Welcome

Ahoy Matey, and Welcome to REPTIRE, an intermittent ‘ship’s blog’, chronicling the slow rise in the South Easterly skies of Reptire Designs; a studio that designs and crafts always artful, and sometimes useful THINGAMABOBS from old Indian Cucachou, aka ReTired Rubber.

Down Below, Ye shall find a permanent 'flagship post' marking the Maiden Voyage of Reptire Designs.

And below that, in the ‘hull’, can be found more recent posts chronicling the daring new adventures of Reptire Designs, dashed with small bits of whimsy, spotted pickerel, local color, and lizard lore..

In fact, on the right, in pale purple, ye shall find the Captain's Log’s Table of Previous Posts, which ye can peruse by year, month, and title to ye hearts content.

If ye haven't gotchyer sea legs yet, My Pretty, Ye can take a gander at our website at www.reptiredesigns.com, to get a proper Landlubber's Introduction.

Thanks for stopping in, I do hope you enjoy your visit aboard this ship! HARHARHARHAR.......

Sincerely, Travius Von Cohnifus

Captain, Founder, Indentured Servant, Rubber Alligator Wrestlor Extraordinaire a' this here ship.

enter the treadknot

Welcome
On September 26th, 2006, I launched my tire art/design business, Reptire Designs, with a solo exhibition of my artwork in The Green Gallery at The Scrap Exchange Center for Creative Reuse, in Durham, NC. For many reasons, it was a night that I will always remember, and I am grateful to Laxmi (my girlfriend at the time) and Edie (my mother, still) for dutifully documenting while I shmoozed, so that I may now shmare a taste of the evening with anyone who was not able to attend...



On a cool but lively autumn night-before-Center Fest, a stream of friends and curious strangers trickled (like pebbles through a rain stick) through the forest of odds and ends (that roost at night in The Scrap Exchange), out into the warm light of the back savanna, a scene utterly glopped with bizarre rubbery hybrids. Tentative and curious, the visitors craned their necks, nibbled, pecked, stood back, moved in closer. From the walls, glassy mirror eyes gazed back through black unblinking eyelids, while beneath the visitor's feet, in a steamy drainage cistern, a mortal drama unfolded. Primordial forms, with no eyes at all, sat puckered on stoops. A cascade of glittering steal droplets formed a curtain, to which clung a colony of tiny tire knotlettes.

Vito D., a long-time collabator down from the Asheville area, caressed the warming air with his Strange Little Folk music. I bobbed and I flit, and at an increasing clip-someone must have opened the faucet a bit....for soon I was swooning, I just about lost it! As the evening progressed, to my delight and amazement, 'family' from Durham, Chapel Hill, Pittsboro, Hillsboro, Siler City, Asheville, and Fresno all made it! From the Cohn Clan to the Steudel Clan to the CFS Clan; from the WWC Clan to the Duke Ac Pub Clan to the SAF Clan; from the Bike Shop Clan to the Ninth St. Clan to the Scrap Clan... and every one in between, guys, they were all appearing before my stunned, blinking eyes. While I spun and I splayed, Vito now played-CHURNED- up a torrent of gritty ditties; while a staff volunteer (Brandon's a photographer, I swear) whipped up pitchers of Mango Lassies. And The 'Scrap Exchange girls' worked the door, the counter, and the floor, going "cha-CHING!", cha-CHING!","cha-CHING!".!.



By the end of the night, hundreds of friends, acquaintances and had-been-strangers had poured in, poured over the work, and partaken in, what was for me and my art, a monumental communal feast. And on top of it all, I got to place many of my preemies in hands that I love and trust, and in several instances, hands that fit them like gloves. What a privilage to be able to connect with people this way. Heading into the turbid seas of small business, I can confidently say that if I drown tomorrow, I am at least blessed today with the memory of (as Vito later put it) one authentically good Durham night.



Thanks to all of you who were there; in body and/or spirit.





