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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Discovery & Restoration of vintage Oceanic Arts tiki in Kansas City, MO and now, AMAZING chapter 2 !
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Discovery & Restoration of vintage Oceanic Arts tiki in Kansas City, MO and now, AMAZING chapter 2 !
8FT Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 30, 2003
Posts: 1409
From: Kansas City, MO
Posted: 2003-11-30 10:11 am   Permalink

Hello to all.
Greetings from the land-locked midwestern paradise near Kansas City,Missouri.

As we sink into the frigid temps and early darkness of winter days, here is a story of hope for all of you who dream of warmer climates and the unexpected discovery of a forgotten treasure.....

Before we go further, allow me introduce us.
My name is Paul and my wife is Lori. We have chosen the username 8FT Tiki. You will soon see why. Now enjoy the story:

Our adventure begins one late summer morning
as Lori is browsing a website belonging to a local antiques dealer. She looks at the photos he has posted of several old advertising items and vintage automobiles as well as vintage furniture and clothing. Then near the bottom of the page she sees something different. "Is that a tiki ?" she said. I went over to the computer to see what
sort of tiki she has found. I am expecting to find a mug or a new Shag item just issued but instead I see a carving. I assumed that she was looking at someones collection or a tiki related website. Then she asks out loud..."I wonder how much that is?"
I said "What do you mean? Who's site is this?" She told me that it was a local dealer. Since there was no other information about the tiki on the website, she picked up the phone and called the shop. They informed her that it was for sale and was still available. However, it was not at the shop. It was at the owners' home and....
IT WAS OUTSIDE! That was enough to push Lori into action. She was given directions to the house and on a rainy, soggy Saturday we headed out to see the tiki in person.

We drove about 30 miles each way in the rain that day. When we arrived at the site we saw that the tiki measured an incredible 8 Feet Tall! Although impressive in size the poor tiki was more or less abandoned to its spot at the corner of the house. It was so tall I had to climb up on the front porch deck to see its upper half. Unfortunately it was apparent that the weather had started to take its toll. The current owner had to put a large flat sheet of metal on top of the head and place a cast iron pot on top of that to keep water out of the head.

There were a few holes in the wood which I attributed to woodpeckers. Sadly, the owner also sat the tiki directly on the ground and it was right by the gutter downspout. This created a muddy, moist condition perfect for rotting wood. I must confess that I was not very impressed with the tikis state of decay.

Lori on the other hand was the visionary.
She was seeing through all the "defects" I was pointing out. I suggested that we get back in the car due to the rain. Finally I said to her: "I know it's cool but consider the condition and don't buy it with your heart. Be realistic. But if you really want it, try to negotiate a deal because I am not convinced it is worth the asking price."
(don't ask how much it was priced at)
Anyway I suggested that she try to work a trade/purchase and that's what she did. After several phone calls and emails, we drove to the shop and did the deal.

Next we had to arrange the pick up and delivery of the big guy. We recruited 3 big family members (one who had a large delivery truck with a lift gate) and off we went.

We were allowed to drive through the yard and back up right to the tiki. After stuffing a big wad of grass in a hole that was spewing hornets, we loaded the tiki into the truck and headed across town. We unloaded the tiki on our deck in the back yard laying it on its back so I could work on it. Little did I know what lay ahead.

I will now try to briefly describe what it took to get the tiki upright again.
First I needed a shovel to extract all of the dry rotted wood interior. It was so severe that I was worried that it was completely gone.

After some time I hit the hornet nest and luckily I was only stung once before I sprayed a can and a half of wasp-hornet killer on it and then I left it for 2 days. Next I completed the clearing out of the wood-rotted part of the insides. I had to do this from both top and bottom. It was tough to get all the way inside because this thing is BIG!

Finally I got all the rotted wood out that I dared to scrape. I needed to keep as much as possible for stability. Next I got 3 gallons of Olympic wood preservative and used a tank sprayer to apply it to the insides. I wanted to stop the wood rot and kill any worms or termites in the wood.

After several days of drying and airing out I found that the wood was still as soft inside as before. It was just oilier now. So I went back to the hardware store and got 3 gallons of wood sealer. Again I used the tank sprayer to apply it and that saved me loads of time. After another few days of drying, it was firming up nicely and soon was moved inside where I put down a thick plastic tarp and began to fill the inside with spray foam. The kind in a can that you use for sealing around doors and windows. It is the same brand but is a type used for large gaps.
Inside the foam I had positioned a large pvc pipe about 5 inches wide. This allowed it to have a strong interior point and also helped me to attach it to a base I had made to help it stand securely later.

After the foam we decided to do an exterior touch up of walnut stain to the areas where it had been lost due to weathering and a cat who used the torso as a scratching post while it sat outside before we rescued it. (the rest of this story will be finished by Lori, as I have to leave! Paul)
We contacted Sven Kirsten, who was incredibly helpful. He suggested we leave the paint untouched, (we had been contemplating updating the paint)and we followed his advice. He also said it looked like an Oceanic Arts piece to him, and suggested we contact them. We did, and to our delight, they e-mailed right back, and said it was indeed their work. Done by carver Ed Crissman, who carved for them for 20 years before he passed away. They told us it dated from the early 1960's, and is carved from a large palm. Now that all the work is finished, we have placed it in our great-room, where it adds some much needed scale to our huge fireplace and oversized big-screen tv! It's a really large room, with 15'ceilings, so he doesn't look out of place or crowded.

