22 July, 2014

Road to Tiki Oasis: Take a Walk on the Wild Side

The final instalment of the Road to Tiki Oasis features (or is it? Oooh mystery!) we’re taking a walk on the wild side with Wayne Hoareau of Wild tHing creations. A carver and ceramics artist from the Gold Coast, Wayne creates unique tiki mugs, carvings and wall art, all done with his bent take on the traditional tiki style. A lover of all things exotic and macabre, Wayne’s freeki art and creepi tiki style is distinctive and truly his own.

When he wasn’t accepted into art college, Wayne began working in music retail in 1988 and didn’t stop for almost 20 years. However when he was made redundant from a long term position in 2009, he reassessed his life and decided to try the arts degree angle again. While waiting for a response from the college, Wayne decided to give a carving a go and hasn’t looked back since. He’s now proud to be what the kids from the western suburbs of Brisbane in the 80s always wanted to be. 

Wild tHing creations was born in August of 2010 with Wayne working out of his house however by April 2011 the operation was booming and he needed to move to a studio and workshop to allow more space for his creations. Unlike most artists, Wayne rarely sketches out his ideas first, rather using the medium he works with to allow the design to emerge. Using the naturally occurring character that each piece of wood possesses, Wayne draws a rough outline and just begins carving. The same can be said of his mugs, which he makes on nothing more than a rough idea and a brief outline, preferring to let his mind control his hands as he sculpts.

Moving into mugs has been particularly productive for Wayne with at least three quarters of his time spent making both commission pieces and his own original designs. Taking up a lot of his time, he experiments with clay slip and earthenware. However wax is also involved and is much easier to carve. Of course, there’s nothing he loves more than getting back into a slab of wood and carving when time permits.

This fine selection of Wild tHing creations’ work includes smaller mugs featuring traditional tiki designs to colourful medium and large sized mugs featuring slightly more cartoon and abstract designs in vibrant colours and Wayne’s trademark freeki tiki style with a large skull-bearing mug created especially for Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant. Each design is unique and is sculpted by hand using a number of carving and sculpting techniques. Each mug is hand glazed both inside and outside and feature a mixture of gloss and matte finishes.

Wild tHing creations can be found at Butter Beats in Southport on the Gold Coast, Feaks Like Us in Nambour, Ruff’n’Ready in Canberra and Two Bit Villains in Adelaide as well as a number of local and independent markets including the upcoming GreazeFest Kustom Kulture Festival in Brisbane. Speaking of GreazeFest, Megan Rizzo Photography will be there too so if you want to be captured in your Sunday best be sure to drop by her photobooth for a tutti frutti polaroid! Megan has been an absolute dream to work with and I am forever indebted to her for capturing such fantastic images to use throughout these features. Another big thank you goes to Rod and Maxine for allowing us to shoot on location in their amazing tiki bar, the Soused Seas.

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