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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving I think That discussion needs a new soapbox to say Good words.
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I think That discussion needs a new soapbox to say Good words.
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10397
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2005-11-15 9:17 pm   Permalink

Therre have been probably less traditional pieces done around here rather than the "is it tiki?" pieces. This thread is for the art lovers and artists who were embarrassed and discouraged by the "Other "thread, even though
it has been edited with the more caustic venom
removed(gone forever but in those first readers
minds) and made more easily digested. Like I said,
"The seed has been planted."
Someone wanted to know why I was so upset,
after all there was no harm meant so everything is
OK, Right? If you have to ask then you don't know.
What miffed me was seeing and hearing the
reactions of some of my dear friends, mostly
carvers and artists, who were ready to quit
TC and maybe quit carving all together. I think
Dave counted them at 3, whilst his 46(?)were
behind him in full agreement so what is the
problem? There is no problem? Cool.
I spend a fair amount of time on TC deep in
the Creatingwalls. I don't consider myself a
tikiphile in the strict sence of the word.
I love tiki--Carvings. I love many things tiki
but I'm not a tikiphile. I Carve tikis. I also
carve birds, dolphins, indians, big cats,
Totem Poles Shrunken heads and Many other
items that can be made of wood. I came here
and fell in love and have forsaken All my other
carving interests for tiki.
I haven't been here too long, almost 2 years
and Almost ALL the art created here is Non
traditional and no one has outlawed it. Sure
we could all go out and buy expensive books
and scan and print out plans to copy the
originals and traditionals and copy that to
a log and have a whole bunch of good old
carvings of traditional tiki but no one has
the time to do that all the time and wiuld
rather create their own rendition of that
original and still call it tiki and sell
it as such.
We carve traditional stuff now and then but
it is not the majority of the carvings. It
is all ART. We all love art and if we have
young carvers ,who may someday turn into
the greatest tiki artist around,learning
their skills on our forum at least we can
encourage them amd show them positive
things in their attempts. These things have
all been accepted for as long as I have
been here and I hope they will Always be
I am NOT afraid that tiki will be lost to
"Non tiki crap"I am NOT Uninted and inspired
by that other post. I was appalled and
saddened at the same time
I think we will see the other side of the
coin soon.
Thanks for letting me ramble


[ This Message was edited by: Benzart 2005-11-15 21:24 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 14, 2005
Posts: 2999
From: My Island
Posted: 2005-11-15 9:21 pm   Permalink


I'm with you; onward and upward!!!


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 1513
From: calgary
Posted: 2005-11-15 9:46 pm   Permalink

My first post and probably many of yours too was responded too by Ben. Ben has sent me techniques, pictures and critiques of my carvings not just thru post here but through emails and pm's. The type of honest good willed gestures he puts forth are the type of thing that we all need to do more of.

Mahalo to Ben and the other artist of tikicentral that inspire others and not put themselves on a pedistal.

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The Sperm Whale
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 23, 2004
Posts: 1553
From: Lakewood California
Posted: 2005-11-15 10:02 pm   Permalink

Mahalo Ben!!! At least I can respond to your thread!! I told myself that I wouldn't get sucked in to that other thread - I just don't have time to get all riled up over nothing nor do I want to fight fire with fire. Although I had all kinds of thoughts stirring up in my mind. Thank you and all of the other artists for playing a positive role and being an inspiration to us all!!!

