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Tropicana TIKIs
Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10364
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2004-01-12 9:15 pm   Permalink

They were done in 1989,90 and 91 for the Tropicana hotel, The "Island of Las Vegas"
They had about 60 tikis and 4 or 5 years later, auctioned them all off. I,ve heard Employees got most but a couple local Restaurants got some....All Hearsay
Thanks


 
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GECKO
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2002
Posts: 1049
From: South Sea Arts Honolulu
Posted: 2004-01-13 01:06 am   Permalink

Aloha braddah Ben,

Your work i have no words for my friend. I look towards the day I get a job like that or any of the new generation of carvers. Those pics are the reasons why I do what I do!

Please continue.

If there is a 2nd BOT, you should be in it.

Live Aloha


 
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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10364
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2004-01-13 05:45 am   Permalink

As well as you my friend

 
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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10364
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2004-01-13 06:21 am   Permalink

Here are more of the Tropicana Tikis..
























[ This Message was edited by: Benzart 2010-05-23 17:32 ]


 
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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10364
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2004-08-19 3:55 pm   Permalink

Aaron's Akua, the Tropicana Hotel, Sold all the tikis several years ago and changed their "Theme" from Tropical to Victorian/Plantation or similar. Don't go there looking for tikis as there are none anymore

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[ This Message was edited by: Benzart on 2004-08-19 15:58 ]


 
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Aaron's Akua
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Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1594
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2004-08-19 9:51 pm   Permalink

Benzart,

I went though this string front to back, just mesmerized with the story. What an experience for you. Polynesiac Jim mentioned that you had worked on the Tropicana tikis, but I had no idea of the sheer volume and scope of your work there. Sad ending though... I've never been to the grounds inside the Tropicana, but the front looks... Well, I'm not sure what the style is there now. They killed a beautiful tropical tiki theme, and it's a real shame. Your awesome tiki carving spree is still out there somewhere, though, probably spread out who knows where. The new owners may have no idea who carved them, but I'm sure they appreciate the inticate detail and superb craftsmanship nonetheless. Thanks for sharing... Much in awe of this work.

Have any of these guys ever resurfaced?
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Octane
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 316
From: SLO California
Posted: 2004-08-19 9:54 pm   Permalink

Ben this is the first time i saw this thread, great work on all the stuff, just one word describes it WOW!!

 
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cheekytiki
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Joined: Mar 09, 2004
Posts: 1091
From: The Haole Hut, London, UK
Posted: 2004-08-20 07:15 am   Permalink

Ben, you are a constant inspiration, whether on big or small projects your work is masterful. Please keep showing us more if you have any
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Aaron's Akua
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Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1594
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2004-08-20 1:51 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-01-12 13:12, Benzart wrote:
I had explained in the beginning that I would produce a Lot of Quick Low detail Tikis,(This one took only 6 hours)





Now, this I find amazing. How did you carve such a huge and nicely finished tiki in so little time?

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

[ This Message was edited by: Aaron's Akua on 2004-08-20 13:52 ]


 
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foamy
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Joined: Jun 15, 2004
Posts: 590
From: The Land of Pleasant Living
Posted: 2004-08-20 2:12 pm   Permalink

Wow, Ben. I mean, WOW! Great stuff! I used to do their advertising from about '98 to '01. I always wondered about all the Luau invitations I had to do. And they've gone to a Southern Plantation look? From that? Criminal.

 
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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10364
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2004-08-20 3:45 pm   Permalink

Thanks guys. See what you miss if you don't go thru the old threads??
Aaron that big guy was all chainsaw and grinders. Real big basic cuts. It is just big, nothing special as far as detail. The eyes were the most detail but that was grinder too.
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Satan's Sin
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Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 729
From: Imperial Beach, CA
Posted: 2004-08-20 4:25 pm   Permalink

That is really beautiful stuff, Benzart. Like listening to someone like Van Cliburn; you only hear the beauty, you don't hear the decades of hard work it took to get to that level.

