Ed Perreria, whose great
grandfather came to Maui shortly after the turn of the century, has
been a worker in woods since 1972. He is a journeyman carpenter in
his "day job", and his interest in turning wood bowls began less
than ten years ago.
>Ed was building a cottage for his just-retired father, and was
thinking of something that he might do to encourage his father to
take up as a retirement activity. Spotting a wood-turning lathe for
sale, Edward suggested that his father take up bowl-making as a
hobby. The next day he found the lathe in his own garage, a gift
from his father as a way of thanking his son for building the house.
It didn't take Ed long to become addicted to bowl-turning.
Almost completely self-taught, Perreira has continued to pursue
his interest in making the Hawaiian "calabash" (the Portugese word
for a bowl, adopted by the Hawaiians). He regularly experiments with
various bowl-turning techniques and the use of exotic native woods.
He now uses a huge custom-made variable speed lathe (it looks more
like a small truck) that he designed and built out of surplus
machine tool and dye-making equipment.
Edward is one of the few bowl-makers that still makes use of what
the Hawaiians called a "pewa" (pronounced 'pee-va') or butterfly
plug. In the old days, when calabash were handed down from
one generation to the next, if a bowl developed a crack (or was made
from heart-wood containing a knothole) it was strengthened with a
pewa. Today, you can usually find these butterfly plugs only
in museum pieces, and in Edward Perreira's beautiful bowls.
This Hawaiian artisan's bowls are finished with a non-toxic
food-grade lemon wax finish, and are expected to be used for serving
foods and salads. In Hawaii, artistic beauty has always been found
in common everyday utensils that were made with skill and
aloha. Edward S. Perreira keeps this tradition alive in his
This life-long resident of Up-Country Maui has created bowls that
have found their way to Saipan, Japan, England, Europe, Canada, and
across the United States.