[ This Message was edited by: The Sperm Whale 2005-11-15 22:15 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 29, 2005
Posts: 389
From: Bucks County, PA
Posted: 2005-11-15 10:10 pm   Permalink

I am happy to here your take on all this. When I first read the other thread yesterday I didn't know how to react. Then I read GMAN's posting and his disappointment and how he was discouraged. I felt as if I needed to defend him and his fine work and I do own two of his Tiki's. I allowed my anger to come to the surface with my remarks. Then I sat here and thought about the few carvings I did and if they were really worth all of the effort I have given them. I have worked in different mediums before and have produced works that have sold. One of my first concerns as I started carving was not to copy anyones style and develop my own. I am new to carving here and I was thinking maybe the artist here that I respect and admire are just being polite and telling me what I want to hear. I have just recovered from a little self carving accident and I was ready to get back to my new found hobby. I know I need to thicken my skin as to criticism. In fact I am my worst critic to anything I make. I do as much research as I can online and here on TC. But there are many tools I need to buy yet to advance my new found hobby. As to buying all the books I need to study tiki and it's origins. Well do I buy a book for $75 or more tools? I'm going for the tools first.
Ben you have given me tremendous encouragement since I first posted my carvings. I've thanked you on threads and on PM's and I am grateful for your help and encouragement. I also want to thank Gman, Capo, Palama, AA, McTiki, Kirby, Hewey, Palm Harbor, Rodeo, SurfinTiki, Conga, Sam, Finkdaddy, Chongaolio and Raffertiki and many more. All of these carvers I respect and hope I will become the artists that they are.
I hope I able to express my feelings at this late hour and I need to sign off and sleep.
Good night all

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 02, 2005
Posts: 102
From: Ontario, Ca.
Posted: 2005-11-16 12:09 am   Permalink

Well, I don't know what inspired me to reply to the other post other than when I first read the unedited version it hit me somewhere deep in the gut. And if inspiring debate was the goal, then that goal was surely met.

Usually when something like that pops off the screen I like to sit back and watch the fireworks. Heck, I've never even carved a tiki yet, so why should I even get in the middle of that?

I've never met any of you yet, I just felt bad for a lot of carvers here and just felt I needed to say something. I know I probably haven't paid my "time-on-this-board" dues yet but what the heck.

I think its so cool that people from all over the world can gather here and share art, stories, and ideas. And whenever you have such a diverse gathering, you are going to have differences. I've seen it on other boards, I'm sure its happened here long before I found this place. Actually the sharp wit and dry humor read here cracked me up from the beginning and was part of the attraction.

The positive vibe is very strong here and that will never change, and I'll welcome others views from now on that challenge my perception of what I'm reading and learning
about here.


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Aaron's Akua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1596
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2005-11-16 12:41 am   Permalink

Wes, we all dig your carvings. Someone mentioned sugar coating and I think that's BS. Nothing inspires me more than to see new carvers like yourself obviously trying so hard to produce art that stands up to their own high standards. That never changes as long you are creating, and most of us have not been doing this all that long either. I always like to support the new guys as well as the old hands and thrill to see every new piece and the progression that ensues. We all start somewhere and the support that I received here was invaluable, especially when I first got going. It made the difference between a short diversion and a real commitment to producing art. So when we urge on a new artist, it is not just lip service. Do me a favor and don't look at your pieces any differently now. Your work is really outstanding and you've got HUGE potential as the rest of us like to think that we do too.

Ben, thanks for starting this new post. I don't think BK meant to discourage people, and I do not think any the less of him now to be quite honest. I'm not all that polarized by his post. I think the damage caused was not intentional. My ideas on carving and what I like to carve have not changed (Has anyone's, really?). Tiki is and always has been a mixed bag for me. I want to bone up on the traditional stuff because it intrigues me. But I also want to do some more original non-traditional stuff in the future.

But I do think quite a few did get discouraged by the BK's post (whether they chimed in or not), and this post is a good idea. I would hate to see TC change and people drop off. TC was a bitchin' place 2 days ago. Let's keep it that way and let all of our art speak for us, showing what we are specifically interested in producing as the unique and individual artists that we are. Traditional, non-traditional, whatever. It's all pretty fascinating in my opinion.


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

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 14, 2004
Posts: 4284
From: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 2005-11-16 04:00 am   Permalink

Interesting post ben. Yeh, I also got more annoyed at some of my mates getting discouraged, than by what many were suggesting with pushing the traditional thing.

