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Tiki Central Forums » » Creating Tiki » » Tiki Carving » » Best advice for "My First Tiki" posters..From the "Old Guys"
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Best advice for "My First Tiki" posters..From the "Old Guys"
Basement Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 3591
From: Jawja Province, Isle of North America
Posted: 2007-09-03 11:22 pm   Permalink

I've noticed more and more "My First Tiki" posts here of late, and as the longest running moderator of the Creating Tiki Forum ,I thought it would be good to centralize the thoughts of the "old guys" here on a thread for the "my first" guys. Old guys, you know who you are...Gecko, Crazy Al, Jungle, Tony, Ben, Octane, Diablo, Lakesurfer, Bosko, Marcus, Hula, Gary, Shawna, Tony, Keigs, Paipo, Vince, G, Tam, Etc., Etc. If I failed to mention an old guy please speak up and know it's my feeble memory at fault. If you ain't an old guy, know that we, the old guys know you ain't an old guy. Not to say you can't one day be an old guy, if you hang around the joint long enough, (and we like you, and you carve half decent ).
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Basement Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 3591
From: Jawja Province, Isle of North America
Posted: 2007-09-03 11:31 pm   Permalink

My tips (as one of the better-looking old guys): Get on Amazon, purchase the Book Of Tiki, and purchase some general books on Oceanic Art to get inspired. This is a must if you're going to call yourself a tiki carver. Get down to the molecular scale of tiki, the ancient Oceanic Art. The embryo from which this all grew. Take it higher and learn the traditions. Polynesia is the wellspring that you want to draw from. Now-there's a million tikis out there stuck in "faceville". You don't want to get stuck there. They're a dime a dozen, twenty guys in every coastal town doing them for a fast buck. A million takes on takes of takes of takes, if you get my drift.Half of them will be in the landfill in 15 years. It's merely the surface of what's out there, and whilst a good way to practice or get the feel of carving, you -really- need to imperatively attempt the most intimidating thing you're willing to tackle right off the bat. Push, Push, Push. You want your carvings to stand out. Plan the most over-the-top thing you can think of, buy your materials, draw it out, and go for it. You know if you can carve, one can clearly see that if you're getting the right results after a couple of trys. Don't be timid, don't stick to faces, learn Oceanic art, and don't hold back on trying anything.
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GMAN
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 14, 2005
Posts: 2996
From: My Island
Posted: 2007-09-04 06:12 am   Permalink

I'm not "old", I just feel old. I have a fairly extensive library of images and will provide them electronically to most anyone who asks. I am also willing to take the time to chat - either by email or phone - with folks who want to talk carving or island history/designs. I won't claim to be an authority on this or that, I just like to help and enjoy watching people create and grow. I am an educated fellow and I have spent a fair amount of time researching the designs that I like to base my carvings off of. The majority of my image collection centers around the Maori arts, but I also have PNG, Hawaiian, and other island art well represented. I have worked with several new carvers here and have enjoyed it very much. If you need something or want to chat, just holla!

-G

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[ This Message was edited by: GMAN 2007-09-04 06:26 ]


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Benzart
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2007-09-04 07:22 am   Permalink

Hey, I'm NOT an Old Guy!

 
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Basement Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 3591
From: Jawja Province, Isle of North America
Posted: 2007-09-04 08:22 am   Permalink

Well, you know, "Old Guy" around here...that's what I mean.

 
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RevBambooBen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7454
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2007-09-04 08:56 am   Permalink


"Elders" would be more tribe like.......


 
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TheBigT
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 27, 2006
Posts: 1256
From: Fabulous Houston
Posted: 2007-09-04 1:24 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-09-03 23:31, Basement Kahuna wrote:
My tips (as one of the better-looking old guys): Get on Amazon, purchase the Book Of Tiki, and purchase some general books on Oceanic Art to get inspired. This is a must if you're going to call yourself a tiki carver. Get down to the molecular scale of tiki, the ancient Oceanic Art. The embryo from which this all grew. Take it higher and learn the traditions. Polynesia is the wellspring that you want to draw from. Now-there's a million tikis out there stuck in "faceville". You don't want to get stuck there. They're a dime a dozen, twenty guys in every coastal town doing them for a fast buck. A million takes on takes of takes of takes, if you get my drift.Half of them will be in the landfill in 15 years. It's merely the surface of what's out there, and whilst a good way to practice or get the feel of carving, you -really- need to imperatively attempt the most intimidating thing you're willing to tackle right off the bat. Push, Push, Push. You want your carvings to stand out. Plan the most over-the-top thing you can think of, buy your materials, draw it out, and go for it. You know if you can carve, one can clearly see that if you're getting the right results after a couple of trys. Don't be timid, don't stick to faces, learn Oceanic art, and don't hold back on trying anything.




