The Wrecked Wench is my home backyard bar. Melding the themes of pirate, tiki, and nautical, it is an ongoing art project for me. From the cannons and ship side on the outside of the house, wood burned pirate ships on the custom bar top, barrel keg taps, and various other decorations, it is constantly evolving space that keeps me busy with upgrading and improving it.
I am very excited that The Wrecked Wench has been featured in the pages of Tiki Magazine.
This page shows the process that I went through to make the space what it is today.
The blank canvas
When I bought the house the backyard was nice, but too plain for my taste. I wanted to transform it into a space that was more warm and inviting. A place that people would enjoy coming to enjoy the décor and sit in a tropical setting.
My first step was to decide what I wanted to do with the space. I knew I wanted a bar area. My love of pirates and tiki seemed like a natural fit. So, I began some sketches and designs. For this phase most of the work was done traditionally by hand and with the use of Photoshop and Procreate.
My initial idea was a pirate pub. Barrel kegs for drinks, an L shaped bar, and a pirate ship wall complete with cannons
The first rough sketch of the wall included an octopus tentacle that was eventually cut.
From there I moved onto more fleshed out designs that are what ultimately drove the final look.
An unused design.
The pirate tiki was an intended collaboration with a local tiki carver that never came to be. I still hope that sometime in the future the design will be finished.
I knew that I wanted to have a centerpiece painting hanging behind the bar. I have always been in love with the Marc Davis’ redhead painting in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. I searched for a print that I would be able to use, but was never able to find one. That was when I decided to paint my own version to use instead.
The version as seen on the ride
3D design phase
Now that the concepts where complete it was time to move on to blocking the idea out in 3D space. I used various 3D software packages, including 3DStudio Max and Maya, to complete the overall layout of the space as well as starting to rough in what actual dimensions we would need for the various elements that would need to be built.
Photoshop and Illustrator were used for various material and texture work, and Radiant for final layout and lighting.
Final 3D designs
With the design dimensions locked in, I detailed the 3D scene to show an even closer concept of what the final space could look like. This included more detailed materials, props, and lighting.
Now it was time to move on to building the space using all of the dimensions worked out in the 3D mock up.
The bar was the first to be built. The design changed very little from the initial design.
I knew from the start I wanted to have pirate ships wood burned into the bar top. Having never done any wood burning before this was a very stressful way to learn. But I am very happy with the final result.
The ship wall facade was built to sit off of the main structure of the house. We wanted to make sure that there would be room to recess the cannons to complete the illusion.
The cannons took some experimentation to construct. The final designs are a concrete form outside, pvc pipe interior, and insulation foam for the tip. Once shaped the exterior was covered with a hard spackle and painted to complete the look. The pvc pipe core was use to mount the cannons to the wall in their gun ports.
For the candles on the ships wheel chandelier I decided to go with a simple solution. Using toilet paper tubes as a base, then adding hot glue to create a melted wax look. Once painted, I added a flickering electronic candle flame to finish off the look.
The final product
Here is the final result.
I don’t think this space will ever really be finished. I have many more ideas I would love to add to it.
Odds and Ends
Below are various other Wrecked Wench inspired projects.
The Wrecked Wench Pendant
Many tiki bars have mugs, pendants, or shirts to celebrate their brand. I wanted to create a pendant that represented The Wrecked Wench. Sculpted with Super Sculpey, cast and molded in resin, each hand painted. These are a gift from myself to my friends who have been regulars at The Wrecked Wench.
The Wrecked Wench Pinball Machine
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Black Rose pirate pinball machine. The next step was to rebrand it to fit The Wrecked Wench. Here you can see the first sketch, final design for the new back glass, side graphics, and the final machine.