I reckon we go for supporting artists as much as possible. Yes, this can include criticism. BUT, this should be constructive, and support the artist to move onto bigger and better things. My favourite example is Finkdaddy. Yes, his first pieces were kinda basic, but they were done with a damn box cutter! He got positive and encouraging feedback, and now look at the stuff he produces - its awesome. I dont think there is that much "candy coating" here, but I agree it isnt always helpful. As I said, make it positive and constructive, and foster the tiki spirit in the ohana.

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Basement Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 3601
From: Jawja Province, Isle of North America
Posted: 2005-11-16 06:51 am   Permalink

If this can double as a set the record straight topic, then here it is, because it seems that no matter how much that is attempted "over there", much like an old Fender Twin Guitar amp with a 6L6 about to burn out, the distortion just sounds worse and worse: I didn't start that post to discourage anyone. And I realize in hindsight that I could have worded my post to suit that end a bit better the first time around. But I have always had a way with words, all my life. Often best demonstrated by my uncanny ability to get women angry at me. I also didn't start that thread as any sort of critique on other people's art. That had zero to do with my aim (but, there again, I have a way with words, and an occasional bout of FIM's disease). I merely put it there it as an attempt to get people to dig deeper, and know and see how rich a history this genre has and where it came from, and therefore try to preserve that very genre. James had A point about knowing what tiki once was, in the heyday in 1962, but often having a tough time seeing much definition today. More appreciation and richer understanding of our heritage(which I remain hungry for and seek out myself every day) is all I was trying to breed. How that translates to how anyone creates their tiki, I don't know, but I thought for all of us it couldn't be a bad thing to do. Many people truly are unaware of much of the history. And as for traditional/non traditional, that really had little to do with what I was alluding to (and I have done both...visible on my thread). All I was alluding to was keeping the Tiki in Tiki. I would never feel anyone was unwelcome around here if they didn't carve traditional stuff. We all have our own styles. I do accurate repros of oceanic war clubs, but that's about all I really copy verbatim. I translate tiki my own way, too. We all do. When you see my stuff you know my stuff, and that goes for everyone's style here, whether developing or advanced. The "big face on a log with big teeth" thing wasn't alluding to that, (although I have seen people bunching tree wizards, frogs, and indian heads into the tiki category on E-bay and that does really bug me). That was merely a reference to a "mold" that I think people too often trap the word "Tiki" inside of everywhere, and learning more about the wonder that is the Tiki style would help people break that mold.. The reason I edited the post was, as Ben somewhat less deftly put it, and I understand, was to purge some of what I percieved as my own Foot-In-Mouth disease (after reading it again) and try to make the true aim of the post a bit clearer. I had a cup of coffee, a few minutes, and zero malevolence or ill intention when I wrote it. I thought I was doing good, but my "way with words" screwed it up. The reason I locked the topic was simple...by that time it had 60-plus responses, pro and con, and and, as Gary and MC put it, I, too, thought it had sort of run it's course. I did wait until it had gotten a few more "con" and "pro" responses prior to doing it, because I wanted to lock it on a fair note. But I really did think that by that time we all needed to have drink together and that the intent of the post has gotten distorted way, way out there. I realize now I shouldn't have done it or I should have asked another mod to do it, but that's neither here nor there. I think my track record here on Tiki Central, through three years and 16 days and 3401 members since I joined in 2002 speaks for itself. There was a day and a time when I more often (had) the time to sit down and photograph my own techniques, offer step-by steps on this or that, and see everything that was being done on Creating. Tiki was and is among my life blood and my beating heart here on Earth. I don't have as much time anymore, because of the throes of making a living and other earthly worries, but I try to when I can. A lot of us from the original old Carving Post don't have a lot of time anymore because we're not getting any younger(sans at heart:) ) and have to make a living. (A couple even got famous...and with fame comes time restraints). But it's good that Ben has picked up the torch (After, if you will, we picked up the one he left in the 70's and 80's with his contribution to history), because Ben is the best link we have around here to our tiki past, a master of technique, and most importantly a good, benevolent, patient, and encouraging soul.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2005-11-16 06:54 am   Permalink

I don't think it should become a "Whose side are you on" topic, like Abortion, or Mime Torture.