Reclaimed-wood Builder and Reptire Collector Howard Staab enjoying magwi knot at the Scrap Exchange

Reclaimed-wood Builder and Reptire Collector Howard Staab enjoying magwi knot at the Scrap Exchange
I can't think of anything more rewarding for an artist than to see someone interacting with their artwork. Photo by Laxmi Haynes

Sammy and Dannette contemplate

Sammy and Dannette contemplate
Photograph by Laxmi Haynes

Cascade Colony of Knotlets

Cascade Colony of Knotlets
They would go with your jacket, would they not Claire?

Laxmi Resplendent

Laxmi Resplendent

Mavis In The Mist

Mavis In The Mist
Photograph by Laxmi Haynes

Tire Amazement

Tire Amazement
Photograph by Edie Cohn

Friday, September 30, 2011

RECLAMATION: Outdoors- The Qurtain / Unity Screen


One of the first pieces that I installed out doors was a piece that I had recently made in Siler City (you can find a post on this blog about its creation here). I thought this piece might be a good fit for the Reclamation, and the Hermitage grounds and gardens.

Why?
 a) because it is very much a formal piece, and formal design is a very strong element of the artistry at Hermitage (indoors and out), and also
b) because it is a piece that alter's your view of your everyday surroundings, and this was part of my goal in being there (and I think the currators', and Ed's, as well). The round windows afford a portal, or an altered view, and the treatment of the space inbetween these portals also invites you to explore, and cherish this negative space.

SITING
To let this piece shine, to something close to its full capability, it needed a 'room' with a 'view'. A spot that came immediately to mind was a certain point out at the edge of the Hermitage's grounds, where the land meets (and contemplates) the expanse of the sound (the Lafeyette River). Here sits a bench from which one can sit, and look out over the water, and also pair of contemplative Great Herons in bronze.


INSTALLING
Garden Manager Jolima showed me two handsome cedar trees to tether it to, and made the good suggestion of some natural fibers to lash it on with.
Gardener Karen generously provided some bamboo for me to use as a cross brace above.
However, in the end, I decided to use ropes to extend upwards, following the trajectory of the diagonal struts of bamboo, which comprise the piece's frame. I do feel that this approach harmonized better with the diagonal lines, than the horizontal brace, which I think would have disrputed this some (though, though, of course, those vertical trees have their own presense in the piece. (The bamboo that Karen so sweetly brought me played very important roles in several other pieces, most notably "Kong Tower", and "Orb Weaver"'s web.

Fine tuning this thing was somewhat of a vexing, but rewarding process. Like many of the pieces I built for Reclamation, I found that this piece had its own interesting dynamics of tension, sort of running through out the entire form in sort of the unexpected manor of a pinball machine.

Of course, at the crux of the pieces eccentric behaviour, was the fact that I was attempting to position the piece's many elements in a flat vertical plane (a somewhat unnatural proposition). As gravity pulled downwards on each of the rims, within the bamboo frame, against the stretchy rubber inner tube tethers, that pulled them towards eachother, and the frame, it sort of writhed and buckled, as though possessed by unseen forces.

Finally, fortunately, its weight settled its 'toe' on the ground, and with this single point, it took on some semblance of equalibrium, finally allowing it to rest.....sigh.
What a parable for groundedness...

USING IT
Once this piece found its own way in this new environment, it got right to work, doing its job, of fracturing the landscape, affording a mosaic of various, changing, tesselated windows, through which the viewer could 'review' and interact with the environment around it.

Interestingly, I found that this piece is quite photogenic, and I think probably for some interesting reasons. For, does not a camera act in exactly the same way? I think that a camera's lense will find much akin in this piece.

The nicest way to photograph this piece is early in the morning, when the sun is beginning its tiptoed dance over the water, sparkeling through the trees.

Of course, it is also nice to watch the bay through.


When my Mom- Painter, Portrait Artist, and Photographer, Edie S. Cohn came to visit, we also found that this piece is very much on the 'human scale' (a concept that I refer to in the post about making "Kong Tower", had not really recognized in this piece!) For this reason, I think, this piece affords some interesting interactions with the human figure.





