Jaguar Tiki with Coffee Bean Halo

Jaguar Tiki with Coffee Bean Halo
This keen Tiki mask belongs to my friend Jed, and has always overseen his coffee bean roasting process at his business The Bean Whole. Before life at The Bean Whole it had languished in a frat house (a proper cliche terminal point for Tiki Bar remnants), arriving from an unknown point of origin. It follows the aesthetic of the Jaguar style (teeth, mouth/jaw, nose, eyes, spots), however the ears have morphed into black horns and the inclusion of the tall feather headdress is also a deviation from the straight Jaguar. The craftsmanship of the carving is excellent, and it has a wonderful authority in its hybrid uniqueness. Based on the refined carving process coupled with the hybrid form, I’m guessing it was formed in the 1950’s to 1960’s, though Tiki dates back to the 1930’s.
The form was beginning to split, a result of being suspended by a rope through the top left eyelet of the headdress. I’m guessing the rope had been there from the start. The split took four clamps and a 35# dumbell to bring back together and match the curvature. Once resolved, it was on to cleaning off +50 years of yutz.
Super fine steel wool and clear museum wax loosened up all the hand dirt/oil and paint-transfer scuffs, then lifted away with microfiber towel. The towel had to be thrown out. Then I popped the details by laying a dark stain into the line cuts and to fill blemishes on the horns as well as a tone shift for the headband btwn the horns, a reddish stain into the leopard spots, with a whitish stain wiped on and back off around the spots (cheeks, forehead, chin) for a hint of tone difference, then pecan color to match the original color for the headdress and lips. Then buffed down again with a fresh microfiber cloth.
I added two anchor points from the inside, aligned at the forehead and nose- the thickest parts of the face. This ensures no pressure on the narrow jawline or upon the tall “feather” headdress.
Next I made a mounting bracket that slips into a custom wall mounting. Just a few cuts, bends, welds, and holes.
Here the bracket is mounted to the inside of the mask.
The mask bracket slips inside the wall mount, and here is at maximum floated gap from the wall. This gap is for an idea in coffee beans and resin that Jed and I kicked around, and has yet to materialize…
I spent awhile googling and found some images of traditional feather headdress and formed the basic shape in cardboard to check for scale and placement. Then I realized that the scale is a match for a big silicon mold (Theorem) I’ve been carting around for 20 years.
Here the form is completed in transparent resin with red dye, and roasted coffee beans.
Checking alignment in full sun. Like they were made for eachother.
Same time, just in the shade. I like how the blue sky reflects in the halo.
Next I have to cut a square hole through the halo for the mask mounting bracket, and drill holes for bolts to pin the halo onto perforated angle iron which then mounts to the wall bracket.
Float-mounted. A few technical refinements regarding bolts to brackets, but essentially done. The bean halo floats out from the wall, and the mask floats in front of the bean halo.
1 comment
  1. Mom said:

    The Tiki itself is gorgeous! Such fierce energy! And the teeth!!! How tall is he? Two feet or so??? Have you played around with a colored spotlight? From various angles? I love the blueish tone! Shows off the wood of the Tiki more, I think. Is this yours now, or will Ben display it at the Bean Whole??? If at the Whole, I like the idea of a color wheel to show the different energies that color allows.

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