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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Large Tiki Fork and Spoon Collecting
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Large Tiki Fork and Spoon Collecting
Bongo Bungalow
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2007
Posts: 1272
From: Indiana
Posted: 2008-11-10 03:17 am   Permalink

How did THESE THINGS get started? Are you embarrassed to have these as art of your tiki collection? Are they the ultimate tacky-- part tiki, part "country"?

Here's what I found on Wikipedia about the origins of decorative Forks and Spoons:

[begin quote]
As folk art

Wooden spoons have been made in virtually every nation on earth and (compared to silver or pewter or gold spoons) represent the ordinary artisan and reflect the life of ordinary folk: this is their "folk art".

Each region, sometimes each village, will produce its own very distinct style and type of spoon. Many African examples are carved with wild animals and are aimed at the tourist market; there are others that are ceremonial and contain much symbolism. Distinctive painted spoons have been made in the Khokhloma region of Russia for nearly 200 years, originally for domestic use and in more recent times as tourist objects.

Traditionally, the intricately-carved wooden love spoon has been used as a token of affection in Wales - see below 'The Lovespoon Story'. Each spoon could contain different meaning as shown by the use of various symbols, for instance: a chain would mean a wish to be together forever; a diamond would mean wealth or good fortune; a cross would mean faith; a flower would mean affection; or a dragon for protection. Many sailors carved spoons as they had much free time at sea on their long voyages, they would carve such symbols as anchors or ships into the spoon. Although the Welsh love spoon has its unique qualities, other styles of love spoons have been made in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, notably Romania.

In sporting culture

In some regions, particularly British-influenced ones of the Commonwealth and the United States, "wooden spoon award" is a booby prize for the team or individual finishing a competition in last position.
[end of quote]


So... makers of tiki tourist items perhaps chose to produce Large Tiki Forks and Spoons as a vehicle to sell popular stuff. "Decorative Forks and Spoons are a popular as folk art items, we want to sell lots of items, let's make tiki versions of Large Forks and Spoons." ???? Or did they begin as a tiki booby prize?

I have just one Large Tiki Fork, which is in my office... can you see it? Wood on wood; perhaps I'm subconciously hiding it.




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[ This Message was edited by: Bongo Bungalow 2008-11-10 04:47 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Bongo Bungalow 2008-11-10 04:50 ]


 
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MrBaliHai
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Joined: Jun 01, 2002
Posts: 795
Posted: 2008-11-10 04:04 am   Permalink

I've loved this sort of stuff ever since I was a kid, when my mom would tell me that they were dinnerware for cannibals. I found this set last year. I think the motif is Native American, but they fit into my tiki bar perfectly.


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11090
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-11-10 2:27 pm   Permalink

Mr Bali Hai, that is a unique design I have never seen before. There are other non-Tiki, Indonesian faces on some of the big ones out there, but this one is especially cool. I hope some other folks have some surprises in store like that, because, honestly, to me the giant fork and spoon sets represent the bottom of the barrel of not only Tiki carvings, but of tourist art (which is already less cool than Tiki!):

The Tiki ones all look alike, and some are so badly carved you cannot make out what the figures are supposed to be. Before EVERYTHING that had a Tiki on it became collectable, they used to used to hang around en masse in thrift stores here. Kind of like the native-girl-with-movable-legs nut crackers, of which the early ones possessed a basic level of carving artistry, but later examples devolved into "nameless pieces of hacked wood". Here is a small set with the basic Ku design that I speak of (it resembles that blocky cheap tourist Tiki that was sold by the thousands in Hawaiian convenience stores):


I am sorry to have to be so blunt, Bongo Bungalow, you might have fond childhood memories of these and your mom's story is truly classic, but I just wanted to remind folks here WHY the art of mainland Tiki is so special: Because of its high artistic quality and ingenuity, things that are absent in most of these mass-produced, generic gag souvenirs ....in my (un-)humble opinion.


 
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Bongo Bungalow
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2007
Posts: 1272
From: Indiana
Posted: 2008-11-11 04:07 am   Permalink

Could not agree more, bigbrotiki. Yet, here they are... part of tiki history. And many of us occasionally add un-artistic items to our collections.

When guests see my office tiki collection, they find some items facinating, some items beautiful, some surprising and some items humorous. My tiki fork is a bit in the last catagory. I get something like, "I've seen these before, I didn't notice they were little tiki guys!" I like that.

There is a drive for some collectors to gather in EVERYTHING they find that fits the catagory. I wonder if any TC members have like 50 sets of Large Tiki Forks and Spoons? How much variety is out there? How amusing would they be all hung together on one wall?

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nuKKe
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 13, 2005
Posts: 172
From: Tel Aviv, Israel
Posted: 2008-11-11 04:59 am   Permalink

Ignorance is bliss, they say, and although growing up surrounded by wooden utensils wonders (grandma was - and still is - a huge fan of souvenirs), I cannot describe you the sense of victory I felt upon discovering a chipped wooden spoon with a carved Ku on top one morning, some 3 years ago in Tel Aviv's baragin market. This was my very first tiki find in the wild and in general, save for 2 postcards I had previously bought and two others that had already been in my postcard collection.

