Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Zombie Moai sees new life, err death, awe, you know what i mean

Just saw photos of the test fire from my collaboration with Miles at Munktiki, and I am bowled over. His unique production of this mug is beyond fantastic, and I have to say I like it more than my original release of it in 2003. I will not go into details about it right now, as it will be some time before it is released by Munktiki.

(photo use permission given by Miles of Munktiki)

I will say this, collaborating with Munktiki is a huge thrill as it was one of their mugs that was my first non-vintage tiki mug, and I am a long time fan of their design sensibility and phenomenal glaze work.

For those of you reading that have asked me about this mug over the years, know that this new version comes from my original production mold from 2003, and yes, it has the gory bottom.

If you are unfamiliar with Munktiki, check it, munktiki.com for tikis, monsters, and more.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Decision made, the four Kapriman editions

Here are the four glaze versions I am picking for Kapriman. All will be an edition of 5.
Mystery Brown edition, discussed on an earlier post, is currently up for sale on my etsy store.

The other three editions will be a little more expensive, due to material costs and time involved.
Drai switmuli,Tok Pisin for dry orange, edition. This is my first foray into matte glazes. This orange is much more beautiful in person, with a dark brown break up. Interior is black.

PNG Palette edition. Red, black and orange make up this beauty, in my spattering underglaze style i like to call PNG Palette. All finished with a satin clear and red interior.

Traditional edition. This is the edition where i try to duplicate the look of the original carving this mug is based on. Features a satin finish and an orange interior. The final edition may vary slightly from this test piece.

The last three editions are being run from one mold, so they will take about a month to complete. I will let people on the email list know when they are finished. As an edition is completed it will be added to the the etsy store, junkhauler.etsy.com. The next edition that will be completed is the Drai switmuli.

I sometimes, depending on scheduling, and how well a production mold is holding up, will do custom variations on a mug. Please feel free to contact me. As stated before, after these Kapriman editions sell, i may do one offs for a show, but otherwise it is not likely that i will do another numbered edition.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

From the home lab, the Kiwi's Nest Grog

I thought I would start my first mixology post with a recent development in my home bar/lab. This cocktail was developed 10/4/08, at approximately 12:15am. Though there have been some real stinkers to come out of my mixing, and i am sure most home bars, when the attempt starts in the wee hours and after the consumption of other drinks, this one was surprisingly good on samplings since that evening. This Grog was developed out of necessity, the necessity for a cocktail to serve late that evening, having limited fresh components to draw from. Kiwifruit can always be found in our fridge, though, as it is a staple of my iguana's diet, therefor it commonly has found its way into cocktails at home for years.

Grogs in general are a favorite of mine for they're refreshing taste, generally lighter mouth feel, and tartness. I have seen some debates about What constitutes a Grog, but in the case of this cocktail, using a fruit from down under, I will go with that region's application of the word that covers any drink that has alcohol as a component. That being said, the Kiwi's Nest Grog is similar in flavor and draws from some common Grog ingredients.
This recipe is one i have not broken down to make a single drink, it essentially made three cocktails in the size glass you see in the photo.

the Kiwi's Nest Grog
2 oz. Rhum Clemente VSOP
2 oz. Cruzan Lt rum
1 oz. Coruba dark Jamaican rum
2 oz. homemade almond syrup (orgeat can be used)
3 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. pimento liqueur
dash of Blood orange Bitters
2 Kiwifruit, cut in half
1 1/2 dispensed half lemon shells

Take 1 Kiwifruit half and squeeze fruit away from the skin into bottom of glass. Muddle the fruit to make a pulpy puree. Cover Kiwifruit puree with half dispensed lemon shell, shell side up. Add dash of Blood Orange Bitters, and cover with crushed ice. Shake all other ingredients together with ice, pour slowly into glass as not to disturb the lemon shell (which would cause puree to dispense into drink, making it pulpy). Garnish with Kiwifruit wedge on rim of glass.

