Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This Saturday, December 13th. Tiki Wonderland art show at the Tonga Hut

I have been working like a mad man to get stuff ready for the show, and will be updating this post with pictures as i get things done. If all works out, I hope to be premiering my new Moai and Thirsty mugs, have two T-shirts, and two prints from Jeff Berry's upcoming Beachbum Berry Remixed. Also artist Amber Skowronski, who customized some of the new Moai and a couple of other "two seater" mugs, and who I had asked to do a couple of paintings, will be joining me at my booth. So please pop your head in over here in these days leading up to the show and additionally I hope to see you at the Tonga Hut on the 13th!

****12/9 update: Here is a sneak peak at the two t-shirt designs. Seen here is the mockup of the artwork. The first pressing will be on black t-shirts; "THIRSTY" will be printed in a green which should match fairly close to mint leaves i brought over to the screen printers, the "Torembi" shirt will be a cinnamon tan ink. The "THIRSTY" shirt features my new mug of the same name, filled with a Zombie, garnished with a pineapple spear, Maraschino cherries, ample amounts of fresh mint, with a Hunstein Mountains cult hook swizzle i made for another photo shoot. The back of the "grave opening" features a pocket from which dry ice is starting to spread its "fingers." The "TOREMBI" shirt features the mug of the same name, garnished with pineapple wedge, cinnamon stick, star anise and Geranium leaf, all set against a dark natural cork background. Michele, the owner of Angry Girl, let me have a direct hand in mixing the custom cinnamon tan color, with the aid of a cinnamon stick I brought along.
I will have a limited number of these two shirts in LG and XL at the show. You can get info on Angry Girl's creative screen printing services at www.angrygirl.org.



Also having Michele's gang print me up some vinyl stickers. The first run of these going with the classic black print on white vinyl. Below can be seen the uncut sheet artwork. Two of the stickers in this pack feature my collaboration Zombie Moai with Miles at Munktiki, with the editions name MUNKTIKI X OCEA OTICA. I will have a limited number of these stickers in packs at the show.

Sticker packs will contain all stickers seen in uncut sheet above.

**** Day of show, 12/13, will have just one of the stickers from sheet, the Ocea Otica lettering on driftwood image, will have 11 THIRSTY one offs, 12 MOAI one off including the 2 custom underglaze painted by Amber Skoronoski, two additional mugs from Amber, a limited number of artist proof shirts and low intro price, and a very small number of artist proof prints of some of the photos from Beachbum Berry Remixed.
Below can be seen preview pics of the mugs:



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Uberband, LIVE IN POLAND,... an i helped, release party December 5th

Coming out in the beginning of this month is the first official full length release by Uberband, after years of touring with only a few tracks previously released.
Their music; an often times maniacal blend of genres such as jazz, funk, metal, country, 50's ballad, etc. that is expertly crafted and played often with complex timing, and lyrically; vicious, funny, cruel and sweet, which is backed by a carnival-esque stage presence, strange costume and makeup themes that give their audiences' brains some visual mania to go with the sounds. And aside from all that, its really fucking fun!

I have collaborated with Ryan, RyThoJo, Uberband's front man, in the past years on some elements for their stage shows. I brought in my pal and fellow makeup effects artist Don Rutherford to do KISS styled makeups for a previous show, consulted on some blood gags for some shows, and built some wearable open brain surgery caps (one can be seen in photo below) that the band used live and for photos.

Following shortly after Ryan told me the name of the new album, LIVE IN POLAND, i got a visual in mind and threw it at him. He liked the idea; a model set of the cover, kind of the feel of Mr. Rogers kingdom set and look of a model set you might see in an older campy low budget sci fi flick, with flower topiary for the name of the album, snowy mountains, Polish villages and the Uber U as an ice sculpture. The hope was to capture the feel of the band and music, i guess on a textural level, if they were a farmland somewhere in Poland.
Below is foamcore, bamboo skewers, cardboard and hot glue in action.

an early heavily saturated ice u test

Ryan took the imagery and did a photoshop mockup for the lay out. Then i got to building, down and dirty foam core construction, paper surfaced mountains, practical clouds and setting sun, etc. Then with Ryan's approval and assistance, we lit and shot the set. The Uber U was sculpted in clay, molded, then poured up in different red tinted ices that were shot separately and comped into the photo later. I also contributed ideas for the cd surface artwork and back panel which Ryan put together the artwork for and did the final layout.
December 5th, you can see the craziness for yourself, the record release party happens:
at Trip Bar
(non-descript black colored bar next to Jack-In-The-Box. Howzabout a map?)
2101 Lincoln Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
$5 per person - 21 and up

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ocea Otica update,3 new mugs in the works and...

