And, finally, part two of my post about Wayne Coombs’ Mai Tiki Studio and Gallery in Cocoa Beach, Florida…
Outside, a couple of palm trees were propped up against the wall, waiting to meet their destiny of being carved into tikis.
After browsing through the gallery, we also got to take a look in the studio. This is where the magic happens! That big guy was in the process of being molded into a giant tiki fountain.
Wayne Coombs himself was there that day and it was awesome to chat with him. Of course, I was having such a good time that I forgot to get a photo op.
A pretty impressive thatched hut out in the back—would have been perfect for taking shelter during a sudden storm, like the one that you can see happened while we were there. Though I suppose in Florida it’s not so much “sudden” as “inevitable.”
I really loved the juxtaposition of this tiki and the “Casablanca” mural next door. Can it be just a coincidence that he and Humphrey have similar expressions and hand positioning?
I tend to like Stephen Colbert and his antics a bit more than “The Daily Show,” but Jon Stewart’s sketch on the November 12 episode won him some love back. In this bit, His Dreaminess was settling in at home to watch some Fox News with a teddy bear, some snacks and….a tiki mug!
Yeah, it’s a pink plastic number with a squiggly straw rather than a bonafide mug, but it was fun to spot anyway. Plus it had a pineapple garnish! Props to the prop master for incorporating tiki into my second-favorite fake news show.
After we’d spent a few days at Disney World and donated enough money to The Mouse, my family was gracious enough to make the hour-ish trek through a Florida monsoon out to Cocoa Beach.
This small seaside town just south of Cape Canaveral is home to Mai Tiki—the gallery and studio of tiki artist Wayne Coombs. He’s been carving tikis for more than 40 years, but he also does paintings and mixed media.
It was great fun looking through the Mai Tiki gallery. I was especially drawn to this piece, but you can probably attribute that to the fact that my birthday is the fourth of July. Guess I was born to love fireworks.
I hadn’t gone there with the intention of purchasing my first carved tiki, but then I couldn’t walk away from these happy little dudes. His tikis with this particular grinning expression are named “The Joker.” Another signature of Coombs’ style is to have a symbol on the forehead such as a hibiscus flower, crown or pineapple (referencing welcome and hospitality). Decisions, decisions…
Upstairs from the gallery are studio apartments which can be rented. There are a few tiki touches, mostly on the outside it seems. (Interior shots and pricing info here, if you’re curious/planning a relaxing Florida vacay.)
The beach is just a few blocks away, and it looked quite beautiful after the storm.
Mai Tiki Gallery
251 Minutemen Causeway
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931