Tiki: Tiki Carver / Benzart

Benzart interview some years ago :

The carver that was coming from the Cold…

Ben Davis aka Benzart is a very particular carver: not only does he carve Tikis but everything you can imagine – dolphins, Maori warriors, Indians…- everything I very good. Met on Tikicentral, he narrates us his story.

Hi Mr Benzart, when we click on “about me” on your site nothing happens, thus our first question is : Who are you ? Can you introduce yourself ?

This is a bit long but this is who I AM

Hi, My name is Ben Davis and I go by the name of Benzart for my art production. I was born in Miami Florida, the son of a local Policeman. I grew up Poor and had to make all the toys I had to play with. I made model airplanes from scratch using no plans and they flew, with tiny

motors. I have always loved wood and been fascinated with it. There are just SO Many different kinds and they are All good for different things. They All have different working characteristics.

I worked for an old German in his shop called "The Wood Shed:" making wood coffee and cocktail tables from slabs of different types of wood. We really made All kinds of things from wood. If a customer had an idea, we would build it. Coat racks, signs, chairs, tables trophies for fishing tournaments, you name it and we did it. One thing he alone did was to carve these ugly tikis and other pieces. He did ugly Pelicans, Dolphins, Indians and all the normal Chainsaw art pieces.

My part of this creativity was to use an Angle grinder to sand and smooth the chain saw cuts. To clean it up and make it look good , and I Hated it!

One day I was bored so I picked up his chain saw and made my first tiki. I was totally blown away and he was none too happy about me infringing on his exclusive art thing. How dare I do that. He told me that he would do the carving, but within a few months I was doing most of it and selling a lot of it. Mind you my pieces were not great at all, but they were selling. Soon I left there to carve in the front yard of one of my customers who ended up becoming a very close friend in Ritzy Boca Raton. He believed he could sell my work to all his laid back friends, and did for a year or so. After a few scrapes with the code enforcement people,

I decided to become more legitimate and move to a spot where I could be legal and not bother the neighbors and make more money. By this time my work was evolving and taking on lots of character. I was beginning to use more tools than the chain saw and grinder. I was finding knives and chisels add much more crisp detail to every piece and increased the value to boot...

more about Benzart please click here

Mahalo Benzart ;)

post by S.Vea