Isaacs Art Center

Dan DeLuz (1934-2012)

Dan DeLuz (1934- 2012)

Dan DeLuz, the boy from Pa‘auilo who grew up in Hilo, spent his first career on O‘ahu as a roofing contractor. After returning to Hilo in the 1968, Dan had a chance encounter with a lathe while repairing his neighbor’s roof. Dan mentioned he’d like to buy it and his neighbor gave it to him—a serendipitous moment that transformed Dan’s life. Listening to his stories about using truck springs for gouges and building his own lathe out of a ’47 Chevy truck transmission, Dan’s passion for his craft was obvious. That passion led him to become world-renowned for his thin-rimmed, beautifully balanced calabashes—though fame never was a goal for the very humble Dan.

In 1970, Dan opened his first woodshop, Hawaiian Handcraft, on Kino‘ole Street in Hilo. He later moved to Kilauea Street and renamed it Dan DeLuz Woods.

The Hawai‘i Wood Guild's 26th Annual Exhibit dedicated their Exhibit in loving memory of their honorary member, Dan DeLuz—"a man who taught many of us so much, openly shared everything he learned from his path of mastering his art, and inspired a generation of woodworkers. You could stop by his shop any time and generally find him turning, carving, or sanding. He’d always take a break to talk story and answer questions. His wisdom came from years of doing what he loved. Watching him turn was a joy—the ribbons of shavings piling up at his feet as he guided the gouge in a seemingly effortless way—the way only years of practice turning beautiful calabashes could create. Dan began woodturning long before it was “cool” and generously gave lessons to anyone interested in learning. Born and raised on this Island, he embodied the spirit of Aloha. His gentle spirit, kindness, and sharing will greatly be missed by our entire community".