Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Collecting Kitsch - Giant Tiki Forks & Spoons

Several years ago I stumbled upon my first set of giant wooden tiki silverware. They were dumped in a corner of a dusty thrift shop and probably forgotten. I grabbed them and gladly paid my three dollars for the set. This was the start of my collection, I now have multiple sets and a number of odd forks. I try to never pay more than five dollars for the set. I wanted to display the entire collection on one wall but did not want to simply line them up row after row. I think I achieved an artistic display of a most kitschy item.

They reached their height of popularity in the late sixties and early seventies. No trip to Hawaii was complete without bringing a set of these babies back! The set below even has "Hawaii '73" carved into it. I can just imagine the fantastic vacation this set commemorated.

These giant implements are much maligned by serious tiki collectors. Many have extremely crude tikis carved into them. No great skill or talent was used to carve them. They are viewed as being the 'junk food' of tiki collecting. Tiki in look but not spirit. I disagree. They are a great large size item to use when decorating and can fill up a wall in a way tiki mugs cannot. I embrace them with a sense of humor. They serve no use or purpose other than a decorative role. I also love the hunt when walking into a thrift store to find them. We recently saw a set in an antique store for fifty dollars - talk about a profit margin! I think these classic items of decorative kitsch deserve to be respected and loved. So the next time you head into your local thrift store buy that silly silverware and hang it on your wall with pride right next to your favorite tiki mug.

Until next time, keep your tiki mugs filled and be on the look out for the Metiki Gal!!!

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