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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Mai Kai - Tiki Archeology
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Mai Kai - Tiki Archeology
GatorRob
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Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2009-07-10 3:53 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-07-09 10:36, AlohaStation wrote:
It is a reproduction. I'm not sure who did it.


Tom,

This doesn't answer your question as to who carved it, but here are a few more clues from Bob at OA:

Quote:

When doing the Mai Kai job, George Nakashima and Florian Gabriel used a carver in Portland more than once and it might have been his. However we both agreed that the figure could very well have been by Barney West----not typical but has some similarities to a few he's done. In the end we think it was done by Barney West.



and:

Quote:

there were so many carvers in the earlier years that unless you have an invoice one can't positively say it was from so and so carver.



And finally, this is related:

Quote:

On 2005-01-27 16:49, bigbrotiki wrote:

"...Bob Thornton always chose professional Polynesian pop artists to expand on his realm, hiring George Nakashima and Florian Gabriel of Stephen Crane and Associates as art directors and using decor by Oceanic Arts in Whittier to give the Mai Kai that much claimed “authentic” touch..."



Although Sven's quote above mentions Bob Thornton, it's been my understanding that Jack Thornton did most of the design related ordering, while Bob tended to run the business side of things. But regardless, the winged tiki dates back to the late 50s when the Mai-Kai first opened (which still has me going WOW!) and anything that can be done to preserve it (like move it indoors!) or restore it would be well worth it.


 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5038
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2009-07-11 07:12 am   Permalink

[quote]
On 2009-07-10 15:53, GatorRob wrote:
Quote:

Although Sven's quote above mentions Bob Thornton, it's been my understanding that Jack Thornton did most of the design related ordering, while Bob tended to run the business side of things. But regardless, the winged tiki dates back to the late 50s when the Mai-Kai first opened (which still has me going WOW!) and anything that can be done to preserve it (like move it indoors!) or restore it would be well worth it.



When I talked to George Nakashima he stressed that Jack was the more creative and imaginitive side of the duo. I think that was what George wanted. Jack was the designer. Although it is Bob's Mai Kai we have today, due to Jack's bowing out after his stroke.

It is amazing to see a piece of 1956 Mai Kai there, although it is not a great replacement for what was there in my opinion. I agree that I'd rather see it moved inside and something weightier there. Inside, that piece would seem much bigger and impressive.
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5038
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2009-09-14 7:18 pm   Permalink

I suppose I am some kind of obsessed, but, I spent yesterday driving cross country to pick up this hunk of rotten wood.

Barely stuffed it in my back seat.


Yes, I have the only hunk of the big guy from the Mai Kai gardens.


Thinking of how to display this piece in my home. I am so proud...

[ This Message was edited by: Swanky 2009-09-15 09:05 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11137
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-09-14 9:23 pm   Permalink

Congrats Tim on your artifact. To denote that it is indeed a relic, and not just a chunk of rotten wood for your fireplace, I would

A.) Put it on a tribal art gallery stand/ base (preferably black acrylic), like this



..or, even more poignant in my opinion, a stand with an iron rod, such as this:



B.) Spotlight it from above, and

C.) Find a good photo of the original in situ, and encircle the section (or make a red square around it) that you own. Write a brief description of the site and the carver, with dates, for it, frame that together and put it by the piece.


 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5038
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2009-09-15 09:04 am   Permalink

That is the plan Sven. I intend to support it with rods so that it stands on a base, just as it was when it was part of the whole. I want to have a history and images sealed near it. Unfortunately, it is way too massive to go in the bar, and no other real place to have it indoors or on the porch. So, I will be making a thatch roof over it by the fence so it will be sheltered from further rain and rot.

It will have a sort of museum/shrine setting.

LOTS of Minwax wood hardener to come.

I just wish I'd gotten there a little sooner and found a chunk of it's head. All that was left when I found it was pieces of the back which were non-descript and this arm, which is more butt than tummy actually.

Seeing the innerds of this one, it must be a matter of time for the others. Please DO NOT lean on the others that are left! Any one of us could have hit this one hard and broken it to pieces. There is essentially no solid wood left... Get your picture with the Barney West out front while you can.


 
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Chip and Andy
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Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2201
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2009-09-15 10:08 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-09-15 09:04, Swanky wrote:
I just wish I'd gotten there a little sooner and found a chunk of it's head.



Some of the locals got the biggest pieces of the head. Not much viable wood in the head, the center was little more than sawdust.

I know a couple of the locals are going to try and carve miniature versions of the original guy in whatever viable wood could be recovered and then have them put back on display somewhere in the Mai Kai.


