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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving Restoration of a large mahogony 40-year-old sunburned Tiki
Restoration of a large mahogony 40-year-old sunburned Tiki
ChuckM
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 22, 2009
Posts: 14
From: Long Beach California
Posted: 2009-08-22 11:21 pm   Permalink

There is an old Tiki-like carving I'm interested in fixing up; we purchased it directly from the carver in about 1969. It was soaked in Linseed oil for a few weeks before shipping it back home to California and has been sitting outdoors ever since for nearly half a century now. The statue has lost it's beautiful luster and has become rather grey, dry and brittle; even one of the fang-like teeth has become chipped.(I would like to post some pictures, but I have an Iphone right now and can't seem to post pictures with that at the moment.) My plan was to clean it up with some gentle soap such as Castile soap or Johnson's baby wash, possible using an old toothbrush of the crevices, and then to use Brazilian Rosewood Oil to give the wood some luster and protection. I'll probably leave the tooth as it is; not too sure about that. If anybody has any ideas, tips, suggestions or warnings, I would be very keen to hear them. Thanks for your time, ChuckM

 
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hottiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 10, 2008
Posts: 297
From: Garden Grove CA
Posted: 2009-08-23 12:25 am   Permalink

ok, what is "tikilike"?...things that could help: where is it from? who carved it? how big is large? are you sure of the wood type? that's along time outside with just a chipped tooth for damage...so the photos should show the bottom as well as the rest of it. for sure it would be good to know what you got before you go doing something crazy that will kill it. good luck chuck...

 
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ChuckM
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 22, 2009
Posts: 14
From: Long Beach California
Posted: 2009-08-23 02:07 am   Permalink

Wow, quick reply, thanks! We got this cool carving in a small village a day's journey north of Baguio City, in a hilly area of North Luzon in the Phillipines, in 1969. I am under the impression that places like the Phillipines and Indonesia fall outside of official "Tiki territory", but this statue seems to have a few things in common with the more classical Tikis, both in appearance and possibly in the use or purpose of the carving. What happened was this truck pulled into town with these two tremendous carvings on the back, and as a lark my father began bargining with the carver in sign language and pidgen English to buy them . That's pretty much it as far as where it came from and who carved them. I'm fairly sure that they are Mahogony; carvings were typically made of Mahogony there in those days- it was not in short supply in those jungles in the late 60's. It's actually a huge mask, some four foot high maybe two feet wide (the mask is not here as I write this, but you've got me motivated to go pick it up tomorrow!) perhaps the mask shape allowed water to run off better than a more typical figure would, and the mahogony was resiliant enough to survive the decades, I certainly hope so.
Thanks for your response, I'll try to get this carving over here tomorrow and let you know what I discover. Thanks again, Chuck


 
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hottiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 10, 2008
Posts: 297
From: Garden Grove CA
Posted: 2009-08-23 9:01 pm   Permalink


Just going to take a guess that you got something like this. If so, four foot by two foot is a pretty good size for one of these dragon Philippine carvings and they come from right where you said...although most people don't pick them up there, in the woods as it were. Right where it was made with Dad-40 years ago. So alot of people don't put them in the tiki collections even though many many tiki joints had them hanging around. Then again some people have them, you can still buy them as tourist items in Hawaii,and almost every swapmeet and thrift shop have them. But it's not common to see them that big...that's big! Some people enjoy the look a carving takes on after all the years of weather and what not, it has that look grey, cracked, chipped, something you don't get overnite. Yes there are oils and oils...some good ...some bad. In the Philippines they used pigs blood, just saying. If you got bugs you can freeze it for a week wrapped real tight in plastic wrap or vac bag. If it might get damaged because its dry and brittle, there's a resin bath you can give it that will protect it...cost a pretty penny and turns it to almost plastic. If I had it, with a story like that...I'd hang it up over the fireplace just the way it is and call myself lucky. Like I said, just taking a guess.....


