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Aaronís New Akua (Done!)
Aaron's Akua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1594
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2004-08-25 2:03 pm   Permalink

Iím mid-way on my 4th Tiki, which is my first one made of wood. This one is fan palm - my first 3 were AAC block. Below is the rough-out. Iím going to take everything about an inch deeper, and add more curvature to the nose. The lips will also move deeper, then the teeth deeper still. Iím saving the detailing of the teeth for last. I wanted to start with a real simple style for now just to get the feel of carving wood.

The ears will be sort of Easter Island style. They are very rough now. Iím saving the detailing for later.

The eyes are only outlined right now. Iím going to take the level a lot deeper between eyes and eyebrow/nose (see below). This will give me some height to sculpt out some rounded eyeballs for more 3D effect. I really like the eyes on Cheeky Tikiís sculptures. Mine will be different, but I want the same general effect.

This tiki is NOWHERE near done. I was going to wait till it was completely finished before posting, but I know you all will have some great tips for me, and I have a few questions:

Iíd really like to get a 2-tone stain/finish effect once all of my carving is finished. (I really like Tikifreak Garyís ďBadass TikisĒ). Iíd also like to get a real glossy sheen with Marine Varnish like some of Benzartís work (Giant Maori Warrior). Any tips on finishing would be much appreciated.

Iím thinking that Iíll do a lighter shade for the whites of the eyes and the teeth. The rest will be a darker slightly reddish brown. Does it help to carve a tiny ďgutterĒ (for lack of a better word) between the different colored areas to keep the stain from spreading? Will the Marine varnish create any overrun between the colors?

Would it help to bleach out the lighter portions before staining? I may need to bleach other areas to get rid of a little bit of mildew or whatever thatís on the top end. Hopefully this will come off when I use a grinder to flatten/level the top. Will bleaching create any problems when I stain it later?

Iíve noticed that some of the carvers here have used JASCO on their tikis. Will JASCO have create any problems when I stain it later? I just used some JASCO on my porch & noticed that itís pretty oily.

Iím planning on doing some shell inlay for the pupils of the eyes and the round cut-outs for the Easter island style ears. The eye pupils will be slivers Ė cat eye type. The outer part of the eyes will be light stained, the inner part dark brown, and the pupils will be shell inlay. I did a search & found a great post by Basement Kahuna on this. The shell may be plain white, or mother of pearl Ė Iím not sure which yet. Any words of wisdom on shell inlay?

Thanks for putting up with all of my questions.


_________________

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"Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness."
-Pablo Picasso

[ This Message was edited by: Aaron's Akua on 2004-11-11 18:09 ]


 
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rodeotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 1513
From: calgary
Posted: 2004-08-25 2:08 pm   Permalink

thats awesome,I tried to find aac and no luck, hope my second turns out as good as your first wood tiki is looking.

 
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cheekytiki
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Joined: Mar 09, 2004
Posts: 1091
From: The Haole Hut, London, UK
Posted: 2004-08-27 10:06 am   Permalink

Lookin' good Aaron, Keep posting pics of the development, I'm lookin forward to sseeing more. Unfortunately its hard to keep my eye on TC at the mo' as my studio was hit by lightning a coupla' days ago and its screwed up my PC
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http://cheekytikiuk.blogspot.com/


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tiki5-0
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 29, 2004
Posts: 247
From: Pomona, CA
Posted: 2004-08-27 11:07 am   Permalink

looks good so far. keep posting the progress and when it's finished. can't wait to see how it comes out!

 
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Octane
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 316
From: SLO California
Posted: 2004-08-27 6:08 pm   Permalink

looking good can't wait to see how it turns out. looking forward to see how your multiple color scheeme looks.

 
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Aaron's Akua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1594
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2004-08-29 12:28 am   Permalink

Thanks for the rah-rah's, guys.

Rodeotiki: Your first looks great & I know you're hooked now like all the rest of us. Keep up with the good posts & we'll all see where it takes you. (Check your PM's, too).

Cheeky: I really didn't want to post early, but my questions overtook my ego & here we are. Have you ever done shell inlay or 2-tone finishes on your tikis? If I can come close to the look of your tikis I'll be thrilled. They just have a real authentic solid look & the cracks & splits in the wood just make 'em more so. I was thinking about where to find some wood other than palm & was worried about where to find the perfect log. Seeing that cool weathered look look on your tikis just showed me that I really don't need to worry so much.

