Wayne Coombs (1949-2012) was the creator of the animated “Florida style” of Tiki carving, which was emulated by many other carvers who followed.
Wayne also did other more traditional wood carvings and masks.
He was a prolific fine artist later in his career, turning out many paintings and also creating art from salvaged items.
Wayne carved Tikis for 45 years, from 1967 until the day he died of an apparent heart attack on Sept. 4, 2012. He was 62.
His tikis line the walkways at International Palms Resort on Cocoa Beach and can be found in bars, restaurants and theme parks around the world. They’re spread throughout public places in Brevard County and fittingly serve as guardians of the beach at the end of Minutemen Causeway, not far from Wayne’s studio.
Ben Vagnozzi makes tiki themed products for sale through Forgotten Idols Tiki.
Promystix is a Los Angeles based designer specializing in Enamel Pins and Screen Printed Shirts. They have released their first Tiki Mug with the Death Blow Cannon.
Ohana is Dead is a collective of artists with a shared love of tiki, tattoo art, and horror. Ohana is Dead considers themselves as tiki counterculture. While many elements of Ohana is Dead is inspired by tiki and its culture, it does not fall within the guidelines of classic tiki. Rather, it combines aspects from different cultures and pop movements.
Their first produced tiki mug design was the "Surfing Reaper" designed by Rob Fink and manufactured by Munktiki Imports (2020).
Gordon E. Keith (1924-2015) was a graduate of North H.S. and attended the Columbus Art School for many years. He honorably served in the U.S. Army during WWII in the 1621 model-making detachment assigned to the 5th Army under General Patton in North Africa and Italy.
After the war, he started his first business in Boston and soon thereafter moved to Indian Lake, OH with his brother and sister. He married Dorothy Marshall and opened Gordon Keith Originals in Columbus. He created many displays such as the talking tree for Lazarus, the outside nativity for State Auto, the Street of Yesteryear at the old Cosi, the 12 panel screen and voiceover for the American Freedom train in 1976. Served as President of NADI from 1964-66. He worked for Congressman Wylie's TV spots and campaign headquarters. Gordon studied under Chester Nickodemus and Conger Metcalf in the Army. He painted over 6000 original paintings and sold paintings to the Lincoln LeVequeTower for their remodel in 2012.
Gordon worked on projects all over the world including helping Frank and Joe Byers build the TIKI GARDENS at Indian Rocks Beach. He designed the massive tikis all around the gardens.
Kristina Rousseau is a 3D Designer and Concept Artist living in Los Angeles, California. With a BFA in Digital Media from Otis College of Art and Design, and professional graduate training at Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Games, and Animation, she aspires to create engaging content for games and entertainment that ignites imagination, diversity, and passion. Working as a Freelance 3D Artist, she enjoys using her skills to create visual effects, action figures, cinematic and game ready 3D art. She fell in love with games at an early age, becoming a Pokémon champion when Gameboy and Nintendo 64 were high tech. She is passionate about building welcoming communities that solve problems and cultivate diversity and inclusivity in the games industry. Her goals are to use gamification to promote body positivity, self-care, and appreciation of nature and wildlife.
She has done work for MONDO and for The Pokemon Company, among others.
Sex and Monsters produces comics and other fun stuff!
Eli Hedley created the aesthetic we now know today as the “beachcomber” look. Hedley had been a grocer in Oklahoma, when the Depression sent him and his family west in search of a better life. They found it on the beaches of Southern California. Hedley, with the help of his wife and daughters, found ways to use items found on the beach — glass, shells, nautical equipment — and turn them into housewares and decorations. They built a home at White Point half out of driftwood, and they started selling their unique housewares to the department stores in the area.
Hedley quickly made a name for himself, and in time he was outfitting bars, restaurants and hotels with his beachcomber pieces — he even created the massive moai for the Stardust’s Aku Aku in Las Vegas. Hedley became a decorator to the stars, too, and it was not unusual for Hollywood celebrities to escape to the Hedley home at White Point now and then. Hedley even became part of Disneyland, when Walt Disney asked him to help decorate Adventureland; for years he operated the Island Trade Store (& Tiki's Tropical Traders with its rubber snakes, glowing skulls, and shrunken heads), where the Bazaar is today.
