A good question when I arrived on North Padre Island to plant roots. As I created my tropical oasis in the back yard, I recall thinking that something was missing. When I lived in California I recall seeing tikis in the garden section of Home Depot. Just what I need as an added touch to my yard! I assumed it would be as simple as going to my local Home Depot and picking one up, but no tiki was to be found.
Well then, there must be someone that makes tiki carvings here, right? None that I could find. So it would be up to me. Ten years later I have created a large body of work, part-time as it is. It started with twelve-inch attempts, but what I wanted was something to dominate the yard. An imposing god! So my attempts at five and six-foot versions, and everything above and below, were cranked out at every opportunity.
Eventually a local restaurant took notice, they asked what it would take to "tikify" their place. I really had no idea, but I was willing to try, and they were willing to let me. I was constrained only by my own imagination and was allowed to make permanent cuts into the supporting structure of their establishment. I took the responsibility seriously and made the coolest tikis I could at the time. My first gig a success.
A gentleman eating at the establishment took notice and decided that my work would fit perfectly with his residential palapa beside his pool. Again I was given the honor to just go crazy. His home bar now has an exotic touch that no one else can match.
A local home builder caught wind of my creations and decided that adding tiki to his new construction would help him become the winning entry in the annual parade of homes. I was given free reign on the waterfront deck to turn it into a functional art object with an exotic feel.
Mark Ferdinand has created an unusual chronology of his tiki carving works. As an added touch he has filled in the blanks to the pesky questions of the origins of humanity.
"Every Tiki has a Spirit" is an immature account of the works of a tiki carver, and a serious account of the origins of the earth and mankind. The author indulges in his quest for creating bad-ass oceanic art that one can sip a cocktail by. This he alternates with a concise mythological blueprint of how this all came to be, and what we were given to navigate our way through it. A book for tikiphiles, mythology buffs, and wood carvers.