Tiki5-0: You're a natural & your first 3 tikis show it. They've got a real nice "free hand" feel to the design. I've got an Engineering/Drafting background & it's hard to let go of the ruler/t-square/computer when I'm designing. This is my next one:

I massaged this one down to the gnat's ass & was going to use it for an AAC block carving. Orthographic views work great with a perfectly formed 24"x8"x10" block. But ever since I started working with Fan Palm I found that it's really hard to apply this type of stuff to a round stump. It's probably much better to go freehand & work it as you go. Oh well, it's already designed so I'm just going to run with it & see how it works with a round piece of wood. I'm thinking of breaking down & taking a sketch/freehand drawing class at the local Comm. College.

Octane,
I'll keep posting on this as I go. I was hoping to get some feedback on 2-tone color schemes & such from other TC'ers. Maybe some of them will weigh in on this stuff on down the line. I keep going back to your post - the work is great. It's encouraging to see your early stuff (As well as all the other prominent guys - Benzart, BK, Gecko, TheChikiTiki, etc., etc...) Then I see the really top notch stuff you're all putting out today & realize that at some point you all started out just about where I am today.

Pratice, practice, practice.....

Mahalo,

Aaron

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"Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness."
-Pablo Picasso

[ This Message was edited by: Aaron's Akua on 2004-08-29 21:49 ]


 
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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2004-08-29 10:24 am   Permalink

Well, hurry up Aaron, can't wait now that you've shown thre drawing. HE looks like a pretty cool lookin tiki.Is it done yet?
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Aaron's Akua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1594
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2004-08-29 10:00 pm   Permalink

A little clarification, Benzart. The drawing is of my NEXT tiki. The Photos are of my CURRENT one, which will be a lot simpler but hopefuly TC worthy.

I work at a snail's pace, so be patient! Hope to have some more progress to post over the next couple weeks.

BTW, I have a friend with an extra compressor & some air tools including a die grinder & accessories. He wants to buy a tiki & I need tools but have no bucks to afford them right now. So hopefully we can work out an equitable barter deal, & I'll be able to speed up production! Do you have any knowledge of air tools in that head of yours? NO, SCRATCH THAT. If you have some ideas, go ahead & add them to that great "Tools Carvers Use" post of yours. (Or ditto to anyone else reading this for that matter).

Thanks as always.
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"Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness."
-Pablo Picasso


 
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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2004-08-30 06:38 am   Permalink

I realize the drawing is a Future carving, but I want it to be a NOW carving. Air tools ? I know they don't suck, they Blow
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foamy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 15, 2004
Posts: 590
From: The Land of Pleasant Living
Posted: 2004-08-30 08:54 am   Permalink

Aaron, your stuff is stylish and precise. And, I like it alot. I'm with the rest of the poster's... more, more, more!

 
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Octane
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 316
From: SLO California
Posted: 2004-09-02 3:25 pm   Permalink

alright arron here is my miny book on your questions.


Shell inlays:

i have done a few of them. First the Warning i was give by BK, who helped me with these. Shell dust is very very bad for you. BK had the specifics but lets just leave it at very very bad.

For shell in lays, what i do is first get you shell (assume abalone) draw out what ever shape you want on the shell. make sure you use a marker that is not permenant, unless you plan to cut the shape out perfect. a pencil works for me.

I use a dremel with a tile cutting bit and cut away. to take care of the dust, i wear a resperator, one of the thick/oder remover kind. Alnog with that i take my shop vac and place the hose directly under were i work. i turn the vac on place screen material (mine is for Bonsia), but anything with smaller holes then what your cutting out will work. the suction of the vac holds the plastic screen on and sucks up the dust.

then just place the shell cut out on the tiki were you want it, trace around it, then remove the material inside of your traced out area deep enough so the shell is flush. I just glue them in (not traditional, but the real method is to cut a hole in the middle of the shell and hold it in with a dowl like peice of wood, but i have never done that before.


Finishing:

I'm no expert here, i have been experimenting with different finishes. If you want shinny just get gloss, all the products come in gloss. Another thing the more coats ussually the glossier and deeper the finish looks with just about any type of product.


