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.