renaissance Wailea Beach Resort, which closed in 2007.

maui fish hook natural lava rockUpon entry to this ultra-chic property, guests will be greeted by a sculpture whose story demonstrates all the values of the Andaz Maui in one truly unique piece – the restored sculpture of the Hawaiian demi-god Maui, who is credited with raising the islands from the ocean floor with his fish hook.

Originally done by an artist in the late 1970‘s, the piece was going to be recycled, as it was in pretty bad shape after sitting on the oceanfront lawn of the Stouffers Hotel for the last 30 years.  Kainoa Horcajo, the Cultural Director for the Andaz, called on the master metal smiths at Padilla Designs to bring the statue back to life, and set about the task of finding a fitting new home for the 9 foot, 1200 pound sculpture.

andaz maui metal artwork

The new lei poo made from handcut copper maile leaves.

Padilla Designs rebuilt the hands and feet out of steel plate, sculpted a new Lei Poo around his for head out of hundreds of hand cut copper maile leafs. They also created a copper fish hook embedded in a natural lava rock as well as a sculpted copper rope link it all together.  The entire statue was then highlighted and clear coated to bring out the saturation.   Kaleo Padilla of Padilla Designs is “thrilled to see Maui resurrected to live another lifetime at the front entrance to the luxury Andaz Maui at Wailea.”

Kainoa Horcajo shared his thoughts on the statue of Maui and “my hopes for its use and integration into a larger, place-appropriate, totally Andaz front art piece:

Maui the demi-god, often called Mauiakalana, Mauiakamalo, and Mauiakamai, is the progenitor of humanity in these islands.  He is the archetypal ancestor and the embodiment of positive, uplifting values that place the good of the community over the desires of the individual.  Maui slowed the sun, lifted the sky, obtained the secret of fire, and raised the islands from the ocean.  It is this deed of raising the island from the ocean that we want to honor and highlight.

Early on in the process of creating the Andaz Maui at Wailea, the general manager Michael Stephens called me about working on a project to create a fictional story about a Japanese man that sailed across the sea and landed on the beach fronting our resort in a past time.  This man, Hyato, fell in love with a Hawaiian woman and together they created a family and built a home for them and their friends.  This home they built is the Andaz Maui at Wailea.  We used the story and the elements of it to inform bits of our design, our hiring process, and many of the details of the resort.  The characters are built around Andaz values and Hawaiian values and help us better understand who we are and why we do what we do.

Just as our mythical ancestor Hyato raised the islands from the sea by traveling Eastward into the rising sun and landing on Mokapu beach, we envision this property and building as our home that was created to house our ever-growing family.”

Padilla Designs- Masters at Work

Padilla Designs Custom Metal Gates Maui Hawaii

The fun thing about having this ‘made on maui’ blog is I get to profile everyone from artists just starting out, to masters of craft.  Larry Padilla, along with his four sons, are true Masters.  Padilla Designs was started by Larry in the late 70’s when he moved to Maui as a metal sculptor. He started doing functional artwork in the early 80’s in the form of gates and railings. After having four boys, Padilla Designs evolved into a family business, as they were able to create larger and more elaborate functional metal sculpture.  Padilla Designs now specializes in custom functional and decorative artwork, using a variety of materials including copper, brass, bronze, stainless steel and numerous hardwoods.  You’ve probably seen their gates and other metal creations around the island, and if you attended TEDxMaui 2013, you saw their Mountain Backdrop on the MACC stage, as well as their eye-catching displays in the MACC amphitheater (more TEDxMaui photos at bottom).

Padilla Backdrop Metal Stage TEDxMaui

The stunning backdrop for the TEDxMaui stage

I checked in with Kaleo Padilla, one of the sons and the company’s RME, to talk story about Padilla Designs:

Maui Made: This is a true family business- how do you all get along working together? 

KP: My brothers and I have a very close family bond. We grew up fishing, diving and surfing together. Having that in common has helped us work together for common goals for the business.  Working in a family business has its real perks. You can’t get fired but at the same time you can’t quit!  We really have the flexibility to work hard and play hard while raising our families on Maui.  I work with people I love and get to create pieces of art that will last for ever.

MM: You were featured on HGTV-  How did that happen? 

KP: HGTV contacted the family when we started doing our unique fire sculptures. I was in college at the time but they did a episode on our beautiful hawaiian flower tiki torches. It was cool to see us on national TV. I think everyone was a bit nervous for the whole production. Island boys with cameras in their face tend to be quite shy!

padilla gates and water featuresMM: What’s the biggest project you’ve ever done? 

KP: Our larger projects we call Estate Metal Design. This is when we are hired to work with the designer, architect and owner to incorporate metal sculpture into the architecture of the property. For one property we did over one million dollars in metal sculpture in the form of railings, gates, fire, water and decorative sculpture.

MM: What’s the key to a successful business on Maui? 

KP: Maui is a very small community and work of mouth is the best form of advertising. We have built our business on reputation and satisfied clients. If you do great work, have a great, honest attitude and do what you say, Maui will welcome you.

MM: What’s the best part about working on Maui? 

KP: Working on Maui has so much to offer. Working in such a beautiful environment lowers the stress level. It’s hard not to take for granted but when I get stressed a quick dip in the ocean, trip to the river or run on the beach and i’m back to new.

MM: Do you have designs on each island now?  Where is the furthest Padilla Design? 

KP: Besides Maui, we have done work on Oahu and Kauai. We’ve designed for clients all over California, and even as far as New York.  We currently have some interest from a client in Japan.

MM: What’s next for Padilla Designs? 

KP: Padilla Designs is growing really fast. This year will be a record year for us. There are more mouths to feed as the boys have children of their own so it’s going to be demanding but Maui is such a unique place and I really feel our small family business will thrive for many years to come. You may even see us as a reality TV show some day. 🙂

More Photos of some of my personal favorite Padilla designs :

Larry Padilla stands next to his client's new Custom Surf Board Racks

Larry Padilla stands next to his client’s new Custom Surf Board Racks

The boys at work :

and more photos from TEDx Maui:

Tag Cloud