Paul still has a little doubt about my sanity, but I think he has grown to love the 'big guy' too. (by the way, I traded 2 advertising signs that were buried in our garage for the tiki). Thanks for reading this long post, and sharing in our fun! Lori

[ This Message was edited by: 8FT Tiki on 2003-11-30 11:18 ]

[ This Message was edited by: 8FT Tiki on 2003-11-30 14:02 ]

[ This Message was edited by: 8FT Tiki 2006-08-25 18:28 ]

[ This Message was edited by: 8FT Tiki 2006-08-25 18:30 ]

[ This Message was edited by: 8FT Tiki 2010-07-02 15:11 ]

[ This Message was edited by: 8FT Tiki 2011-05-26 14:31 ]

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8FT Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 30, 2003
Posts: 1409
From: Kansas City, MO
Posted: 2003-11-30 10:27 am   Permalink

Edited into above post.

[ This Message was edited by: 8FT Tiki 2006-08-25 18:03 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 974
From: Oceanside CA
Posted: 2003-11-30 10:31 am   Permalink

Great story, great Tiki.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 14, 2002
Posts: 1219
Posted: 2003-11-30 10:32 am   Permalink

Great for you guys. Thanks for the info, it made for a good read.

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Basement Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 3601
From: Jawja Province, Isle of North America
Posted: 2003-11-30 10:53 am   Permalink

Now THAT'S the way to first-post as a new Tiki Central member! Looks like you have yourself a genuine #137 Oceanic Arts Marquesan Tahitian tiki alright! Ed Crissman is most famous for his 20-plus foot Maori monster now in Tahiti. Ed was their specialist in the Tahitian/Marquesan/Cook Islands style. There are a TON of his poles still in Trader Vic's restaurants. (That's the style I carve, too, and I am a great, great admirer of the man). Nice piece and story!

[ This Message was edited by: Basement Kahuna on 2003-11-30 10:55 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2002
Posts: 1500
From: Huntington Beach, California
Posted: 2003-11-30 11:54 am   Permalink

Fantastic story! What a find! Great save!

I hope he brings you a wealth of happines to your family! He actually seems to be much happier & cozier now that he is all cleaned up (inside & out).

Welcome to Tiki Central!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 05, 2003
Posts: 877
From: Vancouver
Posted: 2003-11-30 12:02 pm   Permalink

The tiki is awesome, the work you did is awesome, and you guys are awesome!

E komo mai,

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 01, 2002
Posts: 1676
From: next stop Hulaville!
Posted: 2003-11-30 12:12 pm   Permalink

Thanks to the Tiki Gods you saved his life, he's beautiful! Welcome to the board...

[ This Message was edited by: DawnTiki on 2003-11-30 13:40 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 106
From: Los Gatos, CA
Posted: 2003-11-30 1:41 pm   Permalink

WOW! Congratulations on the find and to a save well done. That is a great piece for a great room. You're right about the need for a large item...that room looks huge. (nice bamboo big screen)

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 1140
From: Orlando Florida
Posted: 2003-11-30 2:03 pm   Permalink

Awesome story and incredible tiki find! Something we all dream about. I know you said not to ask so I won't, but damn I dying to know the price. What ever it was I'm sure it's worth it.
Welcome to TC.
Original Art by
Scott "Flounder" Scheidly


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 31, 2003
Posts: 1527
From: L.I.
Posted: 2003-11-30 2:33 pm   Permalink

Great rescue story. It should be televised. Welcome aboard, and I vote that you automatically be upgraded to tiki socialite.

[ This Message was edited by: nice fishy on 2003-11-30 14:35 ]

[ This Message was edited by: nice fishy on 2003-11-30 14:35 ]

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Feelin' Zombified
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 15, 2003
Posts: 1338
From: The Exotic Shores of Lake St. Clair
Posted: 2003-11-30 3:10 pm   Permalink

Damn! that's one hell of an introduction!

Welcome to TC.

(note to self: must top that story by 2005)


Thank God The Tiki Bar Is Open
Thank God The Tiki Torch Still Shines...

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Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1560
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2003-11-30 3:19 pm   Permalink

Thanks for sharing ......looks great in your house...

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 833
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2003-11-30 8:19 pm   Permalink

Congratulations! Have you researched the history of it? I bet it has a more dignified past than simply rotting in someone's backyard. It would be nice to build a composite tiki history of KC, and you my have one of the puzzle pieces.

How much does something like that weigh?

I won't ask the price, but will you tell us what caliber of advertising signs you traded for it? - Greg

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 08, 2003
Posts: 1266
From: Orlando
Posted: 2003-11-30 9:26 pm   Permalink

Dang, I have daydreams about things like that happening to me. Then I realize that if I found such an awesome item I wouldn't have any place to put it. Incredible story. Thanks!

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