Ornament designer to sign his creation
Christmas ornament designer Christopher Radko will appear in his first Hawaii signing event, from 1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 2 at Tori Richard Ala Moana, where he will be autographing the limited-edition glass ornament he created to celebrate the company's golden anniversary.
The exclusive ornament was inspired by Tori Richard's signature "Anniversary Palm" shirt design, available in a variety of colors this season.
Retailing for $42, the red aloha shirt ornament is adorned with a hand-painted palm tree and "Tori Richard Honolulu Since 1956" in hand-lettered glitter.
Radko's exclusive 2006 signing ornament, a snowman design entitled "From Frosty Friends," will also be available only during this event.
There is a limit of three signed ornaments per customer. Tori Richard will also carry a variety of other Radko ornaments and holiday items throughout the season.
Radko's mouth-blown, hand-painted glass pieces are created in Old European style in cottage workshops in Poland, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic. Each ornament takes seven days to produce.
Radko started the company after a Christmas accident in 1984, when he caused the family tree to crash to the floor, shattering almost every ornament. He became determined to replace each one.
His quest led to Poland, where he found the industry of hand-blown and painted glass ornaments was nearly dead. Radko encouraged one man, whose great-grandfather was such an artist, to recover antique ornament molds and also supplied him with sketches of his own childhood favorites, plus new designs from his imagination. Dozens of ornaments were produced for his family but never made it to the family tree. Instead, friends in New York purchased all of them. On his next trip abroad, he brought back more ornaments for his family, and some extras, which sold out as well.
The company continues to thrive, and Radko counts such celebs as Elton John, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Redford, Robert DeNiro, Elizabeth Taylor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver among his clientele. Radko ornaments also grace President Bush's family tree.