So its been quite some time since i sculpted and molded some new designs. Of recent, many of the one off pieces i produced last year were started off using greenware from vintage molds, the Munktiki x Ocea Otica Zombie Moai, as mentioned earlier, was a sculpture from 2003 and the Kapriman mug, which i finally started releasing at the end of last year, was sculpted in 2007. So what the hell have i been doing all this time, well, who cares.
So to make up for lost time, before i have to go on a little month long hiatus in the beginning of November, I have 5 mugs in various states of completion. Here is some info on three of them.
To get the ball rolling, I was struck with the desire to sculpt a Moai with a traditional feel. The Moai, probably having the largest catalog of interpretation by ceramic vessel, is still my favorite icon from Oceanic arts, and provides endless possibilities for the mug maker and artist. Pictured below is the first greenware pull from the mold. The plan is to texture each mug to varying degrees of decay, then the color combos will range from the natural to the eye popping unnatural. This Moai stands 8 3/4 inches tall, liquid volume to be determined later. I will probably produce these until the mold wears out, or i wear out. I hope to have some available by the end of the year.
Next up, by no coincidence created at this time of year, is the first in my return to the subject of the Zombie, a favorite cocktail of mine. "Thirsty" depicts a man in serious need of a cocktail. Digging to the surface gave him time to consider how many years it been since his last savory cocktail, and being that there is a dry ice chamber in the back of the mug, a Fogcutter may be appropriate, though a Zombie is its most desired. Pictured below is the sculpture close to completion. This is a somewhat stylized "clean" zombie, in which the fats have dissolved, but the skin is still in tact, almost preserved similar to the Bog Mummies. The mold was completed and hopefully I will start pouring these at the end of this year. This mug required two separate molds to complete and each greenware will have some subtle line work added in. Production numbers will be low, and there may be a standard glazed version and one offs.
Next up is another piece in the zombie ilk; this one being inspired by the lore of the creation of the Zombie cocktail. Pictured below is the sculpture in progress. There will be a hat added later. The look I am going for is somewhat caricature-like, or cartoonish, hopefully bringing to mind the vibe of 1950's and 1960's ad art combined with a bit of flappy skin zombie nausea.

So you may be asking, none of these are the mugs i thought you were putting out next. This is true. The Asaro Mudmen will see the light of day next year, also the Maprik and Yamok bird spirits, as well as other mug projects i have discussed in the past.
The Kapriman Traditional version, only a year and a half late, will hopefully be finished as well by the end of the year.

I was recently contacted by designer and prolific mug artist Squid, AKA Dave Cohen, about participating in his group luau pig mug project, so i will have this one off custom version of his greenware finished by the end December. You can see some of his work here: www.squidart.com

And with the holidays coming up, i highly recommend the acquisition of the Ghastly Ones new ep, Gears and Ghoulfinks, out on purple vinyl, available here: http://ghastlyones.com/merch.htm and a mug for the mustache-ed, a beautiful mug with a vintage feel, emoting the charm of Don the Beachcomber, Sophistico by Miles of Munktiki, viewable and purchasable here: http://www.munktiki.com/Newest.htm

So thats enough for now, what a gas bag, i got tired of reading this about two sentences in!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just in time for Halloween....

On Monday, October 26th at 6pm, at Munktiki.com, Miles' new edition of my Zombie moai will go on sale. His new edition, from my original mold from 2003, features stunning glaze work. This is an edition of only 25, so they will go quick. Here is the link to the sale info http://www.munktiki.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=M&Product_Code=OO&Category_Code=H. It has been a real treat collaborating with Miles and Munktiki, as it a was a Munktiki mug that was my first non vintage tiki mug.
**October 26th update, got word these sold out**

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tonight marks the one year anniversary of the TDN at the Mixoloseum...

