Law School Receives Bowls Made by Big Island Master Craftsman

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A valuable gift of exquisite bowls by one of Hawai‘i’s outstanding wood-turners and master craftsman are now on display in the UH Law Library at the William S. Richardson School of Law.

Victoria Szymczak, Director of the Law Library, with some of the DeLuz bowls. PC: UH Mānoa.

John Dean, banker and entrepreneur, and the Estate of William K. Richardson, gave the collection of 59 bowls crafted by the late Dan DeLuz of the Big Island to the Law School in memory of William ‘Billy’ K. Richardson, a venture capitalist and entrepreneur, who died last November.

Billy Richardson was the son of Law School founder Chief Justice William S. Richardson, and he and Dean were good friends and business colleagues. They  collected and co-owned the bowls, and they had contemplated the gift before Billy’s death, said Lea Hong ‘91, Richardson’s widow.

“I have ‘turned’ bowls in my day so I have a great respect for the craftsmanship that goes into them,” said Dean. “Billy and I talked about someday giving the bowls to an institution where they could be shared with a broader public. We wanted to share DeLuz’s work. He was a gifted man. At the Law School Library, his work now honors both Billy and CJ, his father.”


The beautiful DeLuz bowls were made from a remarkable range of woods such as lychee, koa, mango, sandalwood and ‘ohia over many years.  A portion of the collection was formerly on display at John Dean’s office downtown at Central Pacific Bank, and they now are displayed in the Law School Library’s “CJ’s Corner,” which celebrates and honors Billy’s father with archival displays and CJ’s portrait.

‘CJ’s Corner’ in the Law Library is a popular study spot. PC: UH Mānoa.

“We are extremely fortunate to be the recipient of these amazing gifts,” said Associate Professor of Law Victoria Szymczak, Director of the Law Library.

She added, “The magnificent bowls fit beautifully with the attractive look of our entire recently renovated Law Library.”


Law School Dean Avi Soifer pointed out that, “’CJ’s Corner’ is a place where students can gather, study, or just relax, and John Dean has found a marvelously appropriate way to honor his friend and colleague Billy Richardson.”

Soifer continued, “In fact, Billy followed his father in coming to the Law School often simply to get to know our students. He also taught here, and he was always available to speak, as he did regularly at our Orientation and Commencement. We miss Billy very much!”

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