Peter Naramore


Janet Naramore

The Naramore Workshop

The Kingswood Shop

Peter Naramore & The Kingswood Shop

Fact Sheet

1. Editorial Description

Peter Naramore

For over thirty years, master craftsman Peter Naramore has turned the desires of his clients into fine handcrafted furniture. Naramore handcrafted furniture is notable for
classic lines and sound construction based on traditional joinery, hand carved details and inlays. Elegant Hawaiian koa wood distinguishes much of his production supported by maple, walnut and local hardwoods, such as camphor and mango. Final surfaces and finishes bring out the depth and beauty of the wood and preserve its integrity.

With thirty years of handcrafting experience, Naramore has an extensive portfolio of styles adapted to meet the needs of 21st century living. Largely self-taught, he adapts traditional forms and develops original designs to express a client’s taste and environment. His goal is to produce fine furniture tuned to the personality of each client; furniture that will satisfy as much 50 years from now as it does today.

Born and raised near Rochester, New York, Naramore started carpentry at age 15, refined his traditional crafts techniques in Sweden and while roaming the United States in his homemade camper with a sign on the back, “Traveling Carpenter, Enquire Within.” In 1976, he moved to Maui and established his handcrafted furniture business.

Much of his time in spent on commissions from clients who collect his work. Now his main challenges are keeping up with commissions and supervising the opening of The Kingswood Shop.

The Kingswood Shop

Peter Naramore, nationally recognized furniture designer and craftsman, personally selected over one hundred pieces of finely crafted European and American antiques and brought them to Maui. He says, “I look for pieces that show good design, beautiful wood and sound craftsmanship for people who want to live with fine antiques and pass them on to their children.” They will be displayed in The Kingswood Shop, a striking new gallery, built for this collection next to his workshop in Keokea. Also on display is custom designed, handcrafted, heirloom koa furniture by Mr. Naramore. The Kingswood Shop at 8900 Kula Highway, Keokea, Maui, is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and by appointment, call (808) 878-3626 or visit www.peternaramore.com.

Peter and Janet Naramore have a lifelong passion for antiques. On buying trips to the mainland, they personally select quality pieces, from a range of period styles. Carefully packed and shipped to Maui, they are brought into fine condition in the workshop. Having a gallery to display the collection has long been their dream, now realized in The Kingswood Shop. A former wood drying and storage building was converted into a five hundred square foot gallery for the display of antiques and handcrafted furniture.

2. Company Background

Peter Naramore’s mission is to create handcrafted furniture of exceptional quality and lasting beauty, using hand-selected hardwoods, time-honored joinery and hand-rubbed finishes. Naramore goes beyond confines of the traditional work and materials. It is his belief that, “each project offers me the opportunity to grow exponentially, to continue learning from everything that came before me, and all that surrounds me.” His portfolio contains many pieces of his own design that are built with maple or walnut as well as handpicked Hawaiian koa. From his spacious, well equipped shop he offers a wide variety of woodworking services to both commercial and residential customers.

Furniture Design

Peter has a talent for visualizing the desires and needs of his clients. Clients can get an idea of the type of work and range of styles Peter has worked in from his extensive portfolio. He favors contemporary interpretations of classic styles with simple and timeless lines. His designs are drawn from design traditions ranging from Chippendale to Shaker and Arts & Crafts to Art Deco. His designs are informed but not bound by tradition. He enjoys taking traditional forms and adapting the shape to express a client’s taste and environment. He has an open mind that welcomes opportunities to explore new design ideas.

Most of Peter’s work is done as commissions from word of mouth or from clients who collect his work. Commissioning an original work can be a rewarding experience with client and craftsman coming together to create a new and distinctive piece. Peter encourages clients to become involved in the design process.

Working in a variety of styles adapted to meet the needs of 21st century living, he collaborates with his clients to reflect their unique needs and taste. He works toward a design that can complement and coexist peacefully with other furnishings in client’s homes. His designs begin with the practical considerations of where and how the piece will be used. Each piece of custom handcrafted furniture fits into your life as a solution to concerns about where to sit, to eat, to work, to relax, to sleep and to store.

Design and craftsmanship work together to make Naramore furniture pleasing to the eye, comfortable and durable. His designs emphasize the nature of the wood and utilize joinery, construction details and finish to produce furniture with integrity. The result is a fine piece tuned to the personality of each client; furniture his clients come to treasure.

