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Pat Kramer and Sharon Doughtie’s home a block from kailua beach sits camouflaged behind a scruffy hedge and piles of wood wearing plastic tarps. Their woodturning shop is out back, past a vine-covered arbor. Inside sit two lathes, a carving station, wood storage, a drying box, a second soundproof carving station and shelves and shelves of half-finished bowls. And lots of sawdust.
Kramer and Doughtie both work full time as wood turners. They’ve always shared a joint workshop but have also always worked independently. Kramer says, “When I started having to boot her off my lathe, it was time she had her own.”
Their devotion to their work keeps them rooted. For Doughtie, Kailua’s essence feeds her creation. “For me to be able to get to the edge of discovery, there needs first to be a sense of comfort and connectedness,” she says. “My next series is taking a long time to develop but it’s about the water. I was walking the beach every morning, that’s where it comes from. That was my reverie time.”
Kramer says, “I have everything I need in Kailua and it’s fairly hassle-free. If I have to go to town for errands, it just fills my head with stuff.” His outlet is at the beach. “I’ve gone back to surfing after a 15-year layoff. It’s part of the balance of things. Surfing in Kailua is way different from other places. They remember surfing is supposed to be fun.” Both Doughtie and Kramer notice the tensions as Kailua housing grows denser. “But people still stop and talk to you,” Kramer notes. “We’re still a small place.”
Tamara Moan is a Kailua-based writer and artist. Her writing often focuses on Hawaiian and art topics.