Tom and his wife Vicki moved to the Big Island of Hawaii in 1988 to teach scuba diving. Soon afterward he became a Merchant Marine Master Captain. Tom's love of the ocean and teaching meshed with another passion...art. As a self-taught, natural artist, Tom began experimenting with various mediums at a young age. To use his words, "there doesn't seem to be anything I can't learn to do with a little practice". He was drawn to wood carving, and in 1994, in his spare time, began creating beautiful Koa sculptures of sea life and female figures.
Tom's first large sculpture, in 1994, was a turtle carved from Ohia wood. He didn't think it was good enough to sell, but his wife, Vicki, convinced him to enter it in the Big Island Woodworkers Guild Annual Show. The turtle sold for a very good price, and a local gallery asked if they could display his work. The rest as they say is history.
In 1999, Thomas was struck by a truck while in a crosswalk. Due to the multiple injuries and surgeries, Tom was never able to return to dive instructing or driving boats.
But there is always a silver lining... Thomas started concentrating on his artwork full time. He now does wood sculptures, paintings, pen and ink drawings, and anything else that strikes his fancy or is requested by a client.
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