Monday, November 19, 2007

California Road Trip: Tiki Farm

I’m back from an incredible adventure along the California coast. Arriving on Halloween, I started in LA, dipped down to San Diego for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show and then cruised up to the Bay Area for the Tiki Central Tiki Crawl with all sorts of memorable pit stops along the way. Most of the time, travel buddies Tiki Racer (who'd flown over from England with me) and Chongolio (who’d flown in from Kauai) were by my side. In retrospect, the whole trip seems very Wizard of Oz, with fascinating characters, new and old friends making appearances and plenty of lessons learned. However, when it came time to fly back, I was clicking my heels wishing I could stay just a little bit longer.

Leaving San Diego, Tiki Racer, Chongolio and I zipped up the road to San Clemente, home of the "purveyors of Polynesian Pop," Tiki Farm! In case you didn't know, Tiki Farm is the word in Tiki mugs. The odds are pretty good that, even if you didn't realize it, you've at least seen a mug that came through here. And if you're even remotely into Tiki or low brow art, you probably own some.

Founder/president, and all round cool kahuna, Holden Westland kindly opened up his warehouse (on a Sunday morning no less!) for us to snoop around and drool. He showed us sketches of pre-production mugs and dug out some of the first ones he ever produced. He also opened up his awesome private bar, Mugoomba, for us. As was the case at Oceanic Arts, all that Polynesian Pop in a warehouse setting made my head spin. In addition to a few incredibly generous freebies, Holden was thoughtful enough to throw in a couple of bottles of Trader Vic's Mai Tai mix for our next stop, Ken Ruzic's studio (more on that in my next post)! Mahalo for taking the time for us, Holden!

Click here to view my Flickr set of photos of my visit to Tiki Farm and be sure to check out all my California Road Trip posts!

Photography by Chris Osburn © 2007


Anonymous said...

Wow some great info....knew a little about Tiki word origin from my florida days but the added info was a definite blog.

Tiki Chris said...

Hey rip, glad you enjoyed the post. FY: when I say "Tiki Farm is the word in Tiki mugs" I just mean it's a super cool place with some awesome mugs.

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