 
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ChuckM
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 22, 2009
Posts: 14
From: Long Beach California
Posted: 2009-08-24 3:40 pm   Permalink

You're right about the mask and that's pretty impressive! However, this mask is quite a bit older then the photo you had(still unable to post pics here; emailed you one though...) so it's sort of a precursor, just a slightly different style. I had not considered the patina to be desirabled until you suggested that; do you still think so after looking at it? Thanks, Chuck

 
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hottiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 10, 2008
Posts: 297
From: Garden Grove CA
Posted: 2009-08-24 9:34 pm   Permalink

Chuck: Just checking as to mention of email, I have not gotten anything anywhere....then again it's only been six hours....

 
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hottiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 10, 2008
Posts: 297
From: Garden Grove CA
Posted: 2009-08-25 12:26 am   Permalink


I posted the photos for you Chuck....I think getting it up off the ground would be a good start...turn it over out of the sun and let it dry out slow...see about the bugs ( almost got to have some bugs ) but that can be handled...teeth are alright ( I'm missing a couple myself )...just saying that 3/4 plywood cut six inches or so bigger eachside than the mask, and wrapped with grass cloth, mount the mast on it, hang the whole thing on the wall. I think it looks way good like it is. Buy another one if you want one thats shiny or painted black. In the Northwest Coast almost nothing is done to totem carvings that are outside and they look fine. They may start off rubbing fish oil on them every year, but not the case with yours so why start now. Let me know if this helps...I'll be here all week....no really, I enjoy this kind of thing...and what without having to kill me ,were you and your Dad doing in the hills of da Philippines while everybody else was at Woodstock ?





 
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ChuckM
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 22, 2009
Posts: 14
From: Long Beach California
Posted: 2009-08-27 4:24 pm   Permalink

Thanks for posting those pictures. I thought I would pick up that carving days ago, but there's been lots of distractions this week. To answer your question, we lived in Subic Bay in the Phlippines for a number of years in the late 1960's. Pretty far removed from Woodstock, sort of the other end of the spectrum! One good thing was that we got to travel quite a bit; we were on our way to visit some famous rice terraces when we found those masks, for example. That whole area was quite different fourty years ago, I've gone back dozens of times in the last couple of decades but the world is much smaller now and even a remote island like Koh Pha Nga (where the movie "The Beach" was set) has a Seven-11 and Internet cafes! Anyway, I'll try to pick up the mask and post some pic soon, really appreciate the advice and the dialog, thanks, Chuck

 
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hottiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 10, 2008
Posts: 297
From: Garden Grove CA
Posted: 2009-08-28 12:28 pm   Permalink

Just a P.S. to the refinishing of the carving. Showing a couple of examples of carvings left in antiquated state and some that designers try to make look old.
I have a collection of lumberjack tools and a few years ago I did a test to refinish some common items. Both wooden handles started out looking the same, dry, grey, old. One handle I put a good amount of a mixture of mineral spirits, oak penetrating oil stain, and boiled linseed oil. Let soak in and wipe dry. Looks good and has remained that way for last five years. Tung oil (100%) is also good. I use the boiled linseed on carvings from the swapmeets, but the really old ones I leave as I found them.


 
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ChuckM
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 22, 2009
Posts: 14
From: Long Beach California
Posted: 2009-08-28 12:56 pm   Permalink

Wow, the picture of the two older Tikis really looks great; I'm more and more sold on your idea about leaving the finish alone. Although of the handles you experimented with, you have to admit that the finished one looks prettier and might appeal to more people more than the unfinished one in a sort of a commercial sense, the patina on the older Tikis is beautiful and it would be a travesty if someone was to come along and refinish them! Another point in your favor is that once that surface is altered, there's no turning back; I don't have several decades to wait for it to age again. I'm really glad that I asked this question and I really appreciate your input and ideas! Thanks again, Chuck

 
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hottiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 10, 2008
Posts: 297
From: Garden Grove CA
Posted: 2009-09-15 10:10 pm   Permalink

something you may find as a lark..http://forums.pennstateprs.com/index.php?showtopic=15396...anyway theres info that you might like to check out...gods etc.

[ This Message was edited by: hottiki 2009-09-15 22:14 ]


 
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