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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving Copying Tiki
Copying Tiki
Kamaina Kraig
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 13, 2009
Posts: 211
From: Afton, NY
Posted: 2009-04-29 8:26 pm   Permalink

Upstate NY is difficult place to find carvers selling tikis. Not that there aren't carvers, but they generally make eagles, bears, etc. I contacted one of them and asked him if he could do tiki's and sent him a picture of a carving I found on TC. He said sure....he could do it. Not that I want him to copy that one, but if I found one I liked and asked him to copy it would that infringe on the original carvers idea? I really like the Hawaiian tiki's I've seen with the headdress that goes down the back. Also the Maoi style. If I showed the carver a picture of someone's else's work and asked him to copy it what does anyone think??

I've posted this in the marketplace also. Just don't want to step on anyone's toes. If I see someone's picture of their work would it be wrong to ask them if I could have someone try and copy it?


"The loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean" Mark Twain on Hawaii

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 2380
From: So FL
Posted: 2009-04-30 07:24 am   Permalink

It sucks if you didn't try commissioning the original artist FIRST!!! If you want something cheap, there is plenty of stuff coming from overseas. Don't steal someone's intellectual property!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 06, 2007
Posts: 137
From: Atlanta
Posted: 2009-04-30 07:56 am   Permalink

Wholesale taking one design and copying it should be avoided (though it happens often). A reasonable alternative might be to looks at a bunch of tiki and choose the elements you like (hair, eyes, mouth, teeth, embellishments) and work with the carve to create a new design. Along with skirting IP issues, the result will likely be something more meaningful to you.
All Things Designed.

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big daddy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 02, 2008
Posts: 325
From: houston
Posted: 2009-04-30 10:02 am   Permalink

i'm with both of these guys on the copying issue. get the original artist to make you a copy but the best thing you could do would be to spend 25 bucks and buy a cheap set of chisels and start carving yourself. i started that way. cheap chisels and found wood then moved up to better equipment. it really is all a matter of time. it's a more satisfactory feeling to make it yourself than to purchased it. good luck either way but if you can, avoid the outright copy (theft) of a piece.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 22, 2007
Posts: 226
From: Los Angeles, CA
Posted: 2009-04-30 11:25 am   Permalink

If it is a traditional Hawaiian design like a Ku or a copy of an actual East Island Moai then you have nothing to worry about.

It is difficult to copy a modern carvers design "exactly". They usually turn out to be variations of a theme. If someone were to buy the original and make a cast of it, it means they plan to mass produce it and sell it which is just plain evil.

To quote Cammo:
"If you look up your copyright legalities, you'll see that you cannot copyright a style. Everything that is hand carved is an original work of art and therefore does not infringe copyright. I helped draft legislation in the 90's about exactly this type of thing."

The best thing you could do is take Big Daddys advice and buy a cheap set of chisels and start carving them yourself. Or work with cement, or resins, or oatmeal boxes, or styrofoam.

Once you carve one, you are bound to want to carve more.

There is already a thread about this sort of thing so have a look.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 16, 2008
Posts: 190
From: Neptune Beach, Florida
Posted: 2009-04-30 1:55 pm   Permalink

Have to agree with everyone else here. Talk to the original artist before you do anything. Especially if it is an artist that shows here on TC. It could very well be in your best interest to obtain a sculpture from that artist. Commissioning an artist that does not appreciate tiki style to carve a tiki may produce a piece devoid of the soul that carvers put into their work.

A tiki can be an expression of the carvers inner being that speaks to you for years to come.
A copy will only ever be a copy.

If there is something you have your eye on, PM the artist, you don't even have to involve anyone else.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 19, 2006
Posts: 374
Posted: 2009-04-30 3:02 pm   Permalink

It's good that you asked beforehand but do not copy another artist's tiki. The amount of time and effort put into just the design of an original tiki is monumental let alone the carving time. The reason why I have posted so few of my tiki's is because TC allows non-members to view the carving section. That and the fact that TC doesn't block the right click allowing the viewer to copy image. There are some standard tiki's from Hawaii, Easter Island, Marquesas Islands and New Guinea. You can always do them. If you feel you must have a certain tiki then commission one from the original designer.


If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything

[ This Message was edited by: Tikilizard 2009-04-30 15:04 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 07, 2008
Posts: 109
From: Scottsdale AZ
Posted: 2009-04-30 3:16 pm   Permalink

The beautiful thing with this tiki-ism, is that let your own mind flow and be excited by others , to come up with your vision. no need to copy, just let it flow. If you can't, find one of the members work that you like and commission them, don't copy, even though its flattery in its highest form, its still not right! thanks tiki bad

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 22, 2007
Posts: 226
From: Los Angeles, CA
Posted: 2009-04-30 4:20 pm   Permalink

It is polite to ask someone before attempting to copy their work.
If the artist says no, he really has no legal leg to stand on,
especially if that piece will only be put in your home as a decoration.

There are some artists that are in it for arts sake, others are in it for the money they can make.
Each artist needs to realize which one he is. Guess which one gets more enjoyment out of it.

You will find that if you ask the former type if you can copy their piece, they will be flattered.
Why not ask them and make their day?.

As a beginning artist, you will probably be limited to copying other peoples work until you can develop a style of your own. You need to learn the basics and in doing so, your copy may look nothing like the original.

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