Drum Tiki Carvings
Creation ~ Style ~ Pricing ~ Care ~ Photos
Welcome to the Drum Tiki workshop. This is the jungle of driftwood, bamboo, chisels, mallets, sandpaper, paint, stain, wood chips and sawdust where Cameron creates tiki style art.
Each piece of art begins as a drawing on a piece of wood. The drawing may emerge fully formed or may be the result of several evenings. Erasers often have as much influence as pencils. The carving will follow the drawing exactly, so the drawing is the creation of the piece.
Carving is done entirely by hand with chisels, mallets, gouges and knives. This is the magical transformation from two dimensions to three, as each shape is transformed from flat lines into planes, curves, corners and cul-de-sacs. And although the lines on the surface are predictable, the intersections of the cuts and angles within the wood are always uniquely challenging, as the interior reveals its grain patterns, density variations, sap, splits and knots.
After the carving is complete, each piece is carefully sanded from shabby to chic. Some of the nicks and gouges of the chisels will be left in the design in tiki-esque testimony to its handmade origins, but most surfaces are sanded smooth to showcase the beauty of the wood grain. The smoother the piece becomes, the more your eyes are drawn deeper into it, past the outline of the shape and into the patterns of the grain within.
Our aesthetic goal is the mid-century tiki pop look of tropical treasure washed up on the beach. All the wood we use is either a renewable variety of lumber or driftwood collected from the beaches of central California. Most newly purchased wood pieces are textured and “tikified” with an industrial grade file and/or 18 ounce framing hammer. Then each piece is lovingly roasted end to end with a hand held torch. The heat from the torch causes the sap to bubble out of the wood and sears the flowing lines of the grain into fantastically beautiful patterns Cameron calls “Zebra cheese.” When the piece has been thoroughly carved, sanded, tikified and zebrafied, it's ready for primer and paint.
Applying the primer to the burned surface of the wood defines which areas will remain “roasted Zebra cheese” and which will become brightly colored. Every speck of color is actually half a dozen different layers of primer, paint and clear protectant, resulting in long lasting colors that radiate from the surface of the wood.
The final steps in the creation process are a Drum Tiki sticker on the back, a wall-hanging bracket (if needed), and photos for the website end social media.
Everything we make in the Drum Tiki workshop is designed to compliment the tiki vibe of sunshine, aloha and togetherness. The Polynesian pop art style of tiki inspires us to, “Imagine yourself on a tropical island…” Tiki lifts us out of our daily routines and into the colorful, happy world of sunny beaches, relaxed smiles, and palm fronds swaying in the breeze.
We continue making our most popular signs, LOVE, JOY and ALOHA, so those are usually available.
Wall hangings are carved into pieces we call “Tiki Planks, Aloha Planks,” and “Aloha Studs.” Studs are narrower, made from 2x4s, planks are wider, made from 2x6s or 2x12s. Most are approximately 24” long / tall, but we can make whatever you request.
New variations are always in the works, and we share photos of everything we finish on our Instagram page @drumtiki
Cameron loves making custom creations. Inquiries welcome.
Each piece is uniquely priced, based upon its size and the amount of time spent making it.
JOY sign: $45 - 90
LOVE sign: $75 - 120
Custom sign: $15 - 30 per letter
Aloha Studs (2x4 x length): $100 per foot (length)
Aloha Planks (2x12 x length): $225 per foot (length)
Tiki Planks (2x6x24 no paint) $150
Tiki Planks (2x6x24 painted) $225
Prices of carvings pictured below:
"LOVE" = 4 letters x $15 each (2x4 size, all one color) : 60 + materials = $70
"LOVE" = 4 letters x $20 each (2x6 size, all one color) : 80 + materials = $90
"RHYTHM" = 6 letters x $15 each (2x4 size, all one color) : 90 + materials = $100
TikiFace1 similar to Kelsey's or Quentin's = 2x6x15, multiple colors + materials = $90
"D&S TIKI BAR" = 10 letters x $25 each (2x6 size, multiple colors + decorations) : 250 + materials = $265
"TAPU TIKI" = 8 letters x $20 each (2x6 size, all one color) : 160 + materials = $170
We love creating one-of-a-kind pieces. Inquiries welcome.
For the longest lasting, brightest tropical colors possible, we recommend keeping your Drum Tiki carving out of direct sunlight and protected from the weather. The clear coat we apply has UV protection, but your art piece will retain its colorful character best if kept indoors.
Every Drum Tiki carving is guaranteed for an entire year from the date of purchase. If it cracks, splits, or develops any other problems because of the way we made it, we’ll fix it or make you a new one, free of charge.
Once your Drum Tiki carving has found its place in your home, tiki bar, or office, please send us a photo. We love collecting photos of happy people with happy art. (It also provides a time stamp for your guarantee.) We love photos that include your family, friends, pets, plants or whatever brings you joy.
Happy Tiki, happy life!