Materials

Hawaii’s preference in furniture is for the native koa wood. Indigenous wood reflects the life of the area it comes from, adding integrity and commitment to the piece and its owner. Peter works extensively in handpicked koa as well as maple, cherry, walnut and other Hawaiian hardwoods.

Koa (Acacia koa) grows only in the Hawaiian islands in all areas from 1,500-7,000 feet elevation. Mature koa trees can reach 120 feet in height and have 8’ diameter trunks. In dense forest, the tree trunks can grow for 80 feet, free of branches. Koa weighs about 50 pounds per cubic foot, air-dry. The wood has high crush resistance and shock absorbency. Koa has a thin, light-colored sapwood. The heartwood has been described as lustrous, swirled marble. It is a reddish brown to dark brown wood, occasionally showing tones of gold, black, and deep purple.

Koa’s interlocking grain provides a greater strength and stiffness than walnut. In experienced hands, koa works with both hand and power tools and can be sanded to a silky finish. Resins make koa wood somewhat resistant to insects and fungus. Koa ranks as a world class cabinet wood of exceptional beauty and quality. It can be worked into fine furniture, sculpture, turnings, and musical instruments. Most koa has a three-dimensional quality which makes its surface seem transparent. Swirls and waves in choice pieces of the wood are spectacular. The curly wood is carefully worked by fine craftsmen to create jewel-like furniture to be treasured for generations.

Small mills in the islands now process the wood, only at a premium price. The dearness of koa ensures that furniture made of it will hold a high value well into the future. Peter Naramore has been sawing, drying and storing koa wood for over 20 years. His substantial stock of high quality koa allows him to select only the finest for his client’s furniture projects.

Construction

Peter prefers the time-honored techniques of traditional joinery to construct heirloom quality furniture. Mortise and tenon, hand cut dovetails and spline joinery are all employed, as necessary, to ensure and maintain the integrity of the joint. Marquetry and hand-carved details add personality. He uses the tooling, glues, and finishes that are both modern and time-tested as best for traditional furniture making.

Final surfaces are created using scrapers and sandpaper. Finishes are carefully selected to bring out the depth and beauty of the wood, to preserve its integrity. A finish is meant to draw the light and allow it to play on the wood fibers, bringing out the very richest aspects of the wood’s character. A finish also protects the wood while allowing it to age beautifully. Peter uses oil, wax, varnish and lacquer finishing processes as appropriate to each project. Hand-finishing produces a subtle overall luster that develops a rich patina over time. Clients are encouraged to learn how to maintain the finish and luster of each piece.

A chest of drawers built of solid wood has the ability to expand and contract with the wood’s natural movement due to changes in humidity. The mortise and tenon drawer frames, glued only at the front, allow for this movement without sacrificing strength. Dovetails are used where strength is most needed. Rails and stretchers are often best reinforced by a simple dovetail. Drawer bodies are always dovetailed to combat the constant pulling force required. No metal hardware is used to hang or guide drawers.

Peter recommends dusting using only a soft, dry cotton cloth. For cleaning and maintenance of the finish each piece must be treated according the instructions that come with it. Solvent-based formulas and any polishes with silicone in the formula are to be avoided. For heavy cleanup, Peter suggests mixing Murphy’s oil soap in water and lightly dampening a cloth. Prolonged exposure of furniture to direct sunlight causes the wood to dry out. To reduce this problem, apply a top quality lemon oil. Apply the oil to a dry cloth and use sparingly. Let the oil penetrate for a few minutes, then wipe dry with a clean, soft cotton cloth. A coat of wax may be applied 48 hours later, or you may use the lemon oil more frequently. Fine furniture must be kept out of direct sunlight to prevent damage from ultraviolet radiation.

Peter has the necessary skills and judgment to tackle any furniture commission. The Naramore shop can design and build custom work for home or office including furniture, library walls, built-in cabinetry and millwork. Shop skills include veneering, carving, turning, hand-cut joinery and finishing. By maintaining complete control over his operation, Peter can ensure the integrity of design and construction.