Shalack: i don't recomend Shalack for palm wood, as it has not real weight to it and will not matt down any of the palm hairs no matter how many coats you put on. the biggest advatage to shalack is its drying time, which is 15 mins to touch and 2 hours for recoat. Shalack might have durability issues.

Varnish: i have just started using varnish on the last 2-3 tikis. personally i didn't even really know what varnish was before Ben mentioned it. the varnish seems to work good for palm as it does have a good weight and will hold down the palms hairs pretty good. Varnish is also very shiny (if you get Gloss). The biggest disadvatage to varnish is its long drying time, 24 between coats, and i would wait 48 hours if you are sanding between coats just to make sure. I have heard that Varnish never really gets supper hard, and when it is out in the sun or gets hot will soften a bit, but i don't know if this is true or not.

Polyurathain: is suppose to be the best of the clear coats today, as far as durability, drying time, ect. I use this on all of my small tikis and all my tikis before varnish. it has a good drying time 4 hrs between coats and has been very durable. the glossy works well. the first coat of the glossy wont be all that glossy as it is basically just sealing the peice but coats 2 and 3 will be more and more glossy. Polyurathane is like varnish as it has a good weight to it to matt down the palm hairs.

conclusion: I don't know, i like both Polyurathane, and varnish, not sure which is better. Shalack works good as a penatrating sealer, but can be uncompatable with varnish, this you would have to check on though, as i'm not sure.

2 tone finishes:

Not sure i have really done this before. in the what your thinking. i do use a tone tone techinque on my tikis like the cannibal. what i do is put on the first stain, a medium brown then after i wipe that stain off like your suppose to, i get a darker stain almost black and then rub that around lightly over most of the tiki. other then this technique i don't use a 2 tone effect like Tikifreak.

I would guess tikifreak uses a torch and burns the areas where it is balck on his tikis but i haven't really done this, i would send tikifreak a PM and ask him how he does it.

as far as your question about the gutter to seperate the stain colors, you might have to, as stain soaks into the wood, so it is almost impossible to control were it seeps. If you let the stain dry its 8 hrs or what ever it calls for there should be no mixing at the two stain lines when clear coat is applied.

sorry don't know anything about bleeching, or what Jasco is.

well that its for me, hope that was some what helpful








 
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Kono
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 08, 2003
Posts: 1266
From: Orlando
Posted: 2004-09-02 7:38 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-08-29 00:28, Aaron's Akua wrote:
This is my next one:



Wow. That's a cool design. Kind of like a cross between a moai and a Ku. Very cool and can't wait to see the finished product.


 
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Aaron's Akua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1594
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2004-09-02 11:26 pm   Permalink

Benzart: I agree - I want it to be a NOW carving too. I did this design a long time ago to use with the AAC block & it sat for a long time... But I'm gonna finish this one first. It's a real slippery slope once you start having a bunch of half finished work lying around. I got half the face carved deeper, but I have an old back injury & it's flaring up right now. I've got to find a better way to carve than sitting cross-legged on the concrete hunched over my log. Will post more progress soon - hopefully after this weekend.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Foamy: Thanks, man! Getting a compliment on design means all the more coming from an artist with your talent. I wish I could paint!
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Octane, I don't know what to say...thanks so much for sharing all this great info with me. I've never carved wood before let alone attempt to stain it. This is really going to be helpful, & I can't thank you enough.

I have also heard that mother of pearl (abalone?) dust is extremely toxic if breathed & has actually killed people. Also, that some people actually sand it underwater to avoid dust. I don't know if this is part myth, but I sure as hell don't want to find out! I'll try your method with the shop vac & do the work outside, then hose down. I think I'll also go with a glue gun & not traditional dowel method to attach the shell like you mentioned.

You mentioned that poyurethane is the best finish but that you've used varnish for the last 3 or 4 tikis. Also that you always use a coat of polyurethane before varnishing. Why the varnish? Is it less expensive than polyurethane? Do you use a brush for your finish or spray it on? What grit sandpaper do you use when sanding between coats of varnish? Can you sand between coats of polyurethane?

