Entries in the 'Australia & New Zealand' Category

November 18, 2006

Well-Done Cartoony Tikis

Filed under: Art,Australia & New Zealand,San Francisco,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:06 pm
Illustration by Onno Knuvers
Illustration by Onno Knuvers
Tiki Bob's logo
Tiki Bob’s logo

I’ve sometimes been heard to disparage certain tiki designs as being too “cartoony,” but this actually is not my complaint. Great, goofy, stylized tiki designs have been around since the start of the tiki craze, as exemplified by the logo for Tiki Bob’s in San Francisco, which I love. Of course, the appeal of stylized tikis varies greatly — there are people who can’t stand the Tiki Bob design (hi Pablus!), just as I can’t stand a lot of the stylized designs I see.

Well, here is a goofy, cartoony tiki design that I love. Four of them, in fact! New Zealand-based illustrator Onno Knuvers says he quickly put this together for his portfolio. The colors chosen and the style give it a fun mid-’60s look without feeling like an obvious, cliched attempt at something “retro.” That is probably a large part of the appeal for me. They’re instantly recognizable as tikis, but they still manage to be a fresh take on tiki design. Most of all, they’re just well done by a talented illustrator.

Knuvers’ blog is fairly new, and he doesn’t have any other tiki work on it (indeed, he seems to indicate that this was done as a bit of a lark).

September 4, 2006

Australian Tiki Carver Marcus Thorn

Filed under: Art,Australia & New Zealand,People,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 10:17 am
Maori-style carving by Marcus Thorn
Maori-style carving by Marcus Thorn
Aussie tiki carver, Marcus Thorn
Aussie tiki carver, Marcus Thorn

This past spring, I had the great pleasure of spending a few days with Tiki Beat‘s Marcus Thorn, and his wife Yvette. Marcus is a fantastic tiki carver, he’s been making a living at his art the past decade-plus — he is in high demand in his native Australia, and his tikis have found homes all over the globe. Marcus and Yvette have been a fixture in Australia’s rockabilly scene for ages, and are very happy that Australia is finally developing a bit of a tiki scene, as well. A bit over a year ago, Marcus joined in with the band of merry carvers at Tiki Central, and has been sharing in-progress pictures of many of his carvings on a thread of his own. Marcus and Yvette are incredibly gracious people, and care a lot about giving their customers the best bang for their tiki-buying buck — every year they host a great big luau for their friends and customers at their ranch/estate outside Brisbane.

June 12, 2006

Tiki Philately: Kiwi Postage

Filed under: Australia & New Zealand,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 11:17 am
1930s New Zealand stamp
1930s New Zealand stamp

Bay Park Buzzy has posted a series of images of lovely stamps from New Zealand, dating from 1915 through the 1980s, featuring Maori imagery. Images depicted in the stamps include tikis, war clubs, tattoos, and moments in Maori history.

April 4, 2006

Sydney: The Tiki Taboo

Filed under: Australia & New Zealand,Events,News,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 11:48 pm

Australia’s tiki scene has been slowly gaining traction, as the tikiphiles are finding each other. Now comes word of a tiki event in Sydney, at the Sugartime cabaret at 24 Oxford St., in Darlinghurst, Sydney. The event will feature several burlesque performances with tiki themes, and a velvet painting of a live model will be created during the night. Another highlight is a live tiki carving by Marcus Thorn of Tiki Beat. There will also be a performance of a Cook Island hula by a dance troupe, and the decor of Sugartime will be turned tiki for the evening. According to the invite, “Polynesian dress essential.” This sounds like just the sort of event that Australian tikiphiles have been looking for!

March 16, 2006

Knitted Maori Tiki

Filed under: Art,Australia & New Zealand,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:24 am
Knitted Maori tiki, by Pikininiz
Knitted Maori tiki, by Pikininiz

This was knitted by a girl in New Zealand, and she based it on Maori tiki designs. I must admit that I wouldn’t have recognized it as such without the helpful comparison images. It’s cute, though. The webpage is in French, and here’s the same page translated through Google.

March 14, 2006

Dick Frizzell’s Mickey to Tiki Tu Meke

Filed under: Art,Australia & New Zealand,Disney,Shopping,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 10:21 pm
Mickey to Tiki Tu Meke, by Dick Frizzell
Mickey to Tiki Tu Meke, by Dick Frizzell

New Zealand artist Dick Frizzell is a “renegade pop artist,” offering new perspectives of pervasive imagery. In the above piece, Mickey to Tiki Tu Meke, he creates a clever transition between two cultural icons. This lithograph is in the Christchurch Art Gallery in New Zealand; though it is not currently on display, the gallery does offer the image for sale on t-shirts, notecards and prints in its online shop.


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Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

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