 
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TIKI DAVID
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Joined: Apr 07, 2004
Posts: 1961
From: North Coast/ DEAD
Posted: 2009-09-15 2:16 pm   Permalink

QUOTE "I just wish I'd gotten there a little sooner and found a chunk of it's head. All that was left when I found it was pieces of the back which were non-descript and this arm, which is more butt than tummy actually."


SWANKY ,
Do you remember when I made a comment on how bad of shape that Tiki,and others in the garden were in? and I was was pretty much told I didn't know what I was talking about,by you? and others.
Back in '04.

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[ This Message was edited by: TIKI DAVID 2009-09-15 14:20 ]


 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5038
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2009-09-16 09:36 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-09-15 14:16, TIKI DAVID wrote:
QUOTE "I just wish I'd gotten there a little sooner and found a chunk of it's head. All that was left when I found it was pieces of the back which were non-descript and this arm, which is more butt than tummy actually."


SWANKY ,
Do you remember when I made a comment on how bad of shape that Tiki,and others in the garden were in? and I was was pretty much told I didn't know what I was talking about,by you? and others.
Back in '04.



This thread
No one said they weren't rotting and being eaten by termites. What was said was they were in fact actively caring for them, as they are now.

Unfortunately for this tiki, no one ever got on a ladder to see what was going on at the top of his head. I think it acted like a big bucket that funneled water into it for years. I also think it is a bad decision to concrete the feet. That seems like a way to lock in moisture and cause more rot. Air flow and drying is key to keeping an outdoor wood carving intact for a long(er) time.

But, it stood for about 50 years. That's pretty good considering. I just wish someone was still making and selling pieces this large so a replacement of the same magnitude could be had.


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GatorRob
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Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2009-09-16 2:57 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-09-16 09:36, Swanky wrote:
I just wish someone was still making and selling pieces this large so a replacement of the same magnitude could be had.


Well, if someone is willing to send a huge redwood log out this way, I know some guys who are quite capable of carving a worthy replacement!


 
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AlohaStation
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Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 2141
From: So FL
Posted: 2009-09-17 12:20 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-09-16 09:36, Swanky wrote:
I just wish someone was still making and selling pieces this large so a replacement of the same magnitude could be had.



I wish someone would give/transport a log that size(does not have to be Red Wood - Live Oak comes to mind), please contact me I have the perfect place to put it!!!

[ This Message was edited by: AlohaStation 2009-09-17 12:21 ]


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4275
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-10-09 3:58 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-07-07 15:29, GatorRob wrote:
Here is another picture of the tiki now in the gardens when it was indoors in the Surfboard Bar:


Big mahalo to Bob and LeRoy for sending me this next image from the ARTS OF THE SOUTH SEAS book (Museum of Modern Art, Simon and Schuster, 1946). If the Mai-Kai tiki is a mid-century interpretation of a genuine Papua New Guinea carving, this may very well be the image it was derived from:




I just got this postcard rendering from the Mai Kai that shows the Tiki out front.



Here is a close, looks just like teh one sent over by Bob and Leroy.


DC


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11137
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-10-09 4:11 pm   Permalink

Yeah, I love that rendering. BOT p. 136. Good find on that statue, DC, it really looks like it was copied straight from that book by the artist! That book really was the bible of Tiki designers back then.

 
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AlohaStation
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 2141
From: So FL
Posted: 2009-10-15 09:16 am   Permalink

I wanted conclude the story that began this thread, but I hope to continue with more archeology projects in the near future. The original story of the tiki encased in Rubber has come to an conclusion. Will managed to take the rubber that was removed from the tiki and complete the molding process. He had to build a rigid case for the rubber to set in. He had some trouble but eventually figured it out. He started creating his "Army" of tikis. They looked like soldiers sitting in his yard.



Will has recieved some flack about the paint jobs on previous casts so he decided to keep the colors and paint simple. These are the finished product. They have been placed in several locations throughout the Mai Kai. So next time your their take pictures and post them up - in situ.



 
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tikiyaki
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2707
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2009-10-15 09:22 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-10-09 15:58, Dustycajun wrote:






Wow, if there is a heaven, it looks like this photograph. I wonder if there is still an original version of this rendering around. It would make an amazing art print. I'd buy one in a heartbeat.


 
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LOL Tiki
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Joined: Sep 06, 2007
Posts: 932
From: San Diegoish
Posted: 2009-10-15 12:01 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-10-15 09:16, AlohaStation wrote:







Nice work! I need some of those for my yard.
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