I found your comments on palm hairs interesting as well. Polynesiac has also mentioned this to me & says he likes to use a cone type sanding grinder with the Dremel to "burn" the hairs off. This fan palm that I got is pretty seasoned, and I haven't seen too much loose fiber when carving, especially when I use the real sharp flex cuts or a dremel wood carving bit. I haven't used the cone grinder yet - I don't have one. I think the palm hairs come with the fresher palms that haven't been fully dried. I think I'll try one of the fresh palm logs that Polynesiac gave me next, cause this old seasoned palm is really hard & takes some real effort to carve. Plus I think it's harder on the tools.

On staining - you rub off the first coat, then lightly rub a second really dark coat over it? I take it you don't remove any of the second coat before applying the polyurethane?

On the 2-tone I think I'll take your advice & PM Tikifreak - he seems to have a knack for this. My thought is to try the "gutter" approach & go super thin, but pretty deep, then apply the stain with a Q-tip or real thin brush next to it where the 2 stain lines meet. This is going to be touchy, cause I'm not sure if you can correct mistakes when applying stain. Or, maybe I'll chicken out & just go with one color....

Your advice has been super helpful. See what happens - now I've got all of these new questions for you. Elaborate only if you have time. Otherwise I'll be totally happy with what you gave me so far. Thanks, Owen!
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Kono,
You hit it right on the nose. I was calling this one "Angry Easter", and it's a cross between an Easter Island Moai and an "Angry Tiki". Now, I'm not sure what a Ku is, but I'm sure you're right about that 'cause you seem to know your tiki. I still have some studying to do on the origins & different types of tikis - I just know what I see & what I like. Thanks for the compliments.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Thanks to all you guys for replying to my post. It keeps me revved up for more carving (as soon as my back feels better).


_________________

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"Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness."
-Pablo Picasso

[ This Message was edited by: Aaron's Akua on 2004-09-02 23:33 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Aaron's Akua on 2004-09-03 06:59 ]


 
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Octane
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 316
From: SLO California
Posted: 2004-09-03 10:09 am   Permalink

i have been told that Polyurathane is the best of the finishes today. It is the newest latest technology.

I have been experimenting with varnish on the last few tikis because Ben and others have said that is what they use or used.

I don't put Polyurathane down before Varnish, i either do one or the other. I have used Polyurathane on all my tikis before i started expermenting with varnish. sorry for the confusion.

I brush on all my finishes including stain. i haven't tried the spray yet.

Sanding between coats: it all depends on how well you sand before you get to the finish. the smoother the prep sanding is the smoother the grit you will need between coats. you will always have to sand between coats, as the clear finishes, actually make the hairs and grain of the wood stand up, and then freezes them so you can sand them off and it will stay smooth for the next coats.

Polyurathane: if it is a smaller project i like to use steel wool (OO). the back of the Ployurathane says to use 220 grit but i found that i will tend to sand through with this grit.

Varnish: I don't sand it until i have 2 coats on, then i use 220 grit, and sand lightly, after 48 hours worth of drying. the can says 24 hrs, but i have found twice now that there can be little spots, and are a little gooey so i just wait an extra day to be cautious.

palm hairs: there are so many different palms and they all have their own charateristics. even different fan palms. the palm i have does the oppisate of yours, the older it gets the hairier it seems to get. no matter what the palm i would still recoment a finish with a heavery weight like poyurathane or varnish, so if there are hairs (which might not be prelevent until after clear) it can matt them down, and after a few coats it will give a good amount of material to sand for a smoother finish.

staining: i put the first coat on, and as the back of the can says wipe/rub off the extra, then right after that i get the darker stain out. this time i apply with a rag. rub on the dark stain, then imediatly rum it off. you can always go darker with stain, but you can't go lighter, so you just want to get a little darkness on there so you have to wipe it off fast, otherwise the longer the stain has to penatrate the darker and darker it will get.



 
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Aaron's Akua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1594
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2004-09-03 1:36 pm   Permalink

Octane, you're awesome. I think you've covered just about every facet of staining/finishing that I can think of, & I probably could come up with a few more questions if I tried real hard, but I better let you get back to carving. There's nothing like the trial & error method, & maybe I'll even go so far as to read the back of the can before I pick up the brush. I gotta get this thing carved first... I just like to plan ahead. Thanks a bunch, man.
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"Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness."
-Pablo Picasso


 
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