Sunday, November 8, 2009
The premier Tiki carver 'delivers'.
I'm way behind in posting photos and some text of the most interesting aspects of our motorhome trip this fall, but to catch up, I'm going to begin with Palm Tiki.
Always a good supply on hand, but on busy weekends, the cars line up with trunks open!
Palm Tiki, is actually Charlie Night or to some, Carlos Noche! Charlie is my wife's brother and his passion, well one of them, is carving. Carving with a chain saw to be more accurate. Years ago, he kind ran off to find himself and as a surfer, found home in Central America.
Safe procedures are necessary when working day after day with chain saws and other power equipment.
He juggled to make ends meet, but found wood carving dominating his days. Long story made short....Charlie is now WELL known, as Palm Tiki, an original in N.W. Florida and way beyond.
In the early 90's, I went to see his work at art shows. HUGE wood carvings, started with a chain saw then worked with grinders, then sanders, then ??, his work was beautiful and always unique. Did I mention LARGE? Some of his early pieces sold at auction for well over $20 grand. He still does special pieces and commissions, but the bread and butter pieces are the Palm Tikis.
These cypress poles are 20-25' long and up to 18" thick!
Carvings are also done out of hardwoods, like oak and maple and cypress. He will receive some unusual sections of trees from tree surgeons and others who have grown to know and respect his special talent for 'seeing' things in the wood that need to be brought to our eyes. He always amazes.
The Tikis and pelicans are available for viewing in and around his large shop and property off Hwy. 98 about 15 miles east of Pensacola. There are now others trying to compete now for his trade, but none compare. Tiki Huts come standard or custom built for discriminating homeowners, waterfront bars, restaurants and such.
The word of his work has spread far. Shown in some of these photos are custom made "Fruit" poles. A new resort in Central America has hired Charlie to produce an incredible amount of very large special wood carvings. Some, are not just carved, but he then stains, highlights or actually paints the wood to lifelike appearance.
We had stopped as we were passing through, and borrowed one of the Palm Tiki ladders, so that I could install the forward clearance lights I had just made and only a day before, finished painting.
I drove our motorhome off to the side of his studio, under a big tree for shade, and proceeded to finish my project.
Dorothy, took her camera and captured some of her brother's work. We forgot to take photos of the beautiful dolphin/reef and other fish sculptures inside his showroom but maybe I can procure some. If so, I'll edit this post.
Thatched roofs are another trick of his trade. Nice work
Enough text. Enjoy the photos. Charlie doesn't have much time for computers, but his basic site gives his contact info and more of his history in art.