Today, Hedley’s grandson, Bamboo Ben, continues his family’s tradition with tiki interior design and custom fabrication.
Megan Besmirched is the artist who owns the PinChe Loca Etsy store, a Chicago based pin and patch company specializing in kitsch and popcult.
The Tiki Doc, a.k.a. Trader George is a tiki artist making prints, pins, corkboards, and tiki mugs.
PinTiki makes pins that pay tribute to various tiki and polynesian pop icons.
PinTiki was started by a couple of tiki fanatics (just like you) who love nothing better than to share their love of all things Tiki.
After the sudden closing of our beloved Don The Beachcomber in 2018, we were looking for a way to get more involved with the Tiki Ohana. We decided to create limited-edition high-quality tribute pins to honor our favorite tropical rum palaces (and other Polynesian pop landmarks) and at the same time pay tribute to some of the places and faces that have already disappeared into Tiki history.
Islanders Trading is a tiki-focused side business of the "Disneyland Addicts" pin makers. They primarily sell tiki pins, mainly based around Trader Sams and other Disney Tiki properties.
Becky Cloonan is an American comic book creator, known for work published by Tokyopop and Vertigo. Among her many accolades, she was the first female comic artist to draw Batman. She designed the Splendor and Riches mug for Mondo.
Lost Cargo was initially a partnership that provided financing, design, and manufacturing assistance so you didn’t have to do all the legwork. They would finance ceramic mug runs of 50 to 5000 mugs. No payment until mugs were shipped! Lost Cargo helped finance the Submarine and Hornbill mugs for Tiki tOny plus 3 mugs for Ventiki including the 5 year anniversary Moai by Tiki Diablo.
More recently, however since 2018 or so, Lost Cargo's partnership ended and Ron and his wife, Mickee, use this label to produce their own products only.
Mikhail is the owner and main artist at KinPottery, based out of Samara, Russia.
Kin Pottery is a small creative workshop, with a small production, their team consists of young people who are engaged and constantly developing in their own direction. Sculptors, artists and potters. They like to do their work for you both for the interior and for everyday life. They are constantly updating their work.
Dale is a sculptor and artist based out of Lowell, Massachusetts.
John Markovich is an artist based in Los Angeles, CA.
Jimmy is an artist and worked with The Bikini Lounge in Phoenix on their Bikini Ka Blammi mug.
McCloud comes from a fine art background - specifically, the art of letterpress. Inspired by his uncle Roger Frith, who was once a historian with the Tennessee State Museum and focused on Nashville's printing history, McCloud got into letterpress early in his career. His Isle of Printing studio sits in an area he helped dub Pie Town - a pie-shaped sliver of land bordered by Lafayette Avenue, 8th Avenue, and the interstate. Bryce is a co-founder of Chopper bar, along with co-founder Mike Wolf, and co-founder Andy Mumma. Bryce is considered an artist-in-residence of sorts and it was he that suggested the robot influence on the bar.
Kevin is an artist based out of Simi Valley, CA.
Matt Stikker is an illustrator/graphic designer and musician who resides in Portland, Oregon. His work is grounded in the music and culture of heavy metal, horror movies, comics, fantasy, science fiction and the occult. He counts ink luminaries Bernie Wrightson, Jack Davis, R. Crumb, and Jack Kirby among his foremost influences. Primarily an illustrator, Matt's customary medium is pen and ink, although he also works in acrylic and digital painting. He is also a guitarist and vocalist/lyricist for Portland-based bands Drouth and Iron Scepter.
Tiki Nava is a designer and often collaborator with Lost Temple Traders on their mug designs.
This company is owned and operated by Ken Holewczynski. Ken is an accomplished artist and graphic designer based in South Bend, Indiana. He is also the owner of Exotica Moderne magazine.
Founded in 2020, Taboo Relics is the brand of Franky Edwin Kokosza, an artist/ceramicist based out of Orlando, Florida.
