Koa & Kolohala Container by John Berthiaume 3.5″H x 7.25″D $430


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Koa & Kolohala Container by John Berthiaume 3.5″H x 7.25″D $430

John Berthiaume


About the Artist

John Berthiaume is a woodworker who moved to Hawai’i from his home state of Michigan in 1978. While taking advantage of the many beautiful types of wood available in Hawai’i, he has developed his passion and talent for woodworking. He specializes in designing and crafting jewelry boxes, bowls and furniture from locally sourced wood.


Ancient Hawaiians were using the koa trunks to build waʻa (dugout outrigger canoes) and papa heʻe nalu (surfboards).  The reddish wood is very similar in strength and weight to that of Black Walnut (Juglans nigra). Because of its specific gravity of 0.55, Koa is sought for use in wood carving and furniture. Koa is also a tonewood. It is often used in the construction of ukuleles, acoustic guitars, and Weissenborn-style Hawaiian steel guitars.

The koa population has suffered from grazing and logging.  The largest koa grow in wet forest areas. Many of those have been logged out, though. Koa now comes largely from dead or dying trees or farms on private lands. Although formerly used for outrigger canoes, there are few koa remaining, large and straight enough to do so today. In areas where cattle are present, the koa regeneration is almost completely suppressed. However, if the cattle are removed, koa are among the few native Hawaiian plants able to germinate in grassland. It can be instrumental in restoring native forest.


Kolohala wood is Hawaiian pheasantwood, grown in the Hawaiian islands. It is  so named for the wood’s resemblance to the coloration and patterns found on the tail-feathers of pheasants. Pheasantwood exhibits the most figure on flatsawn sections of wood.The heartwood is a medium to dark brown, to nearly black, with ligher brown contrasting stripes, sometimes with a red or yellow hue. The striping is due to very wide parenchyma bands. The stripes of the pheasantwood tend to be light and with contrast, especially once a finish has been applied. Pheasant wood is a very close color and grain match to Desert Ironwood. It is excellent for fine articles such as boxes, pens, and more.


The dimensions listed in the ‘additional information’ table includes packing for shipment.

Koa & Kolohala Container by John Berthiaume 3.5″H x 7.25″D $430

Additional information

Weight 8.8 lbs
Dimensions 13.25 × 13.25 × 9.5 in

Honolulu, Hawaii (808) 596-0074