Tonights TDN at the Mixoloseum marks the one year anniversary of the Thursday Drink Night. The focus will be the Tiki drink, with special guests Jeff "Beachbum" Berry and Martin Cate getting into the mix.
Congrats to Kaiser Penguin and all involved who have made staying at the home bar on a Thursday night something i try to prioritize every week. If you have not checked in or participated, know that it is a fun, informative evening in the chatroom, involving a mix of Bartenders, collectors, blog writers, cocktail enthusiasts and home bar mixologists from all around the world. And there is the cocktails, many new and interesting drinks developed and submitted on a weekly basis by some palette talented.
I look forward to crushing some ice, to pulling out my garnish tools, feeling the burn of citric acid on my fingertips,working my way through my spirits shelves, learning something new, the camaraderie, and to being a participant in this TDN.
Here is the info from Kaiser Penguin's blog:
A year ago, this week, the revelry began. And if my sundial displays truth, the Mixoloseum has hosted 50 Thursday Drink Nights since that first mixological day. In that time, cocktail enthusiasts, writers, and bartenders have created over 500 original cocktails using everything from Fernet Branca to buttermilk. Guests who once came in fear of all the homemade syrups and bitters being slung about like fool’s gold in the chat room now make their own cinnamon syrup, have two local sources for Ting (in case one runs out), and don’t bat an eye when someone calls yellow Chartreuse instead of green.
TDN Anniversary - Tiki
50cm gold Japanese barspoon
We’ll be celebrating with rum, rain gods, and back scratchers this week, and Jeff Berry and Martin Cate will be making an appearance to sling potions and generally be jealous that we have more homemade syrups than they do. The prizes are profuse, and the last tiki torch won’t be doused until the first rays of light creep across my sundial.
The Prizes
Best Original Tiki Drink - 50cm gold Japanese bar spoon (pictured at right)
Best Gin Cocktail - Bottle of Port of Barcelona gin signed by the distiller.
Best Absinthe Cocktail - Bottle of Obsello absinthe signed by the distiller.
Best Spiced Rum Cocktail - Bottle of Old New Orleans Cajun spiced rum
Last One Standing - If you close the doors on our party, you will get yourself a pick of one of Mud Puddle’s six new cocktail book releases.
First two newcomers who submit a drink - More books! Pick from Mud Puddle’s line-up.
We’ll also be giving out Annual Awards throughout the night (e.g. Person who consistently submits the worst drinks).

here is a link to the Mixoloseum:

and a photo to get you in the mood for this evening, a cocktail I was working on for a TDN I ended up missing:
The Swag's Glow

Happy 1 year birthday TDN, you know where i will be tonight.............
p.s. as of 1 hour ago, two as of yet unnamed winnings of a contest to be figured out shortly will have the prize of an Ashen Black color edition Tumbuna mug and a Underbelly of the Grey Plover color edition Tumbuna mug, the last two of this mug, as the molds were destroyed already

Sunday, August 16, 2009

after much delay, the Kapriman mug is back in play

So after roughly an 8 month hiatus from making mugs, I have gotten back to the craft. The Kapriman PNG Palette edition, an edition of 5, will be completed in the next couple of days. 3 of the 5 will be posted on my Etsy store soon, with a notification going out on the Ocea Otica email list. I hope to follow up shortly with the Traditional edition in the upcoming weeks.
Aside from Kapriman, I have started working on some of the collaboration mugs. I have two of the Tiki Tony-Ocea Otica one offs done, and a test fire of the Munktiki-Ocea Otica pieces done. At some point I will get together with the mug artists involved to figure out how my customized versions of their mugs and how their customized versions of my Kapriman mug will be displayed and sold. I can't wait to see what comes of this collaboration project and hope it is the beginning of a yearly melting of the minds (yes melting, not melding).
In the upcoming weeks i will start posting pictures of the collaboration pieces i finish.
Thats it for now, hope to be getting my hands much dustier the rest of the year and get back to some of the designs that i had hoped to originally release at the beginning of the year.
*****Update 8/22 This edition of Kapriman went up today and sold out along with a handful of one off AP's and glaze tests of Torembi and Tumbuna ( a couple of which are pictured below) from my own collection. Thanks to everybody that checked them out, now to get back to working on the last Kapriman edition and and to start sculpting on some new designs.
an original glaze test, this lighter version with highlights in the underglaze was not the final glaze/underglaze combo for the Yam Mask Yellow edition
Soil of New Guinea Tumbuna AP, this was the edition of Tumbuna featured in Tiki Mugs: Cult Artifacts of Polynesian Pop by Jay Strongman

