Munktiki was founded in the early months of the year 2000. Comprised of designers Paul and Miles they strive to bring to the world the finest Tiki Mugs and related products. Their combined experience and knowlege in the ceramics field has enabled them to produce some of the finest Tiki Mugs to date. With an eye on the fun side they strive to add their sense of taste to the "ART OF THE TIKI MUG" Please join them on their journey into the realm of cocktail madness and tiki mug dreams.
Miles Nielsen and his " Pop" Paul Nielsen started Munktiki because they dig Tiki and get a kick out of creating stuff that’s weird, whacky, and just plan funny. Art, the conscious use of skill and creative imagination, is as they say in the eye of the beholder. They make Tiki Mugs with as much imagination and skill as they can put into each and everyone. Hopefully others can enjoy the personal spirit along with the creativeness that is crafted into a Tiki Mug.
The Tiki Mugs are made in stoneware with translucent or opaque glazes in a wide variety of colors. Production of the mug is a challenge with it’s ups and downs on a daily basis. Their mugs start off being a cylinder of clay they throw on the potter wheel, the design is carved in after the clay has setup. When the design is finished plaster is mixed and a mold is made. After the plaster has dried slip “liquid clay” is poured into the mold and when the desired thickness is achieved the slip is poured out. Then the piece is cleaned, fired, glazed, and fired again to a temperature of around 1950 degrees Fahrenheit earthenware or 2200 degrees for stoneware.
Paul and Miles each started their career in ceramics at a early age. Paul while in high school during the 60s sold his goods to local craft galleries. In the 70’s Paul and his wife Debra started up Nielsen’s Ceramics. Selling to department stores, museum gift shops, and galleries over the next 3 decades. Meanwhile Miles still in grade school sold an unusual monkey mug he created in the mid 80’s. His involvement in the arts has included a band and many other projects exploring various media’s. He's spent time in Japan, which included gallery shows, design licensing and a ceramic residency. Each with a combined experience of “way too long” they have acquired an extensive knowledge of ceramics. From kiln building, glaze calculation, wheelthrowing, and mold making, .... to whatever needs to be done. Having sold everything from the very commercial to the " what the heck is that ? " , they still enjoy exploring the unlimited realm of ideas and possibilities involved with artistic expression.
In 1997 Paul made his first Tiki Mug to go with a cocktail line he produced but after limited success he put that project on the back burner. Three years later in January of 2000 he and Miles took up the Tiki once again but this time they met success. As a diehard ceramists Paul and Miles pretty much enjoyed what ever they were making, this though was a new blast of creative energy and a vacation from their regular production. Approaching Tiki as ceramists they were naturally drawn to the Tiki Mug, bringing in elements of the old Tiki Lounge and Casinos mugs. Their designer mugs , not being made for restaurants , have the name of the character on the back of the mug. Plus the mugs are numbered and dated on the bottom. They hope to help continue the resurgence of the Tiki Lounge culture with their mugs.
Update: Today they are also working with other artists and importing mugs form China. Along with production work in their Astoria Studio they continue to explore the limitless ideas of the creative mind.