Coxswain Dunsel was created out of a passion for tiki, ceramics and mid-century design. The goal has always been to produce small-batch ceramic drinking vessels that are highly intricate. The artist, Corey DeWitt, creates a handful of unique designs each year and produces limited runs at his studio in Houston, Texas.
Coxswain Dunsel affectionately means 'Captain of Nothing' and it stands for the spirit Corey brings to his art. There is never an effort to produce an exact theme or style throughout each piece, but to bring together anything and everything that is inspiring and incorporate it into the love of Tiki.
Matthew is a sculptor for Sideshow Collectibles. He does design work for MONDO as well.
The story of the American swizzle stick is a stirring tale best told over a three-olive martini, or at least Jay Sindler might say so. After all, that’s how the idea for the swizzle stick came to him. It was the winter of 1934, just months after the end of prohibition. The Boston native, who was a keen inventor and an employee of Malden’s Converse Rubber Company, was enjoying a martini with a friend at The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Boston. All was going swimmingly until he found himself in a conundrum. In order to retrieve the martini’s olive, he would either need to fumble with soaked fingers to pluck it from the bottom of his glass, or wait until his drink was empty. In that moment, Sindler, a natural visionary, imagined a simple tool that would go on to forever change the face of cocktailing: a pick uniquely designed to stab the olive with refinement. Within six months, Sindler had applied for a patent, founded Spir-it Inc. (today Spirit Foodservice of Andover; the “Spir-it” brand name is still used to market the company’s swizzle sticks and picks), and placed an ad in The New Yorker, offering to personalize picks with the names of customers’ establishments. The garnish pick would, of course, act as a drink stirrer as well, giving rise to the American swizzle stick. In early 1967, sales were helped along with an order from a small, but rapidly growing, chain restaurant called McDonald’s. Spir-it started to produce plastic utensils and coffee stirrers. Sales for the Spir-it Company sailed past the one million dollar mark in 1968.
This company, with initials taken from the first names of the couple that ran it, was founded in 1940 and closed in 1980. Harold “Ziggy” Zane passed away on September 25, 2019 in his home in Mililani. In addition to his full-time job, he was also the head “slip maker and mold pourer” for his wife's, Beverly’s, ceramic business.
Tahiti Gil is a tattoo artist based out of San Diego, CA. His store, at Tahiti Gil's South Sea's Trading Co., makes Disney fan art, enamel pins, original art, limited edition prints, tiki mugs, Tattoo/Pinup art, and other curios.
Brownlee (1929-2013) was an accomplished tiki carver and architectural sculptor. His suggestion to Honolulu architect Alfred Preis that 1 percent of public construction be set aside for artwork led to the creation of the Hawai'i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts which then commissioned work from several artists including himself. His tiki carvings were used at Canlis' Charcoal Broiler, The Waikikian, The Tahitian Lanai, The International Marketplace and the Aku Aku in Las Vegas. His story is documented in the book, Waikiki Tiki, by Phillip S. Roberts. Additionally, Brownlee and his wife were commissioned by Laurance Rockefeller to collect artifacts and artwork from Japan and South Asia for his Pacifica Collection. Brownlee's own work is also included in numerous private collections, such as the Honolulu Museum of Art and the Hawaii State Capitol Collection.
This is a newly organized team for 2020, working with Patrick Vassar on sculpting and manufacturing (starting with Lost Temple Trading and Trader Nic's as first clients).
Trevor Foster (b. 1990) is a Seattle born artist. His portfolio spans various mediums including ceramics, bronze, painting and printmaking. Following upon a kickstarter project to make memento mori skull cups, Trevor released a branded version of this skull mug design for Strong Water Anaheim in signature glaze colors.
Trader Nic's debuted in 2020 with the release of his Tiki Drummer mug.