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sadly no Tales of the Cocktail for me, so instead Tales from the Pittsburgh Airport Hyatt

Once again I am unable to attend Tales of the Cocktail; pesky finances and work schedule preventing me from furthering my lifelong education and romance with booze. So instead, here is an alternate tale.....

the start, the hotels Bloody mary, using a mix made at the bar daily

Pittsburgh, well the Hyatt at the Pittsburgh airport to be more exact, where we held up for 4 days, only leaving our room to spend equal amounts of time in the bar. But this was like no airport/hotel bar experience either of us have had. The bar and dining room is large, with a very laid back pleasant atmosphere, with large open views of a simple, but beautiful wooded grassy "courtyard." View and space aside, it was a very accommodating and sweet bar staff who went above and beyond, filling requests initially, then going as far as providing fresh fruit and veggies to make cocktails with. After some discussion, in particular with Brian, then the sharing of a copy of 'Sippin Safari' and Jeff Berry's Tiki App on the I Touch, enthusiasm and personal interest grew (Brian took the book home to read one evening), and so did some experimentation and close recreation (well as close as a hotel's limited bar stock would allow)of some of the classics from 'Sippin Safari.'

book in hand, i take a knife to a cucumber
out comes a Cou-Cou Comber, with the adjustment of a bit of Sambuca in place of their lack of Pernod

so named by Brian, our Pineapple Minnetonka, a mix of vodka, pineapple juice, Tuaca, muddled mint and i believe soda, notes got left at the bar, but we drank many of these over 3 days.

Brian, pouring it up
memory is hazy on what i put together for the pineapple i cored out, but the wife concurs it was tasty.

This was just a small sampling of the cocktails consumed, as their were were numerous rounds of each cocktail, samplings of the cocktails on the bars list, and a few adjusted versions from said list. One of these evenings of heavy sampling lead to some snapshots of us sprawled out on the floor of the hallway en route to our room, pictures best viewed upon request on a visit to our apartment after a few rounds of cocktails.

An older couple who were watching my back and forth with the bar and who took to viewing my copy of Sippin' Safari shared tales of traveling to Polynesian bars in the heyday and of their large collection of mugs they have from those early travels. The husband then proceeded to buy a round of a rum coffee drink whose recipe he recalled from years past.

Who knew we could have some Tales in an airport Hyatt, in Pittsburgh no less, a special thanks to Brian, and the other bartenders and wait staff for such a lush trip.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

a slew of cocktails from my messy files....hi, how are you doing?

So it has been some time since i posted something new. Between work and personal projects, this blog, or the hopes to post with some frequency, have been dashed. So I am attempting to go through my mess of a computer and pull out some drink photos spanning from some time in 2008 until just recently to re open the door to this, my ramshackle digital house, in attempt to put together a recap rerun episode. As to be expected from my mess of a brain, not all the cocktails names can be dredged out of the fog that is my memory.

Perfumed Beauty

* 4oz Oval vodka
* 1/2oz sloe gin
* 1/2oz lime juice
* 1 1/2oz simple syrup
* 1 large wedge pineapple
* 3 mint sprigs
* 2 dashes Angostura bitters
* 1/4t ground cardamom

Rim snifter with cardamom mixed with simple syrup, then muddle a large wedge of pineapple with three mint sprigs, 2 dashes angostura bitters, 1/4t ground cardamom and then fill glass crushed ice. Separately shake remaining ingredients, pour into glass, garnish with a bunch of mint sprigs and a lime wedge.