Here is some of my Mother's artistry.

NAMING THE THING
A couple of names came up for this piece, one in my discussions of medieval art with Hermitage Director and Art Historian Melanie Mathews. Mrs. Mathews had pointed out that piece bore a resemblance to a form which has been used throughout the Middle Ages in all manner of art and architecture, and which is also found incorporated into the artistry at Hermtage. That form is the "Quatrafoil", which I guess you could say, in some ways resembles a four leaf clover.
What drew her to draw that comparison is the use of negative space, evident both this piece, and medieval uses of the form. I thought that this was a fascinating connection to make, especially as the use of negative space is at the very core of this piece, in fact it is its 'main feature', framed as it is by the inverted bicycle tire surrounding the pieces central window.
And so, as in some ways the piece is a 'curtain', a term which I believe she had also used to describe it, I thought that a contraction of these two words would be appropriate. I also like that the name reflects a little bit of the Islamic/Moorish influence, which I suspect has its place in the quatrefoil's history.

The other name I came up with was Unity Screen. Why?  Well...
I would say that a screen is an interesting way to approach this form.
But more importantly, there is an interesting thing happening with this piece.
And that is that the inverted bicycle tire creating a window frame, at the piece's center, is held in place by the four rims and inner tubes. And thus, the tire, which would normally find itself at home, wrapped tightly around a single rim and tube, now belongs to each of these rims.
Together, they act to hold this frame in place, and its form reflects each of the rims curved shape (or its values), and also the groups 'values', as a whole. It also honors, and sanctifies the space between these four different rims.

Installed this piece on September 11, on the 10th Anniversary of the bombings on the World Trade Center. I don't know if it would be appropiate to say that this piece was a tribute of sorts, but these were thoughts running through my head as I installed and interacted with this piece that day.






Tuesday, September 27, 2011

RECLAMATION: Indoors- 'The Parlor' Diorama

AN UNEXPECTED OFFER…
         One unexpected space that Hermitage Museum offered me to use for the Reclamation exhibtion was a large showcase just to the left of the 2 gallery spaces upstairs. This space was a bout 5’ x 6’ x 8’ tall, and about 2 feet off of the ground. This makes for a small room at the end of the hall, framed by a large picture window, which visitors peer through as they round the crest of the stairs, and approach the gallery spaces, around the corner to the right.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS
         When Melissa offered me use of this chamber-like space, it didn’t take long to figure out what to do with it…
         I had been thinking since I returned that while my site-specific plans were making good use of the grounds and gardens outside of the museum, I had not really duely addressed the interior of the museum. And the more that I thought about it, the more it seemed like there was some rich potential to create a dialogue with the elegant and artful furnishings in Sloanes’ living room. With this in mind, I made a special run to that great resource that is Scrap Exchange (when I returned to NC for supplies), and dug through their fabric and ‘notions’ section, gleaning some scraps of really REGAL upholstery fabric, and several bagfuls of dark and colorful trim…I also found there some large, dejected oval-shaped mirrors, with a nice wide bevel, very elegent…

         So, as you can surmise, my aim was to attempt to recreate in this ‘vaulted chamber’ some of the ambiance of the Sloane’s own ‘parlor’ downstairs below- in essence, a diorama. The twist of course, was that many of these furnishings would incorporate the improbable material of tire rubber.

TIRES AND TRIM, COALLESCING…
         This was a task, which I must admit, I set to work to, with glee.
I have always wanted to create a series of treadknot tire knots (a family actually), incorporating this sort of fabulous and stuffy pillow trim, and as I schemed on, it quickly became clear that this was the PERFCECT context from which to birth this family.


