Results matching “vantiki”

There Can Be Only One

The auction for the Tree Brain Tiki Mug has begun.

Forgive the recap, but for those who are new to this-- a crazy fungus that looks like a big orange brain grows every Sept. on the tree in front of my house. We like to celebrate its arrival here on the site and it has also inspired our giant theoretical rock band.

Tiki Mug superhero, Henrik Van Ryzin of, agreed to sculpt a tiki mug in the tree brain's honor. He made two -- one for me and one to be auctioned off.

The time for the auction has come.

This is a special 1-of-2-of-a-kind piece of art. It was even the star of its own featured video on YouTube. Sure we're in a recession, but why put your money in a bank for 0% interest when you could put it into a pretty mug?

Additionally, the owner of this mug and I will share an everlasting bond, as he or she becomes my Tiki Brother or Tiki Sister FOR LIFE. (Or until one of my shitty kids breaks my mug.)

In 2006 a Jackson Pollock painting sold for $140 million -- and you can't even fill it with pineapple juice and booze.

Click here for the auction and to read the mysterious native legend of the Tree Brain Idol.

The Missing Quarter

Proving once again why you're all so wonderful, Henrik received an email from a Sneeze reader (Meg?) requesting the traditional quarter for size-reference on the Tree Brain Tiki Mugs.

Señor Van Tiki has happily complied.

Freshly Baked Brains

Just in from VanTiki Headquarters, Hawaii:

Aloha Steve -

Just unloaded the kiln, and the mugs look great! I snapped a few quick shots of the still-hot mugs on the workbench. I'll shoot up some proper photos once things have cooled down a bit. I figure you can pick which one you want after seeing a good photo set. Thought you deserved a quick peek after waiting forever for these fellows!


Now my wife and I must choose the one that will come live with us. I'll keep you posted when Henrik puts the other one on eBay.

Go check out all of Henrik's amazing mugs right here.

Mahalo to your mother.

Aloha from Van Tiki Island

Things had been quiet with the Tree Brains Tiki Mugs for awhile, but they have suddenly sprung back to life with new vim. (I realize you don't often see "vim" out there on its own without "vigor," but today's the day. Vigor, PLEASE!)

My genius tiki mug making friend, Henrik, is back to say:

Aloha Steve -

Hi, I'm Henrik. You may not remember me, but several years ago you expressed interest in a tiki mug.

Seriously - I feel terrible about the snail pace that these things are moving in. Ever since the bisque firing I've been unhappy with the way the brains fit - and that led to me kinda leaving them on the shelf for a spell. Today I decided enough was enough, and that it was time for me to grab the brain by the.. um.. stem? I re-sculpted a new brain for each tree, and hopefully these "custom fit" brains will work out better. I already love the way they look.

I glazed the mugs up yesterday and they are currently cooking away in the kiln. I'll have photos of the success/failure tomorrow!


PS - these mugs are freaking GINORMOUS. It has been a while since I picked them up - and the brain only adds to the effect!

If all goes according to plan, these 2 mugs won't explode in the kiln and then one will go to me and the other will go up for auction on eBay where the winner will become my Tiki Brother or Tiki Wife.

If you missed it, here's the mesmerizing time-lapse video of the mugs being made which was featured by the kind folks at Boing Boing and YouTube.

Check out all of Henrik's insanely great tiki mug creations at VanTiki and be sure to get on his free mailing list!

Commence Nail Biting!

Here's the latest on the Tree Brain Tiki Mugs being made by Henrik. If you're new to this, there's this crazy fungus on the tree... and we made a band... and now Henrik... okay-- if you're lost, just nod and smile for now and I'll recap next time, I promise.

The fiery stress begins tomorrow morning, 7am Hawaii time. Cross your fingers!

I may make a new set of brain tops - I'm not thrilled with these, and I think I could crank out some better ones now that I have the tree top built. I kinda did things backwards building the brains first. I know what you are thinking: "geez Henrik - it has been, like, 6 months already! And you are gonna go back to square one on the brains?!" Fear not. I just want these woody idols to be the best they can be. The brains will go fast. I promise. Kinda.


Check out all of Henrik's insanely great tiki mug creations at VanTiki and be sure to get on his free mailing list!

Thanks, Henrik!