This goes back to earlier experimentation with cardamom, wanting the perfumed scent of this wonderful spice to be as present in flavor as in smell. The rim addresses this, and as long as you do not gouge your eye out with a straw, savor the flavor of the rim with the drink on occasion as you try this one out.

This was the cocktail i posted for the recent Thursday Drink Night at the Mixoloseum, the second time i have been a participant and not just an onlooker. This would have been a more beautiful presentation with a fat base round snifter, as the muddled pineapple and mint sprigs had a really nice layered look at the bottom, not captured in this photo.
Hot House Landing
This was the first cocktail i had submitted to a Mixoloseum TDN, will put up the recipe later, but it had muddled hot house tomato and a number of spices.
This is a mystery to me, do seem to recall it was something with a fresh (or really really ripe 7-11) banana, hence the banana peel wrapping, which would have been a more beautiful presentation had it not already donned its leopard print coat. My guess, beginning of this year. My hope, it tasted good.
Another take on the Kiwi's Nest Grog, recipe can be found in an earlier posting here.
somepin. another one lost in the fog.
from 12/11/2008, a true mystery of a mystery bowl, may have notes on this, though surrounding bottles give some indication, and the bits of zest in the drink just caused me to salivate a bit.
mystery drink from 1/15/09, not sure, thinking something from the Grog Log
something utilizing a tangerine from sometime, something off the cuff


Thursday, March 5, 2009

"tiki" mug heaven, signing event for Jay Strongman's Tiki Mugs book at La Luz Gallery, March 7th

post party, i got there close to the end. Unfortunately did not get Tiki Tony in this photo, actually did not see him the whole night. Also, in showing up late, missed Miles Sabatini, my friend and co founder of `Ona Tiki, whose Lama Akua, in a few color variations, is featured in the book. Seems like everyone was having a good time. the "new" mug i was debuting was a joke of sorts, a lunch sac paper bag ceramic vase form a hobbyist mold, that was customized with paint markers and stickers, done up by Miles, Notch, Falin and I, went over well (we got requests from attendees and La Luz staff to make more.) You can see one of the bag mugs, which held a good 2 1/2 mai tais, in Falin's hand below. i was told by the La Luz staff after the fact that approx. 500 people attended.

From left to right back : Danny aka Tiki Diablo, Bosko, Miles of Munktiki, the author Jay Strongman, me, in the front from rt to left: Notch, Dave aka Squid, and Falin aka Tiki Kaimuki, i think Bora Boris may have shot this pic

The long awaited Tiki Mugs, Cult Artifacts of Polynesian Pop by Jay Strongman will make its debut at a release and signing party at the renowned La Luz De Jesus Gallery in Hollywood this Saturday, March 7th. This book, published by Korero, is a look into the history of the "tiki" mug and focuses on the modern revival by artists who have taken these mugs from faux Polynesian restaurant souvenir to hobby and serious artform.
Having gotten to view pages posted on a few websites, i can say it is loaded with eye candy, and as a collector of vintage and modern mugs i think it pleases on both ends. The book samples mugs that draw their design origins from Oceania as well as modern fusion tiki pop themes such as space-tiki.
i look forward to reading the text crafted by Jay Strongman, who worked hard to give the reader insight into the artform amidst a barrage of beautiful full page images shot by Jonpaul Balak, Dan Cevola, Duane Jones, Sven Kirsten, Martin Shaw, Nick Grant, David Dye, Greg Burmann, Martin McIntosh, and Annene Kaye.
As one of the artists featured in the book, i am grateful to be included amongst the great artisans who led the way and those who have taken up the craft since my start somewhere around the end of 2002, beginning of 2003 (crappy memory, don't recall).
The book covers artists form throughout the country and across the seas, and what is going to make the signing such a unique event is the attendance of almost all the California artists whose work can be seen in the book. Aside from those in Southern California, Northern California artists Miles from Munktiki, Notch, and Tiki Kaimuki will be flying and driving down to make this evening. i doubt there will ever be this many of these mug artists in one room at one time again, and i am personally excited to have the opportunity to talk shop and story with them all. Though not formal, Jay Strongman, the mug artists and at least one of the photographers will be available to chat and sign copies of the book. Holden, owner of Tiki Farm, will also be serving up free Mai Tais, made from donations by Trader Vics.
Hope to see you there!
And, just recently announced, there will be a UK (home to Korero) release and signing party hosted at the London Hilton Trader Vics on March 10th.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

