The Nicoya design reflects sand patterns on our favorite beach in Costa Rica on the Nicoya Peninsula. Nicoya literally translated from its indigenous name means “on both sides water.” This peninsula is rich with beautiful beaches of various sand colors and tones. The juxtaposition of lighter sand with the dark volcanic sand forms striations that are worked into this design. Watching these patterns illuminate each evening at sunset, certainly contributes to the magic of Costa Rica and Pura Vida.
Nalu is a Hawaiian word that refers to water, more specifically to a wave. This design was made from sticks found on the beach after a big rain here on the North Shore. Large rains will wash out debris from local rivers, and the ocean currents and tides will push debris up onto the beach. The word “nalu” also subtly refers to contemplation and meditation, something that is hard not to do while sitting in the surf or riding a wave in such a magical and beautiful place.
The Puka design was created from a necklace made of thick puka shells and black pearls that my husband gave me years ago. It had broken, and I used the puka shell pieces to forge the image. Found on certain Hawaiian beaches, puka shells are rounded shell fragments, usually pieces of cone or sea snail shells. “Puka,” meaning hole in Hawaiian, refers to the naturally occurring hole in the center of the shell pieces. These shells are one of the many gifts nature provides on the islands, another reminder of the local expression “lucky we live Hawaii.”
The Vicki , one of Two Li Design’s firsts, is a succulent unexpectedly found and oddly thriving on the lanai of one of my favorite places to eat here on the North Shore. I became obsessed with this particular fat, fleshy plant that haunted me when playing with its image. I deserted her for another in Southern California, a more fitting environment, whom I mistakenly thought would be a cleaner, better image, only to return to her because she was "the one." She is named “Vicki” after my friend, a world traveler who loved her as much as I did and believed in us both.
The Jaipur design is inspired by the sandstone screens of Hawa Mahal, the “Palace of the Winds” in Jaipur, India. After traveling overland from Varanasi during monsoon season in the early 90s, a friend and I found refuge in the pink city. The screens on the palace were constructed so royal women could peer out without being seen. The exterior designs of the palace vary, however, I detracted rings from the image, and love the retro feel that the final product has.
Taki is Two Li Design’s take on Indonesian Ikat print. Manipulated from a wooden gate found while wandering the streets with Indonesia on my mind and a plane ticket in hand. The waves and texture of the wood evoke the feel of the complex woven texture of Ikat, one of my favorite textiles. As much as I travel and love life in Hawaii, the lure of Indonesia has called me back again and again over the past 20 years.
Ginger is a simple story really. Although native to Malaysia, Red Ginger is found all over the Hawaiian islands and our backyard is no exception. Photographed from many different angles this image became my favorite. I love the simplicity and subtle complexities of the form, which reminds me of both my home and my life, no matter where I go or travel.
Topkapi is inspired by the arches, screens, tilework and mosaics of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey. Where East meets West, the pattern derived has both a symmetrical, predictable flow, yet it is interrupted in a suspended oblique pattern, as the mosaics of the palace can be. Standing on a boat in the Bosphorus Strait with the view of Topkapi Palace is an awe-inspiring moment etched in my mind, but the palace itself stayed in my heart and inspired this design.
Lantern is reminiscent of the bamboo lanterns in a market in Vientiane, Laos. Although the image was found in a structural grate, while working on it the memory of eating hot, spicy pho in 90 degree heat of mid-day would not leave my mind. What I love most about this design is that it was once again discovered with my children on an ordinary day of errands here at home in Hawaii.
The N-Park image was derived from concrete blocks of a structure in urban San Diego. I had wandered by this building earlier in the day and went back to get my camera, but had to stand on the trunk of a car to capture the shot. The porous imperfections of the image are from the holes in the concrete. While a simple fabricated block design, its organic nature is compelling.
C-Town is derived from Honolulu’s Chinatown streets. On an adventure with my two boys to find our favorite coconut Jin Dui (fried and stuffed mochi rice flour balls), I snapped a shot of this expanded metal grating. It is both masculine and feminine, and its imperfection is somehow satisfying. This is one of Two Li Design firsts and a great way to blend two colors.
Canggu represents the flower design of a wooden day bed found in a friend’s home in Canggu, Bali and replicated on our lanai here on the North Shore. The four carved flowers are simple, yet the image printed become less simple, imperfect, and altering. The simple life of rice farming in Canggu has become like many parts of Bali, beautiful and loved by so many, but ever evolving and changing.