Tree Brain Tiki Mug Time Lapse Video

For the uninitiated, last year I thought we should start a theoretical band that we could all be in. We named ourselves The Tree Brains after the annual fungus that grows on my tree. Gary Taxali made a kick-ass logo, there were some shirts (which are all gone), a big Tree Brains Facebook group and now master tiki mug sculptor Henrik Van Ryzin agreed join in.

As you can see from the following video of Henrik in action, The Tree Brain Tiki Mugs are coming along beautifully.

The actual brain portion isn't seen in the final image, but you can see it being fitted in a few frames during the video.

What you're watching is about 7 hours and 45 minutes of sculpting. According to Henrik, the drying is the tricky part...

I do have a bit more clean up that I'll be doing today, then the long and anxiety filled drying process begins. I am guessing about two weeks of slow drying will do the trick - we really don't want one part of the mug to shrink too fast and crack. Overall, the mugs will shrink around 9%. I'll continue to provide photos as things progress.


If all goes according to plan there will be 2 mugs. 1 for me and 1 to hopefully be bid on by one of you guys. You know those 2-halves-of-a-heart keychains people buy at the mall, and then each person takes a half and they then forever share a mystical bond? I will share a similar powerful bond with whoever ends up with the other mug.

See all of Henrik's insane mugs at

Tree Brain Tiki Mug - Phase 1!

Tiki mug sculptor and god of clay, Henrik Van Ryzin, has officially begun creating the Tree Brain Tiki Mug. Technically, we think it's actually more of a Tree Brain Tiki Pitcher with secret removable brain mug, but whatever.

Henrik has agreed to keep us posted on the mug as it comes together. As you can see below, things are off to a great start...

Aloha Steve!

I've been piecing together the Tree Brain mug every spare moment I have been able to sneak away from my computer. I started with the brain itself, as I've never really done one before. My first two attempts left me a bit cold - one was far too "realistic" and the other a tad to "generic blob" for my taste:

Left those to simmer on the drying rack for a week, and went back to your site for more treebrain research. Glad I did, as today's efforts more truely reflect both the "brain-ness" and the "tree-ness" of the actual treebrain. At least I like to think they do. Imagine them glazed in a vivid ultra-smooth high-gloss orange. Pow!

Please keep in mind that these are rough sculpts! I'll be moving on to the tree itself this week. It will be done out of a different (brown) clay body, and the teeth and eyes will be various porcelains (like my other mugs).


Henrik Van Ryzin
VanTiki Island Explorer

Definitely click on over and check out all of Henrik's unbelievable creations at his site

And be sure to sign up for his free mailing list to be notified when the latest creations are up for sale on eBay.

Tree Brain Tiki Mug Sonogram

As Tree Brain season approaches, so does our extremely cool Tree Brain Tiki Mug from Henrik over at Van Tiki.

Here's his latest sketch of where we are. I think he's very close to going to clay.

I keep calling it a mug, but it's actually going to be an insane Tiki Tree Brain Pitcher with REMOVABLE BRAIN CUP. The tropical beverage will pour out of the branch.

I believe the plan for now is that Henrik will actually create 2 of these. One for me and one for him to sell in his eBay store. (I believe if this were placed over your fireplace, it would easily raise the resale value of your home.)

Henrik will also be providing photos of the process as it comes to life. I can't wait. In the meantime, definitely check out the rest of his amazing Tiki mug creations at

Unfinished Business

Just taking a look at some of the items that were in the works before the break...

I talked to Henrik over at VanTiki today regarding the Tree Brain tiki mug and he is still extremely excited about it. So that will be going full steam ahead and I have a ton of cool sketches from him on it already. If you haven't seen his stuff, go check it out. He's great.

And I'm happy to report that everyone's favorite homeless whale, Blowjo B. Hobo, will still be very much in the works thanks to some help from my awesome internet pal -- the mighty Natalie Dee.

(I also need to add that I'm fairly overwhelmed by all the comments on the last post. It is truly appreciated it. As always, you guys are the best.)

Tiki Sneeze Art Project - Under Construction

Tiki mug art excitement is brewing!

Adam introduced me to Henrik. Henrik makes insane, one-of-a-kind hand-sculpted tiki mugs. Some of them light up, others have removable shot glass lids -- but they're all incredible.

Henrik has agreed to create a special mug for The Sneeze and keep us up to date with pictures as it slowly comes to life.

Here are just a few of his awesome tiki children...

We've kicked around a few ideas and Henrik is currently sketching up a few of them. I can't wait.

Check out all of Henrik's tiki mug creations at!

His latest mug is currently up for auction on eBay.



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