Tag: lana lane


Feeding the Stoke

Wooden Wave Creativity

Husband and wife team Wooden Wave keep creativity coming.

Text by Christa Hester | Images by Jonas Maon

Matt and Roxy Ortiz, the husband and wife duo behind Wooden Wave, are a lean, mean, creative team. They were one of the first to move into a workspace at Lana Lane Studios, and are regular participants in Pow Wow Hawai‘i. Previously known as Vers, the two changed their team name to Wooden Wave in 2014 to mark a shift from printmaking to painting murals. “We draw inspiration from skating and surfing, mountains and ocean,” Roxy says. “So Wooden Wave, which is another name for a half pipe, is kind of perfect for us.”

Under their new moniker, they are most known for creating murals of elaborate, sustainable treehouses. They spend most mornings at their studio, tending to the latest orphaned bird they’ve found and working on projects for clients who love their playful yet environmentally conscious art. One of the latest murals the couple has begun is for SALT, a restaurant, retail, and mixed-use space located between Coral and Keawe streets.

“For this project we want to acknowledge Kaka‘ako’s past lives and its place between mountains and ocean,” Matt says. “We’re doing a mural that’s more abstract than what we normally do, with nods to the salt farms, agriculture, and ironworks that have been here, as well as this idea that it’s a gathering place. We’re also doing an awning that’ll be draped in a hallway running mauka to makai in watercolors that shift from blue to green.”

Wooden Wave Creativity


After nine years of marriage and artistic collaboration, the couple has learned a thing or two about finding inspiration and sustaining it. Here are their tips:

Go adventuring. “Different environments reinvigorate your art,” Roxy says.

Record all your ideas. “If you get an idea and don’t document it, it’s as good as gone,” Matt says. “Keep your ideas in one sketchbook, then you can go back and have a ton of content ready to develop during a lull.”

Practice every day. “There’s this mythology of the artist who waits for inspiration to come, then works feverishly,” Roxy says. “Really, you have to get through those days of crappy sketches to get to a great idea.”

Eliminate distractions. “Mentally transition from home to work. For me, that means coffee and going to the studio,” Matt says. “If you work at home, try going to a certain room to work. And stock up on food so you don’t have to break concentration.”

Make and keep connections. “Relationships with clients and other artists support, inspire, and motivate us,” Roxy says. “Go to shows, talk to artists, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”

For more information, visit woodenwaveart.com.


Color Play

Eucalyptus Dye Hawaiian Blue

Donna Miyashiro of Hawaiian Blue shares how to make eucalyptus dye.

Text by Anna Harmon | Image by Jonas Maon | Illustration by Kiana Mosley

In the Hawaiian Blue dye room at the front of Lana Lane Studios, a vat of indigo rests quietly in the corner. Tokunari Fujibayashi and Donna Miyashiro stop in to check on it periodically, feeding it saké and honey to promote fermentation. “It’s like a child,” Miyashiro says with affection. Miyashiro grows the indigo plants for the dye in the courtyard of her ‘Aiea home, where she watches over them like a mother.

Miyashiro and Fujibayashi have also made dyes with other locally harvested materials, such as turmeric, hibiscus, and mulberry, which they use to create base colors for fabrics they then dye with indigo to create new hues. A few months back, Miyashiro was reading a weaving magazine (she and Fujibayashi, Hawaiian Blue’s founder, actually met in a weaving workshop) when she came across an article about dyeing with eucalyptus leaves in Australia. As it happens, the trees grow in Hawai‘i as well: Captain Cook championed the spread of eucalyptus from Australia throughout his travels, and numerous species were widely planted in the islands for decoration and erosion control through the mid-1900s before some were determined to be invasive (non- native and environmentally threatening). However, the only eucalyptus that Miyashiro was familiar with was that of the silver dollar species, used in floral bouquets, which has a menthol smell that she doesn’t care for. By way of the article, Miyashiro realized that a tree she already enjoyed for its slender, citrus-scented leaves was also eucalyptus.

To create her own dye, Miyashiro gathered fallen branches from beneath one such eucalyptus tree growing on a farm in Waimānalo. The end result was fabric with a beautiful golden hue. “The scent makes dyeing with eucalyptus very pleasing,” Miyashiro says. “The shade of the dye is also very calming.” And how well does it play with Hawaiian Blue’s mainstay, indigo? Together, they create a beautiful teal.

Eucalyptus Dye


Step 1: Gather dry, fallen eucalyptus leaves (any species should work). If you pick fresh leaves, let them dry. Note: Branches or bark can be used to achieve a similar color.

Step 2: Fill a five-gallon bucket or large jar three-quarters full with leaves. Then, add rainwater* until it reaches a few inches from top of container. Let soak for two days (leaving it in the sun may help quicken this process). The water will turn dark brown.

Step 3: Pour contents into a stainless steel stockpot and simmer on the stove for about two hours.

Step 4: Remove pot from stove and strain out leaves.

Step 5: To dye, place pre-washed fabric in dye liquid and let soak overnight. If fabric is linen or wool, the resulting color will be a golden tan; if cotton, a buttery yellow. (Natural fibers take much better to dye.)

Alternative: Use soaked leaves to leaf- print fabric. Place a single layer of leaves between two pieces of fabric, adding weight on top. Wait a few days, then uncover. The leaves will have dyed an imprint into the fabric.

*Rainwater is optional, but eliminates any chemicals found in tap water that may alter final results.

Hawaiian Blue products are available at Fishcake, located at 307 Kamani St. Follow Hawaiian Blue on Instagram @hawaiian.blue.