Master Carousel Carver Returns to the Big Island – Carousel of Aloha Gaining Steam

Paradise Ponies, Inc., a non-profit corporation, intends to construct and operate a unique Hawai‘i-themed carousel, called the “Carousel of Aloha,” along the Volcano Heritage Corridor on Hawai‘i, the Big Island.

Paradise Ponies is offering a series of carousel-figure carving classes for those who want to be part of the community project. The first class was held last February. Master Carousel Carver Ken Means of Coquille, Oregon, taught the foundation of creating a carousel figure: starting from a drawing, to a pattern, and then creating the “blank”. A carousel blank is the block of wood made from laminated boards that become the palette for the carver.

Master Carousel Carver Ken Means

Glenn and Yen Chin

Mr. Means is again traveling from Oregon to teach this second carving class, held from February 11-22, 2013. The class cost is just $300. Special arrangements for instruction on a per day basis are available. This is a unique hands-on class where students will take mallet to chisel to begin the creation of a one of a kind carousel figure from a blank. Class size is limited to just 12 students; all levels from beginner to advanced.

“This second class in the series builds upon the skills we learned in the blank making class and begins the process of bringing the carousel figure to life,” said Paradise Ponies, Inc. President Katherine Patton. “Ultimately, the Carousel of Aloha will be the focal point of a bigger park and pavilion that will serve our community and bring everyone together,” she said.

The Carousel of Aloha will feature hand-carved Hawai‘i-themed menagerie figures like a monk seal, a green sea turtle, pa‘u style horses and a “nightingale,” (the coffee-bean toting donkeys once used on coffee plantations island-wide). It will also feature seating benches, scenic panels, mirrors and other colorful carousel amenities carved and painted by volunteers throughout Hawai‘i. An expansive pavilion will house the carousel, gift shop and other indoor spaces available to the community for art and cultural activities, recreation and entertainment. An adjacent park will add outdoor space for cultural events, and activities for families, residents and visitors to the east side of Hawai‘i Island.

Volunteers, donations, corporate sponsors and major benefactors are needed. For information on classes or how to help, go to their website or contact Katherine Patton at 808-315-1093.

An informational display, including carousel figures in progress, is shown at the Hilo Coffee Mill in Mountain View every Saturday from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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