PopTiki of Colorado is a small ceramic studio/mug manufacturer in Loveland, Colorado that focuses on creating handmade, slip-cast stoneware Tiki Mugs and other Polynesian Pop Culture wares.
We’re proud to offer mug designs that are unique and innovative, but still maintain the aesthetic of the classical Polynesian pop culture artifact. Our wares are created with unparalleled craftsmanship and attention to every detail. From the edging of the glazes, to the extra work in removing any trace of the part lines from the mold, to the relief of the “PopTiki” on the bottom of our mugs…no step is short cut or overlooked.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many mugs do you make?
We do small runs (20-25) of our designs yearly and we typically come out with 4-6 new designs each year. For mugs that we think can be even better with a little extra work, but it would make them too expensive, we do very short runs (3-5) of a Deluxe edition as well.
In addition to these production runs we also do one-off test Proofs and Designer’s Editions of many of our mugs.
You say your mugs are stoneware, what’s the difference?
Stoneware is the type of clay body we use to make our mugs. It is fired at a much higher temperature than earthenware (which most mugs are made of), so the clay actually melts and becomes non-porous, like glass. By casting and firing a stoneware slip, we get a much heavier, more durable product. For example, the dishes and pans used for baking are stoneware, as they can take the heat and abuse.
One of the characteristics you’ll notice about stoneware is that the foot (or bottom) of the piece is unglazed. This is because to fire the foot with glaze on it, it needs to be held up on metal stilts. But since we fire to 2169 Degrees, the stilts would just melt and evaporate. A “dry foot” is a good initial indicator that you have a stoneware piece. Another indicator is the weight of the piece, as stoneware is much heavier than earthenware.
Stoneware is more difficult, and the glaze choices are more limited due to the much higher temperatures, but we feel that it offers a much higher quality product. With a few special exceptions, all of our mugs are food safe, dishwasher safe, can be used in the microwave and even in your oven. (Needless to say, you don’t need to worry about firing up the Volcano Bowl!)
For more information, here are some great sites to check out:
Who is PopTiki of Colorado?
Who are we? Well, we’re Pop, Mom and Helz. We all have some part in the production process as well as the marketing and the distrubution of the stuff we make. Pop is the creative force, and Helz is the guy that has a lot of ideas and handles the marketing/sales/business stuff. Mom is the one that makes stuff happen and provides a lot of the work to get everything out the door.
Where did the name PopTiki of Colorado come from?
PopTiki started out as a username for Glen Helzer to use on the Tiki message boards when he began carving and then creating small runs of tiki mugs. Since then, PopTiki had come to embrace the “Pop” aspect of tiki as well. So Glen is still “Pop” But PopTiki of Colorado is the name of our business and the trade name of the products we make. (And Yes, the “of Colorado” is our tongue-in-cheek homage to Orchids of Hawaii).
Do you do anything other than mugs/ceramics?
Actually, we stared out doing a bit of carving, with Pop doing a couple wood Tiki Bobs, then a very large foam Bob that sits in Helz’s dining room. We’ve also done some found object work, and did a restoration on a vintage bamboo bar.
But outside producing our own mugs, we have done some comission work for a couple people and we’ve collaborated on a mug design using a bone carving by Florida’s GMAN. Also we’ve made some production molds for Gecko at South Seas Arts, including the Kilauea Edition PopTiki Volcano, Squid’s Ku Ku Kachoo and Paipo’s Birdman.
- How do I get in contact with you?