I love my fork, just like I like the weird abstract-ish Moai I found in the same market last spring. Later, of course, I've realised that the tiki utensils (please don't mind me calling them tiki) aren't such a big deal and that they can be found all over the place - a western trading post in Oklahoma Route 66 and an isolated ranch in Thompson Falls, Montana, included (and also really, really badly carved ones in the flea market in Jaffa, apparently)- but hey, when in the desert you don't say no to water just because you like coke.


 
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MrBaliHai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2002
Posts: 795
Posted: 2008-11-11 06:26 am   Permalink

[quote]
On 2008-11-10 14:27, bigbrotiki wrote:
Quote:

Mr Bali Hai, that is a unique design I have never seen before. There are other non-Tiki, Indonesian faces on some of the big ones out there, but this one is especially cool.


Glad you approve, bigbro. My set is signed by a Peter Mellick of Ashland, Wisconsin. I know nothing about him, so I'm not sure exactly what style he was working in here, but as I said, I can see definite Native American influences in the faces. I also thought it was unusual that he did a knife and spoon, as opposed to a fork and spoon. I'd never seen that before.
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Sneakytiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2003
Posts: 1795
From: Boise, Idaho
Posted: 2008-11-20 11:42 am   Permalink

I had a couple of these sets around..

I decided to carve tikis out of the tiki spoon handle. The top of the spoon with hanging hole was discarded, the top tiki body turned into a moai head, the second tiki body turned into the moai's belly and arms and the lone tiki head at the bottom of the handle was carved into a lono/hei tiki, the top part of the spoon itself was carved into a fishhook and I learned that carving monkeypod with exacto knives is hard....



I then drilled a hole in the back to wall hang and a side hole to wear it as a pendant.

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[ This Message was edited by: Sneakytiki 2008-11-20 11:44 ]


 
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SilverLine
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 02, 2004
Posts: 630
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2008-11-20 3:20 pm   Permalink

Interesting thread idea. I'd guess everyone has at least ONE of these, whether they'll admit it or not.

I saw dozens of these in thrift stores and antique malls for years and refused to buy one at any price. But when I saw this one in a house we were salvaging before demolition I was actually excited to grab it! Of course, now I keep it behind the door in my home office (which should tell you something about how I really feel about it). I guess it was well worth the purchase price!





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ErichTroudt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 412
From: SoCal
Posted: 2008-12-02 10:42 am   Permalink

I had a broken Spoon with a nice handle.... I need door handles for the hut.....





 
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catintexas
Member

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 7
From: D/FW Airport
Posted: 2008-12-02 11:13 am   Permalink

Hey, those are nice handles. I actually bought a couple of spoon sets for just this exact purpose. I hid them around here, some place.
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MrBaliHai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2002
Posts: 795
Posted: 2009-01-09 06:39 am   Permalink

Sophia Loren shows off her giant Tiki dinnerware:


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Tiki Kupcake
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 07, 2008
Posts: 362
From: Portland, OR
Posted: 2009-01-09 06:53 am   Permalink

Oh, I have the same set she has. But, her head is not in the middle of them.

 
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Bongo Bungalow
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2007
Posts: 1272
From: Indiana
Posted: 2009-01-09 07:14 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-01-09 06:53, Tiki Kupcake wrote:
Oh, I have the same set she has. But, her head is not in the middle of them.



The "same set" you say? You have the same set as Sophia Loren? Nice...


 
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Brandomoai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 321
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posted: 2009-01-09 07:48 am   Permalink


This is from my first post on this board. These were one of the first "Tiki" items I bought in a thrift store, before I knew anything about what was cool and what wasn't. (same story with the mask between them - bigbro, look away...) They're so common, why not pick up a set? They're great wall-filler. These ones are particularly crude; the tikis almost unrecognizable. Here in Edmonton, authentic artifacts are very few and far between, so we've got to make do with the touristy stuff that managed to make it this far north. I'll never tout them as anything but cheap, tourist crap, along the same lines as monkey pod mugs and tikis made in the Philippines. I really like that idea of turning them into door handles. I'm thinking about picking up one of those sets with the owls instead of tikis, to post to "Owl Central" of course!


 
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Tacky Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 258
From: Tackyville, N. CA
Posted: 2009-01-09 8:50 pm   Permalink

I have a fork/spoon combo, but I also have what looks like the same idea applied to a skillet...in other words, it's a wooden platter with a tiki handle. I also have one that looks like a teardrop shaped scoop with a single tiki handle.

If I wasn't such a computer-illiterate-dumbs*#t I would be able to take pictures with my handy digital camera and post them here to share. But I am a dumbs*#t and don't have a clue how to get the pics from the camera onto this post.


Tacky


 
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