Thanks for the thread BK! Would you mind posting an example of the "face" tikis you are talking about?

I already took your advice - about tackling difficult projects - last year on my 1st tiki. I never posted the pics bc my digital camera broke right around then. But I have some now - with my really crappy older digital camera - that I need to post and have just been procrastinating. I am now on my 2nd tiki; a smaller copy of the 1st.

So I'll try to post the pics tonight....


 
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kingstiedye
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 05, 2005
Posts: 1301
From: sackatomato
Posted: 2007-09-04 5:06 pm   Permalink

i like the idea of this thread. new guys, please heed the old guys' advice. bk, gman, ben and the others mentioned definitely know what they're talking about. ben, you are THE old guy (in terms of respect).
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finkdaddy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 11, 2004
Posts: 2061
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2007-09-04 6:05 pm   Permalink

I guess I have to consider myself an "in-between" guy. Not quite recognized as an "old guy", but definitely beyond a "first tiki" guy.
I suppose my best advice is to have an open mind, be willing to hear and learn from advice, carve as much as possible, and, most importantly, aim high. If you're pretty sure you can pull something off, then make sure you're trying something just beyond that. You may have to spend more time doing it, or even more than one try, but in the end you will be that much happier.
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Polynesiac
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2079
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2007-09-04 6:26 pm   Permalink

I'm certainly not a tiki guru (aka "old guy") around here, but I've had the good furtune to talk shop with many of them. Inspiration lies in the literature of what tiki is and where it came from. Study the different styles from all over the south pacific. (take Gman up on his very generous offer of pictures if you can't spend some time at the library or searching through tiki central, BOT or tiki modern). Study how the carvers of the 60's and 70's interpereted the "tiki style". Emulate the original designs, but make them your own and try to actually CARVE out the tiki, rather than scratch into the wood. Look at structural design of tikis - how are their body's formed? Where are the arms? why are they like that? how do the feet look? How does the face/body fit together symmetrically? Look for deep areas and shallow areas - see how the knees come out of the wood, that arms may turn into the wood, and the tongue comes out of the mouth. Search tiki central for tool advice (aaronsakua and the mastah benzart have many great posts about tools as do many, many other carvers), from beginning sets to more advanced and ask questions. The orignal carving post did too - but I was said to see that many of the pictures ahve not survived. I love that post.

Don't be afraid to try something that may be out of your percieved level of ability, grasshopper. If you do not try, you will never succeed.
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Basement Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 3591
From: Jawja Province, Isle of North America
Posted: 2007-09-04 7:54 pm   Permalink

Fink, Polynesiac, you guys have been here for a while..good advice...keep it coming!

 
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hewey
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 14, 2004
Posts: 4278
From: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 2007-09-04 9:47 pm   Permalink

Quote:
Get on Amazon, purchase the Book Of Tiki, and purchase some general books on Oceanic Art to get inspired. This is a must if you're going to call yourself a tiki carver. Get down to the molecular scale of tiki, the ancient Oceanic Art. The embryo from which this all grew. Take it higher and learn the traditions. Polynesia is the wellspring that you want to draw from. Now-there's a million tikis out there stuck in "faceville". You don't want to get stuck there. They're a dime a dozen, twenty guys in every coastal town doing them for a fast buck. A million takes on takes of takes of takes, if you get my drift.Half of them will be in the landfill in 15 years. It's merely the surface of what's out there, and whilst a good way to practice or get the feel of carving, you -really- need to imperatively attempt the most intimidating thing you're willing to tackle right off the bat. Push, Push, Push. You want your carvings to stand out. Plan the most over-the-top thing you can think of, buy your materials, draw it out, and go for it. You know if you can carve, one can clearly see that if you're getting the right results after a couple of trys. Don't be timid, don't stick to faces, learn Oceanic art, and don't hold back on trying anything.



