Jim was born and raised in rural, Southwestern Pennsylvania where he grew up working at his father's gas station and learned how to use his hands, fix and repair cars, and developed a strong work ethic and attention to detail. Every spare moment was spent outdoors roaming through the forests or hunting and fishing. Even though he had access to numerous automotive tools, he was never allowed to use woodworking tools. His father said "Too easy to lose a finger". (Hahaha)
Shortly after finishing college, Jim went back to Pennsylvania and worked with his father until he accepted a job with the government and spent the next 28 years traveling the country and the world. Jim would read everything possible on how to cut straight, which tools he needed and how to flatten wood and cut a straight line. While traveling the world, Jim got to see the various exotic woods being used to make furniture and asked a lot of questions and re-created furniture with his own style.
So where does a Pennsylvania boy learn and appreciate the Hawaiian culture and wonderful wood? In 1995, Jim met his wife and soulmate, Melissa, on the West Coast who happened to have been born and raised in Hawaii. During numerous trips to Hawaii, Jim learned first hand how precious Hawaiian wood was specifically Koa, Mango, Monkey Pod, Lychee and Opiuma. "Ohana" in Hawaiian means family, "Aina" means The Land. Ohana Aina Woodworks (Family Land Woodworks) was born.
Jim's favorite woods to work with are Koa, Walnut, Cherry and Maple. Every piece is unique with no two pieces ever the same. All of the slabs he uses are God's gifts, each with a unique shape, figure or form to show its beauty. The walnut, cherry and maple is local, either from Virginia or Pennsylvania and all of the wood from Hawaii is shipped from Hawaii.
Jim retired from the government in 2016, owns and operates a 90 acre horse farm, Ohana Equestrian Preserve, with Melissa and builds "Wood Art" in his small, but efficient wood shop. Jim hopes you enjoy his pieces as much as he loved making them. Jim's joy comes from his family and seeing folks use his furniture.
Mahalo (Thank You)