 
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Aaron's Akua
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Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1594
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2004-08-20 11:11 pm   Permalink

OK, Benzart, I have a confession. I've decided TC really sucks. As in "sucks you in". I've been spending my lunch break here at TC just about every day, getting little bits of everyone's story. The people here are just as interesting, if not more, than the art.

So, that being said, is there a Part 2 of the "Big Book"? I gather that all of the Tropicana stuff happened between '89 and '91. Now we're in '04 and you're carving all of these intricate small pieces using jeweler's tools & such. I'm having trouble connecting the dots...
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Bamboo Dude
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Joined: Jul 05, 2004
Posts: 164
From: Orange Countiki, CA
Posted: 2004-08-21 06:35 am   Permalink

Wow, Ben... I just found this thread too. Amazed at the magnitude of this job. What a variety of tiki... where did you get the inspiration??? Surely you must have experienced "carver's block"??? Did they allow you to dream them all up on your own, or were there also suggestion as to what they wanted???

I agree with Aaron... this thread isn't over yet. We want you to fill in the blanks, or (in Aaron's words) connect the dots!!!


 
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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10364
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2004-08-21 08:20 am   Permalink

Thanks Guys, the bulk of those were done the first time I was at the Trop which lasted 6 months. I arrived in May and left the end of October. I was so drained when I came Home I couldn't do anything for a month. They gave me total control of what to carve. The first 2 or 3 days they stood around watching to make sure I was cool and then left me alone to do what I wanted. The inspirations came from within and from looking at catalogues and magazines I could find. For the Longhouse, the Archetech had drawn tikis on the poles, but when he saw my work he quickly gave te the lattitude to "do my thing". The Trop's only request was that some of the poles looked authentic And to finish it in 30 days. There were 12 poles. I got them all done in 3 weeks including carving the rafters and a small bridge hand rails. the last week I spent carving the "Welcome to The Island Of Las Vegas" sign on the front entry way beam of the Longhouse. Then it was back to the Palm trunks. Then they let me find a "Good Carving wood" source and I found the truckload of Redwood logs from Crescent City Ca that they bought and had trucked in.
When the truck came with 4 big logs on it ,EVERYONE was Really blown away. 4 logs 10 to 13 ft by 4 and 5 feet blew Me away. They questioned my ability to carve those, but that only lasted for a day. You see the results. Some of that work was (as I have said before) Magical in that I don't remember doing much of it, like I was posessed by somwone who took over and did the work. It was a blur. Of course it was probably because I had been carving 6 and 7 das a week straight for 5 months or so and I was totally worn out kept going only by the creative energy that was going on. It was an experience I am Fortunate to have experienced.
When I got home it was all down hill. Pain wise my neck was so bad I couldnt do anything and both my hands were impossible. Over the next year I wound down and finally had to sell my tools to keep from using them, I couldn't stay away from them and I couldn't use them so I sold everything and quit. after about 4 months of doing nothing I found the job at this large jewelry mfg plant carving wax masters for small gift ware and chess board sets. I was able to do that about a year but finally had to quit for the pain.
I got a real job doing tech support for some large computer companies. That is the wrong thing to do with bad hands and a bad neck. Finally had neck surgery in'99 whisc half way fixed my neck. Last year I had first my right then my left thumb repaired. the left surgery was done in Oct last year and I found TC and started carving Small scale in January of this year. I had the itch and was looking for Mold making and casting materials for some ideas I had. That is how I found TC and the rest is all here in the pages of TC's forums.
There you know the Whole story, the quick version. I'm glad to have become a TC Family member.
More pix from the Trop here:
http://tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=7212&forum=7&4
Mor benzart stuff from Before the Tropicana here:
http://tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=7296&forum=7&7
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[ This Message was edited by: Benzart on 2004-08-21 09:07 ]


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