The point of the lemon shell "nest" is to allow the Kiwifruit puree to flavor the drink, without making the cocktail gritty or chunky. This was the solution I came up with that evening as prior attempts to juice a kiwi by hand failed miserably, and drinks i have served in the past with the puree in them would have been much nicer just having the flavor of the fruit and not the pulp. Also, using the dispensed citrus shell adds flavor, a zesty flavor from the oils of the shell, which is called for in a number of other cocktails.

Forgot to add earlier, when the drink is finished, which seems to coincide with when most of the ice is gone, we who drank this cocktail that evening were able to cleanly flip the lemon shell with its pureed contents and remove it from the glass. We then were able to eat the pureed Kiwifruit from the "nest", which was a nice tart treat that subtly carried with it the flavor of the drink.

The photo above is not a good example of what a lovely presentation this drink has. Bad lighting and a glass with a lot of heavy black print is preventing the sight of the dispensed lemon shell dome, with traces of the Kiwifruit puree, at the bottom of the drink. This photo was taken that evening late at night, and required some alteration that caused it to further look muddy.

***a note to home mixologists, from what i have read lemon and lime skins can harbor bacteria and have traces of pesticides or other deposits from the water table, i always wash these and other fruits before using, particularly in the case of cocktails requiring the addition of a dispensed shell.

Hope you try one, and please feel free to comment back when you have.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mystery Brown edition Kapriman goes up on for sale today.

Had a good firing. The Mystery Brown edition of Kapriman, which is an edition of 5, goes up on my etsy store today. Kapriman, discussed on my first post here, holds approx. 34 oz. This release will be followed up by other color editions in the upcoming weeks.
Mystery Brown is a new color edition i will do for most of my releases. Its a fun concept, i have a collection container that i pour all different colors of glaze, usually the last bits of jars, into. The color will be different everytime, but I call it Mystery Brown because with a fairly even addition of most colors you will usually end up with some type of brown. The brown on this Kapriman is a rich toffee or caramel brown, with specks. The inside has spots of color that make up the brown you see, specifically spots of black, greenish-blue, and yellow. What makes this interesting as the maker of the mugs is that i have no idea what color they will be until they come out of the kiln; it may be an almost black-brown, a color borderline like a purple that is on the brown side, but it will always be a mystery brown. Brown will always have a place with my mugs, both because of the numerous shades of woods used for carving in Papua New Guinea, other Oceanic cultures, stateside manufacturers of "island" and "tropical" decor, not to mention its place as the most used color for tikimugs. What was a little surprising, being that so many mugs are brown, is that the Brown colored edition of my Torembi mug got the most requests and sold out first, and that i have had comments from collectors about they're preference for brown mugs in general. Brown, and the mystery of brown, is here at Ocea Otica to stay.
If you would like to get on an email list that i am compiling, with the intent of getting early notification of when Ocea Otica mugs go on sale, email me at junkexotica@gmail.com with the header "sign me up for Ocea Otica news." Otherwise, this blog will be the center for news on Ocea Otica. Thanks for looking.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Vintage Beauty Monster, an introduction

the first, Wicked Lady Miss K

Here are the first of my Vintage Beauty Monster ceramic dead flower vases. I started this series last year, ideas conceived based on a group show of the same name that i was putting together at a gallery in Pasadena. I had to let the show go due to a move and some troubling times, but the name and idea stuck with me. It was from there that a few random occurrences transpired that influenced the creation of the series you see here. It started with inspiration that came when i saw the unadulterated glazed version of the vase at the ceramics studio i fire at. This beauty was from a vintage discontinued mold. The bust vase was so simple and eloquent. What really sold it for me was the hairdo, styled after the late 50's or early 60's, reminding me of both vixens from Hammer films and the beautiful comedians from Laugh In. From there i got visions of her done up as the classic monsters and sci-fi creatures from the period and earlier. Also need to throw in two other moments that helped breathe life into this series. I saw a blonde female vintage bust vase at a retro makeup store, one from the 60's, that had fired on gold. All this coincided with purchasing vintage hairdo magazines from the same period to give as a gift to a friend who is a hairstylist.
Lady Stein #1

