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Seal carving donated to museum

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Posted: Monday, January 4, 2010 12:00 am

LIHU‘E — When Bob King’s wife saw a Hawaiian monk seal, it was love at first sight.

That inspired the King of the Echo Carving Team to work during one of the annual M. Kawamura Farm Expos.

“It took him only about four hours,” said Ed Kawamura. “We don’t know at which expo he did it, but his wife was working with him and did some of the finish work.”

Using an Echo chain saw, King, who has been chainsaw carving since 1998, used a piece of wood he found at the Pua Loke farm equipment outlet and carved out the piece.

“This is beautiful,” said Jane Gray, director of the Kaua‘i Museum. “It needs to be put into a better place so people can view it better and get photographs of it.”

On Thursday, the wooden seal sat next to the showcase at the museum’s entrance, the sculpture being leveled after it arrived.

King is expected to visit Kaua‘i during the expo in May, and Gray suggested he do something at the museum then to tie in with the sculptured seal.

Kawamura said over the years, King has done many sculptures, an eagle being donated to the military museum at the Kaua‘i Veterans Center, and others being on display at the family’s Pua Loke outlet.

King has always been intrigued by chain saw carving and enjoyed watching local carving events, states the Echo Web site. He considers carving as both an art form and skill.

“Being able to think in three dimension is a huge advantage,” King said. “I got my carving education through the school of hard knocks, and only recently, taken some local art classes to learn to draw and create models.”

Since its arrival, Gray said there has been a debate on the type of wood used, but based on her experience with a hardwood shop, says the piece is valued at more than $2,000.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com

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