Driven by a passion for Native Culture stories, legends and mythology, fine art carver, Keoni, re-imagines wood as woven and beaded basketry. Using sharpened steel, fire, inks and organic dyes, he creates story-driven artwork illusions entirely by-hand/freehand.
Keoni’s work is inspired by worldwide Tribal and First Peoples imagery. Sugar Maple wood is used as the “canvas”. Once shaped, designs are burned at high temperatures onto the wood using a single, 1/8” straight-line tool. It is not uncommon for artwork to require 25,000+ individual cuts/burns/colored cells to execute a design. Today, Keoni is among only the very few excelling in these unusual techniques – bringing to life distant memories, honored heritage and a reverence for shared tribal history. As an artist, Keoni believes himself still very new born, carving in this “touchable illusion” style only since.