the Zombie Colonel, TDN Zombie mug finished and out the door

So off goes this living dead mug to Craig of the Tiki Drinks/Indigo Firmaments blog, whose cocktail, the Zombie Colonel, won the Mixoloseum's TDN ZOmbie night.

This is the last of the customized greenware from a hobbyist mold, one off zombies, i will be doing. They have been fun to make, but the process of cutting, sanding and shaping this head mug just to get it to the point that i cut, sand, and sculpt the zombies is too time consuming. Making these has been a good exploration into customizing greenware and allowed me to work out some ideas, ideas which i will now apply to some zombie cocktail related mugs i intend to sculpt and mold for slip cast production.
Congrats to Craig and i hope it is the Zombie Colonel mug is a welcome addition in his bar.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

the last or so week in cocktail

Some late night mixing for myself, quickly rattled off photos (most of which are bad), need to come back to these at some point and do a little color adjusting, but for now, in the raw:

from the Berry's Grog Log, Coronado Luau Special

from Jeff Beachbum Berry's Intoxica!, a Sundowner

also from Intoxica!, a Plantation Daze

151 Rum Swizzle, from the Grog Log

sadly do not recall

Larchmont, a recommendation from Greg Boehm, from 1948, David Embury, adapted by Greg Boehm

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mixoloseum TDN this week focuses on the Zombie

This week's TDN at the Mixoloseum is all about the Zombie, a favorite cocktail of mine. Thursday will bring together mixologists, bloggers, bartenders and appreciators of this classic cocktail, invented by the Don the Beachcomber in 1934, to focus on recipes old and new. Attendees online can discuss the cocktail, spotlighted in depth in Jeff "Beachbum" Berry's Sippin' Safari, and mix their own with a focus on different rum brands and regions for an exploration of balance and flavor and the addition of other ingredients to create new varietals. If you have not visited the Mixoloseum, go to http://blog.mixoloseum.com/

here is the official announcement from the Mixoloseum:

"Upcoming TDN - The Zombie

Some may praise it as the quintessential tiki drink, others may tout it as a horrific explosion of bad rum and candy-red syrup, but to know the Zombie truly is to have seen paradise. A wild mix of rums complimented by a perfect dose of citrus and more than a handful of complex and absolutely required drips and dashes.

We’re taking all that time-tested perfection, throwing it in a Blendtec and seeing what we come up with. Want to try a Zombie made with a float of gin? How about with a few dashes of creme de violette? Or maybe a few drops of orange flower water? Come up with the best new Zombie recipe and you’ll find yourself in the possession of a custom-designed, Zombie-themed mug forged by Cass McClure (aka Ocea Otica). Not only that, but your name will be emblazoned upon its visage. The action begins at 7pm EST this Thursday."

As mentioned i will be making a zombie mug from my series of one off custom Zombies, created to celebrate my love of this cocktail. The creator of the chosen cocktail, announced after the TDN, will receive the mug with their name and "Thursday Drink Night" underglazed on the mug to mark the event. Also, the chosen recipe will be listed on the edition card that accompanies the mug.

It is a real joy for me to sponsor this evening, and i look forward to seeing the outcome of the experimentation and exploration. Thanks to Rick at http://www.kaiserpenguin.com/ for accepting my offer to be involved. if you have not checked out his blog, make your way over there as it is a real fountain of information.

Below are examples of some of my one off Zombie mugs from a previous gallery show.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

R.I.P. Lux Interior

I am heartbroken, thanks for the memories and music. The Cramps had a strong influence on me in my early teenage years and are still one of my favorite bands of all time. I am sad for Poison Ivy and for the fact that I will never get to see them live again.