Client Services

Necessarily, creating custom handcrafted furniture is a patient process. Current lead-time for orders is 12-16 weeks. Occasionally, some pieces can be fit in to production and delivered sooner. We do our best to estimate delivery times. Please call for current lead-time estimates. Custom handcrafted furniture is built a piece at a time to withstand the rigors of everyday use. It can be fully guaranteed against defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the original owner. Peter has an unyielding commitment to client service that has kept them loyal over the years. Each piece is signed to authenticate its origin and craftsmanship and so Naramore originals get passed on to future generations as valued antiques.

Naramore ships furniture anywhere in the United States or the world. Delivery is usually subcontracted to a bonded & insured freight forwarder. A 50% nonrefundable deposit is required with each order. The balance is due upon delivery. A written confirmation of order acceptance, estimated delivery time and balance due including packing, shipping & handling and applicable taxes is sent. For full custom work, a nonrefundable design services deposit is required.

The Kingswood Shop showroom is five hundred square feet. The Naramore woodworking shop is twelve hundred square feet. The drying and lumber room has an additional five hundred square feet. The shop has general purpose, heavy duty machines and the hand tools common to a fine woodshop.

3. Brief Biographies

Born and raised near Rochester, New York, Naramore started carpentry at age 15, refined his traditional crafts techniques in Sweden and while roaming the United States in his homemade camper with a sign on the back, “Traveling Carpenter, Enquire Within.” In 1976, he moved to Maui and established his handcrafted furniture business.
Much of his time in spent on commissions from clients who collect his work. Now his main challenges are keeping up with commissions and supervising the opening of The Kingswood Shop.

Janet Naramore was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. During the mid-1950s, she moved with her family to Southern California. Janet studied art and dance until her interest led her to become an early childhood educator. Janet recently retired from her career as an early childhood educator where she taught both independently and with the Haleakala Waldorf School. Her interest in art and design expressed itself in the couple’s Keokea home which reflects their dedication to artful living in a beautiful surrounding.

4. Publication Notice

Peter Naramore has been the subject of many newspaper and magazine articles. Over the years his work has received national recognition in magazines such as Fine Woodworking and the Taunton Press’ Design Books, Numbers Four, Five, Six and Seven.

Peter’s furniture has been displayed seven times at Art Maui from 1985 to 2002. It has been shown in the Hana Coast Gallery and the Dennis Williams Gallery. Many pieces are in private collections both locally and nationally.

Peter is a founding member and Vice President of the Maui Woodworkers Guild, P.O. Box 826 Makawao, Hl 96768. The Guild has forty members who meet every six weeks at each others workshops to share knowledge, sources of supply, inspiration and camaraderie.

5. Client and Professional Comment

“This is just a brief note to tell you how extremely pleased I am with the desk you made for me. It is stunningly beautiful and your craftsmanship is outstanding, as always. It looks so perfect in my office and I can’t help but admire this extraordinary piece you made. Thank you so much for your flawless attention to detail.”
William E. Simon Jr.

“I just wanted to write you a short note to thank you for the absolutely beautiful chairs. You have truly outdone yourself this time and we couldn’t be more delighted. The chairs are both presently in my office where they are going to stay.”
William E. Simon Jr.

“There is no way to measure the excellence of your work; the thoughtfulness and care and love reflected in all you undertake is, indeed, without measure.”
Paul I. Fagan III

“The tables arrived in perfect condition. You built one hell of a crate! They are beautiful and add to our living room. Joan loves them and so do I. Thanks for your excellent craftsmanship!
Pat Thomas

from "The Custom Furniture Source Book" by Kerry Pierce, Taunton Press 2001

“Many independent furniture makers handpick the material they use in their work, but not all go as deeply into that process as Peter Naramore. In addition to choosing his material, he also dries it and in some cases participates in the logging of the timber from which that material will be cut.

Working primarily in koa, a species found only in Hawaii, Naramore builds in a broad range of styles. Thirty years as a designer/craftsman have given him the confidence to move in and out of many stylistic traditions.”

For further information, please contact:

Peter Naramore
The Kingswood Shop
8900 Kula Highway,
Keokea, HI 96790
Phone: (808) 878-3626
Email; peter@peternaramore.com
Website: www.peternaramore.com

You can reach us at:
Peter Naramore
The Kingswood Shop
8900 Kula Highway
Maui, HI 96790
Phone (808) 878-3626 Fax: (808) 878-3626
Email: peternaramore@maui.net
www.peternaramore.com

© Peter Naramore 2004