Starr Creations is a custom fiberglass fabrications company in Central Florida specializing in designing and creating one-of-a-kind monster trucks, cars and trucks. They have made creations for Toymakerz, Feld Entertainment, Diesel Brothers, Petty’s Garage, Tomfoolery Motorsports, Amelie Oil, Wolf’s Head Motor Oil, JConcepts and many others! In 2020, they branched out with a side company to make tiki mugs, called Starr Tiki Mug Makers. Their initial project was a three piece mug set that together forms Hale Pukaua MOTU (Castle Grayskull from the He-Man cartoon universe).
Owner and ceramic artist, Kathy Tope has been making ceramic products for over a decade and knows her way around a kiln. She is assisted by her husband Patrick and their chatty parrot, Niles, who oversees quality control! Kathy's Etsy online storefront is Tickled Pink Pottery.
Just a couple of scalawags working on some original artisan tiki mugs and other flotsam & jetsam.
From Jim Moore's website:
"My name is Jim Moore and I am a lifelong Monster Fan. I began drawing and sculpting at a very young age, mostly inspired by comic books and monster movies on TV.
After having spent the past 15 years as an artist producing masks and sculpted accessories for a Halloween company, I am now attempting to produce and distribute my own work.
I am concentrating on ceramic slip-cast sculptures right now, but I am not opposed (and will likely return) to latex masks as well.
I am offering a line of monster-related products, as well as offering my services to custom projects which I am suited to.
Thank you for taking interest in my work and I hope to serve the Monster Community from here on out."
Magical Tiki Meet-Up is an unofficial gathering of tiki lovers at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Kari and Tom sponsor the event and also run an Etsy store selling merchandise to promote and celebrate the event.
Tiki Rancher (Frank Simotics) creates one of kind carvings from palm, cedar, and cherry woods. Inspired by traditional designs of Hawaii and Tahitian cultures, Simotics puts his own spin on the ancient pagan Idols. He is best known for his 6 month concept design and build out of Tiki Tango in Atlanta.
Jay makes limited run Tiki Mugs, resin toys, animatronics, and other cool Tiki stuff.
Founded in 1995, Ramirez Studios is an award winning Los Angeles based full service sculpture and prototyping studio. Services include traditional and digital sculpture, prototyping, and painting. Ramirez Studios has created outstanding pieces for many of the major toy brands including DC collectables, Jakks Pacific, Toybiz and Disney, to name a few. Phil has over twenty years experience working as a sculptor/ designer in the toy industry. He strives to create the highest quality work in a timely manner and is always looking to expand his companies ever growing list of clients. No job is too big or small.
Joe Allard began his career coloring comic books for Marvel Comics in the mid 90s and eventually followed his passion in to the toy industry. For the past 20 years Joe has been making his living as an independent designer and creator in the toy and collectible industry, working with clients such as Hasbro, Mattel, Disney, Sideshow Collectibles and many others. Joe has designed toys and collectibles for beloved pop culture brands such as Star Wars, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers and more. Statues designed by Joe have won IGN’s Best Collectible three years in a row from 2010-2012. Joe’s designs have been featured on the cover of Toy Fare magazine and in several other trade publications. He has sculpted designs for MONDO as well.
Mad Sculptures is an artist based in Japan who has sculpted mugs for MONDO.
Craig is an artist from Phoenix, Arizona.
Rockin’ Jelly Bean has become world known for his lascivious and wildly imaginative depictions of beautifully nasty and cutely obscene women. Despite his level of renown and infamy, he is known to sport a Lucha doll mask at all times and is said to never appear in public without it. Stylistically influenced by such artists as Ed Roth, Robert Williams and Robert Crumb, he started his career in Tokyo in 1990, following in their low-brow footsteps. In the late 90s, he relocated to LA where he started up his original brand EROSTY POP. In 2004, he established EROSTIKA as his official shop and continues to create cool n rockin’ art work.
This ceramics studio specializes in doing reproductions of the rarest "Crypto Mugs" (a play on the term "crypto-zoology" referring to tiki mugs that have almost never been seen in the wild but exist in a few private collections or in vintage menu artwork). There was a long-standing thread of Tiki Central devoted to the hunt for "Crypto Mugs".
Kevin is a cocktail book author and producer of tiki mugs and other merchandise through his Kahuna Kevin brand.