Updated June 21, 2014
Just in time for The Hukilau, two of the most acclaimed artists in the Tiki scene created hand-crafted mugs that pay tribute to The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale and its iconic imagery.
See below: Now, a chance to take a Molokai Maiden home
Related: Missed The Hukilau? Mugs are the next best thing
Southern California’s Tiki Diablo (aka Danny Gallardo), who created the 2012 and 2013 official mugs for The Hukilau, has a new Mai-Kai Mug based on an old fallen carving from the restaurant’s tiki garden (see photo below).
Featuring a distinctive toucan perched on its head, the original tiki was among the many giant carvings at The Mai-Kai by Barney West, a legendary mid-century artist. Barney West tikis that are still standing at The Mai-Kai were the inspiration for Gallardo’s 2013 mug, plus the 2008 official mug for The Hukilau by Munktiki. Another famous tiki by West that fell in 2009 was transformed into The Huiklau’s 2010 mug, also by Munktiki.
Gallardo, a native of California, is influenced by some of the best carvers of the Polynesian Pop era, including Leroy Schmaltz, Ed Crissman, and (of course) Barney West. He participated in a symposium at The Hukilau on June 13, joining other comtemporary artists on the panel “Create Your Own Suburban Savage Paradise.”
Tiki Diablo’s tribute mug comes in a choice of two colors (Barney’s Brown and Mariner Green) and includes his usual distinctive flair with a unique accessory: A resin toucan that doubles as a straw holder.
Now, a chance to take a Molokai Maiden home with you
If you’ve spent any amount of time in The Molokai bar, you’ve probably been transfixed by one of the most distinctive icons at The Mai-Kai. This nautical maiden statue holds court in the rear of the bar in front of the windows, just to the right of where bands typically perform [see photo].
This alluring sculpt of a mermaid has caught the fancy of many who have passed by her perch. But only Mai-Kai historian and Swank Pad Productions mastermind Tim “Swanky” Glazner has had the inspiration (and motivation) to create a Tiki mug in her honor. He enlisted acclaimed artist and carver Crazy Al Evans to make his dream a reality. The result: The Molokai Maiden, the third release in Swank Pad’s Mai-Kai Memories Series produced under license with The Mai-Kai.
Sculpted by and produced by Crazy Al and Tikimania, the mug replicates the mysterious masthead found in The Molokai bar down to every exacting detail. On June 21, it was announced that a special run of artist proofs are available for pre-order via Crazy Al’s website. The first 100 mugs will freature deluxe glazes and custom color small editions, numbered and dated.
Note that prices vary depending on the glaze and number made. There are plans for a Kickstarter campaign for a bigger run at lower prices. Check the link above for updates. More releated links:
* The Molokai Maiden: Info and photos from Swank Pad Productions
Facebook page | Photo gallery | Tiki Central: Molokai Maiden cocktail recipe
Previous releases in The Mai-Kai Memories Series are the Mai-Kai Mystery Girl Bowl and the Mini Mai-Kai Mystery Bowl. For more info on ordering, click here.
* Atomic Grog coverage: Mini Mai-Kai Mystery Bowl offers scaled-down version of a classic