It's never been possible to encapsulate "ART" by the writen word...

There is a odd but interesting book by Tony Horowitz called "Confederates in the Attic" about traveling with Civil War reinactors.

Within this gaggle there is a heirachy of who is "Hard Core" (What makes them hard-core is the ability to become emaciatedly thin, smear themselve with rancid animal fat and stand thier own smell, and own clothes from the 1860s

At the end of summer they get into thier mini-vans and go back to the suburbs, and sell insurance (or what ever)

The point is they are not really in the confederate army.

We are not in Pre-Cook Polinesia.

I do think Studying the classic pieces, and learning from them is superlative tho, however...just making sawdust is really the bond those people have with us.

I'll go home now

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 31, 2003
Posts: 1527
From: L.I.
Posted: 2005-11-16 10:20 am   Permalink

Here's my two cents on why I think many here got riled. It's like when a star athlete, or well-liked actor says or does something that is (or comes across as being) insensitive. It holds more sting, and is taken more personally than if a "regular" person said it. Now BK, (whether he/you realize it or not) is a celebrity on TC, for a vaiety of well-deserved reasons. Like all celebrities, there comes responsibilities whether you take them seriously or not. I get what you are saying, and would actually enjoy some more constructive criticism on my work, but please consider re-reading/editing your posts BEFORE you hit the submit button. Because like all celebrities, (whether you like it or not), when you say something that people will take negatively, the effect is multiplied, and many become disappointed and discouraged. If history is any indication, people will forget this incident and move on. Hopefully we will all learn from this, and some good will come of it.

Having said that, if anyone has constructive critisism on how I can improve my work, please post on my threads. Thank you.

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 45
From: Kenosha Wi.
Posted: 2005-11-16 10:42 am   Permalink

Right on Ben! My sentiments exactly! And BK, I just needed to get my opinion out there. I Hope to see you all in 'Shout' soon!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 09, 2004
Posts: 3683
From: The thumb !
Posted: 2005-11-16 11:38 am   Permalink

THis young kid whats to say that it was Ben that saved the day. I think that the only thing that could have saved this was for you starting this new post and filling it with your Benzart ways.

With what BK has wrote above, I don't see anything wrong with those ideas.

this young gun has got some killer tiki art to do, later.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 15, 2005
Posts: 229
From: Palm City, Florida ( no really)
Posted: 2005-11-16 4:22 pm   Permalink

Personally I was originally upset then decided that it was really a bonfire that BK was lighting. i personally decided to remove my pics in demonstration and to maybe get those that lurk and not post much to toss in their comments. I immediately noticed that several sparked up. Since the post I have noticed that a passion has be lit and personally i hope it burns bright for a long time. I love the two diferent ways that Ben and Bk can inspire people. Personally i was already making a shift toward a more traditional look with my current carving "Silent Killer". Like I said in several posts I think this will end up being a good thing.

Carve on

On again for now

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 11, 2004
Posts: 2061
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2005-11-16 4:42 pm   Permalink

Hewey, thank you so much for the kind words! Your last painting is so good, and it came at a perfect time. I always love reading your posts and seeing your art. I need more car pics!

Ben, you've always been, and always will be my favorite teacher. As soon as the kids go to bed I'm breaking out the old tools and going to work. Mahalo!


On 2005-11-16 06:54, Gigantalope wrote:
I don't think it should become a "Whose side are you on" topic, like Abortion, or Mime Torture.

For the record, I totally support mime torture.
Please visit my new website,
Leeward Lounge Ukuleles

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