Quote:

Thanks for the thread BK! Would you mind posting an example of the "face" tikis you are talking about?



Most carvers start out just doing basic tiki heads for their first carves. I’ll use my carvings to demonstrate. I’m still very much a new carver, nowhere near the league of these other guys, but have done enough to show some progression.

Here’s a perfect example of a beginner style tiki that I did. It’s very simple, not very exciting is it? Very generic…


Here’s another ‘faceville’ tiki, but a better one. A bit more traditional, a bit more style to him, and finished off better. But ultimately still a fairly simple design, not something that will stop you in your tracks.


Now, compare my simple tikis to these tikis:


Very traditional maori influenced tiki by Gman (left) and very tiki pop culture tiki by Marcus (right)

Both have full rounded bodies, awesome detail, and an amazing level of finish to them. I know I would much rather prefer one of these last two!

Listen to these guys with the experience! They've done the hard yards, a lot by trial and error. Us new guys dont realise how easy we have it, just jump on here and ask a question and someone will help you out (just look at how many guys have already posted here). Push your boundaries with each new carving. That can be more detail, a deeper carve, a more technical body shape, or even a finer quality of finish. Sometimes I find putting a ‘finished’ tiki to the side for a little helps. Eyeball it for a while, and you’ll see all the bits that you want to improve. Most of all have FUN
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tikidreams
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2006
Posts: 119
From: Sweden
Posted: 2007-09-05 12:45 am   Permalink

While you´re at it. Give som more tips on books.
And thanks for the start of an interesting thread.


 
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tikiskip
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Nov 26, 2005
Posts: 2830
Posted: 2007-09-05 10:11 am   Permalink

You don't need to buy a book per say.
You could make your own book.
Do this with pictures you find on the net, Ebay.
Find things that give you ideas for your projects.
Then cut them out and put them in your book.
I'm not saying flat out copy the work. But it will give you some ideas.
You can also put in this book pics of things you have made,sold.
Also put in your book things you want to make. Things that worked.
And things that did not work. You could put the time it takes you to make something.
Or the cost of making something.These things will help you with pricing.
I don't carve really I'm more of a light maker.
But this would work with carving too.
Hope this helps.



 
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TIKIBOSKO
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 17, 2004
Posts: 323
Posted: 2007-09-05 12:12 pm   Permalink



Aloha below is part of something I posted a while back to a thread regarding a mug which although really cool was not a Tiki (mug). If you have read it sorry, if not perhaps it may help you, if I posted it in error again sorry.

I feel this applies to the topic at hand, carving, but not the technical aspects of it rather the concepts below are how I approach a new piece and how I view others work. It took me many years to refine my style, to see what made it genuinely different from someone else. Don’t get frustrated or expect to have it down in a few carvings, it is not just about the physical act of carving but the whole process.


“When I first met Sven he really stressed the importance of knowing all the original styles, imbuing the idol with mana and taking off on your own path. It’s the mana part that I think many are missing and it is not a tongue in cheek type phrase. All great carvings have a depth or energy all their own, the Polynesians were the only “primitive” culture that I know of to have this concept. When creating a piece it is not about putting something in, it’s about bringing something out. When you look at a true carving it has a feeling like the thing inside can’t be contained by the material, but when you see a bad copy it just lays flat, it lacks something you can’t put your finger on. All the pieces that should be there are, after all it still looks “nice”. There are very seemingly simple or crude carvings which can convey volumes when you look at them, but the more you look the more complex they become.
Also this is not to suggest slavishly copying an original, those pieces usually look quite stiff or uninspired, no matter how well they are technically. If you understand the idea you are after often it can be done with a few quick lines, there is a vitality that is hard to explain in these pieces.
The ideal is taking a concept to the next level not just making changes just for the sake of change, or because it would look cooler with bigger teeth, three eyes, a mile of tattoos or more whatever.”


My very best alohas,

Bosko


 
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