Creatures like this were the ones i grew up loving, and was hoping to make when i got into "hollywood." My vision of hollywood, spurned on by older horror films and early printings of makeup how to books, was long gone when i got into the business. But here is a chance for me to create these classic characters. Making these lovely monsters brings me back to my early childhood attempts at doing makeup, reading through Dick Smith's Monster Makeup and Richard Corson's Stage Makeup with classic Universal horror films playing in the background.
Daylight #1

All these pieces are one of a kind. Unlike most of my other ceramic work, this original greenware comes from a production mold for the hobbyist( I sculpt and mold most of the stuff I make.) Using this vintage form as a base for my creations flexes the part of my brain that loves making art from found objects, and brings me back to my mischievous youth interest in painting and inking magazine covers to turn beauty to monster. From the pour out of the old mold, I hand detail the greenware, making each unique. I also mix my own underglaze colors, and glaze colors, without keeping notes or stocks of the colors, therefore insuring that each time something new is coming to the table, even when creating a number of the same character. Each of these beauty monsters then has either platinum or yellow gold accents that are fired on. The process is time consuming, and generally requires a minimum of three firings to complete. The insides are just as interesting, using various mixtures of "crystal" glazes that create wonderful effects that can not be duplicated by hand painted glazing alone.
So that gives you the background, fast forward to the last week of October when I finally set up an Etsy store and listed Zombie Lady #1. Listing her was a bit of an issue at home as my wife has laid claim to each of them as they are finished. This undead blonde was up and sold in time to make it to her new home in Washington by Halloween.
Zombie Lady #1 photo by Greg Burmann

***** on Nov.8th, around 6pm i will be putting up Lady Stein #1 for sale in my etsy store, here is the web address junkhauler.etsy.com

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

1st blog, upcoming release of Ocea Otica "Kapriman" mug

So, as usual, way behind the technological times, i am finally getting a blog set up in place of a website.
I am finishing up my limited edition Ocea Otica Kapriman mug. This latest mug will be my first, and for me long awaited, foray into more matte glazes. Something I wish i had worked on earlier for my Torembi mug. Kapriman is based on a carving from the Kapriman region of Papua New Guinea.
If this is the first time you are seeing any of my PNG inspired work, or are new to the world of Oceanic Art or "tiki," welcome. I do not refer to many of my ceramic vessels as tiki purely because not all the imagery comes from cultures where tiki is a word in their vocabulary, nor do i use the word to describe images of wahines, rum barrels, skulls, etc. Tiki is not in the vocabulary of the many languages of Papua New Guinea, and is more commonly found in the languages of and culture of Polynesia. For those reveling in the cultures and art of Oceania the word tiki has become the umbrella term for mugs, paintings, modern carvings, etc. that derive their influence from Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia and beyond. Coming from a linguists stand point, as i understand it, the more recent use of the word tiki as this umbrella term in our lexicon is not to be seen as purely incorrect, but as evoltion in language . I add the observation about the word tiki because you will see my work referred to as tiki, and that I am always interested in the evoltion of a lexicon, but it is not intended to criticize people who use the word as an umbrella term. In the end, this information and the mugs are for appreciation and enjoyment.
So back to Kapriman, the image attached is of the molded sculpture. I had designed and sculpted this piece in 2007, but knowing i would not get to making the production mold on it for quite some time, i molded, cast it in resin, and set it aside. I stalled production on these mugs because photos of my first two test fired pieces are being used in an upcoming book on the subject matter of tiki mugs, and I wanted the photos i had taken to be fresh when seen in the book. I am currently finishing up glaze tests, and will be offering them for sale soon. Right now my thoughts are that there will be four editions, each edition being 5 mugs. I will hold onto the mold after the run so that for future shows i can do some one offs( one offs are one a kind pieces, either by the way they are finished or by addition of handbuilding), similar to my approach with the Torembi mug at the last Tonga Hut art show. That being said, the numbers on Kapriman will remain low, maybe 50 or so.