Getting All Fired Up For Raku And Poke

Hawaii Craftsmens’ Raku Ho‘olaule‘a celebrates 39 years May 22-25 with a beachside event at Camp Mokule‘ia on Oahu’s North Shore. Hawaii Craftsmen is a nonprofit organization of about 300 member artists working in clay, wood, glass, fiber and metal, whose mission is to enhance the public’s exposure to and appreciation of threedimensional art through education and exhibition.

Ceramic artist Jeff Chang at work PHOTO FROM JEFF CHANG

Ceramic artist Jeff Chang at work PHOTO FROM JEFF CHANG

Jeff Chang, a ceramic artist for more than 40 years, has participated in Raku Ho‘olaule‘a since its inception. His pieces often have been chosen for the Gallery exhibit, which follows the ho‘oluale‘a, and he has won several awards.

In 1996, Jeff and wife Karon opened their first fine crafts gallery, and the shop now is located at Windward Mall in Kaneohe. Along with raku vessels, Jeff creates an assortment of beautiful stoneware pieces, and the gallery features gorgeous gifts and jewelry from Hawaii and Mainland artists.

Raku firing originated in ancient Japan as a way to create implements for Cha No Yu, or the Way of Tea. Each year, Raku Ho‘olaule‘a brings together artists of all ages from all over the world to raku-fire their ceramic artwork at the beach.

At the end of the weekend, guest artists Charlie and Linda Riggs from North Carolina will jury the artists’ work and select the best pieces to be exhibited June 2-27 at The ARTS at Marks Garage. There also will be artist demonstrations June 5 during Chinatown’s “First Friday” program. For more information, visit

This column is dedicated to Jeff Chang. With the weather getting warmer, this is an easy potluck dish or a good snack.

Poke is a Hawaiian word meaning to slice or cut, and is traditionally bite-sized pieces of raw, fresh fish mixed with seaweed and various seasonings. Poke can be found in most supermarkets in Hawaii, and is served as a snack, appetizer or lunch; homemade poke usually is flavored with salt, seaweed, shoyu and vinegar. Poke chefs incorporate a host of ingredients, such as Hawaiian fish and different types of seafood, seeds, herbs, spices, nuts, vegetables, fruits and seasonings.

• 1 pound ahi (yellowfin tuna), cut into bite-sized cubes
• 1/3 cup chopped Maui sweet onion
• 1/4 cup chopped green onion
• 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper, or to taste
• 1/3 cup low-sodium shoyu
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
• salt, to taste
Mix together ahi, onions, green onions and red pepper until combined. Combine shoyu, oil and honey until mixed completely, then pour over ahi mixture. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Refrigerate for two to three hours. Makes two-four servings.