In the process of deciding what touristy things to do while my dad was visiting us in December, he brought up a Hawaiian throne. Did you know that Iolani Palace in Hawai'i was the only royal residence in the United States? It was built by King Kalakaua and was also home to his sister and successor Queen Lili'uokalani who was the last ruling monarch of Hawai'i. Seeing that I now live in Hawai'i and the palace thrones are the only royal seats in America, this seemed like a concept worthy of commemoration.
Once the idea was sparked, I went full steam ahead. I had ideas for a rich layering of bright tropical fabrics. But, after doing "research" (a visit to the palace), we found out that the throne is actually two, and that they are quite traditional and European in appearance (although, if I remember correctly, they are carved from Hawaiian Koa wood). However, since red and gold are the colors of Hawaiian royalty, redwork made more sense to me. Also, Lauhala weaving is a traditional fiber art used to make baskets, hats and mats to sit and sleep on. I got very excited and pulled these elements together to create a formal redwork version of the royal thrones of King Kalakaua and his wife Queen Kapiolani on a background woven lauhala style. I added a hibiscus (the state flower) and two palm fronds in a nod to the tropical.
"The Thrones of King Kalakaua & Queen Kapiolani"
As I was finishing this piece, I was struck with yet another idea I HAD to try. It's actually my official response to this challenge.