   In fact, many unconscious currents of my tire craft over the last 9 years seemed to be COALLESCING in this ‘parlor diorama’. For instance, Luther, (the Snapping Turtle) himself, the Great Great Grand Daddy of my RepTire Art) found himself right at home at this ‘ball’, even getting himself gussied up with a new mount, complete with a mount-mount, featuring an elegant silk liner…

Luther's mount, mount..
Booyaa! How you like me now, Sucka!
Copyright, Travis Cohn/Reptire Designs 2011

‘PILLOW TALK’


For pillows, I made a pillow knot (part of what I call the ‘pillow talk’ series;), and also came up with a new design- a round pillow using a smallish ‘knobby’ tire.


This one incorporated some of that upholstery fabric and trim from The Scrap Exchange, and also some supporting materials scavenged around Norfolk,
including foam stuffing and cardboard doorskin. 

It was a little tricky pulling this one together,
An early sketch
but finally, with some carefull planning,
and alot of patience, 
I did pull it together.


In the end, I think it worked like a charm, especially with that button/dimple a the center (of the pillow AND the rose).
Its a pizza! Looks good enough to eat. Just like Mama Rosa used to make!
Some of my better work, I priced it high cause I wanted to keep it (or loan it to the Scrap Exchange), but I don’t know, it has some worthy admirers…

SPHERE DU MONDE
         This scene was also the opportunity to bring into existence a certain ‘TireSphere’ that I have always wanted to create- the Globesphere. This incorporates a fancy French globe that I bought at this eccentric antique store. As the globe was French, and the French are undoubtedly lovers of the bicycle…I thought I would ‘round it out’ with some choice French ‘Forte’ racing tires. Perhaps I will have to rename it some day- “Sphere du Monde”….


SUPPORTING CAST
         A supporting cast for this parlor diorama was furnished from a variety of sources. To get us started, I borrowed a favorite Persian rug from my studio, that my parents and I had hoisted from a Duke dumpster, way back in the glory days.

         Melissa Ball generously lent the exhibit an essential chair from her office- one that had once belonged to Mrs. Sloane herself! While we had tried to locate a more ‘stately’ wingback, this one did fine, and its warm gold tones held the scene together well.

         From my parents attic, I borrowed an end table that had once held my own grandfather Ted’s newspapers and various books. I think it was an unintended  shock, and hopefully a treat also, for my mother to recognize this table and rug being displayed prominently in this museum showcase!



CENTER PIECE- The Mirror
         The centerpiece of this diorama is the mirror. This was to be the collections most difficult piece to conceive, yet as is often the case, is ironically its most glorious success (in my own opinion).
         This piece began with the ovular mirror that I found at the Scrap Exchange, while volunteering there by chance shortly before I embarked to Norfolk. I had been excited to discover the stack of mirrors, because the looked to be the general circumfrance of a bicycle tire….However, upon closer inspection, I found that most of the mirrors were variously scratched (which is probably why they were donated). Furthermore, I soon discovered that being VERY close to a perfect fit for an elegent mirror is a maddening FAR CRY from a true perfect fit.

         I spent a good three weeks struggling to reconcile this difference.
I really had only one tire that was a worthy match for the mirror (an old ‘gum wall’, whose natural latex rubber sidewall was deteriorating with age in a way that made it look just like a nice stained wood) , but my attempts were not working out, at all……
         I had tried to break the tire at its cardinal points, but the tension across the tire caused the bead to buckle, and drift away from the edge of the mirror, which it had previously promised to follow with uncanny ease. Thus, eventually  I had to staple the thing back in place, and device edifices to cover up there moorings. 

         However, these edifices came be the piece’s crowning glory, and I embarked upon a whole new chapter in my craft, in devising them….
         From the treads of 4 various different tires that I had laying around, I painstakingly cut various bits and pieces of this embossed black rubber, using these not only as ornamental motifs, but also to begin to tell a little bit of a story…
         I began with a quit reptilianesque tread, using patches of this to anchor the 4 cardinal points of the mirror (and to cover the aforementioned necesary breaks in the tire’s bead).


         To mount each of these pieces on, I used a shiny silver snap, which I thought mirrored the mirror in an interesting way, and of course always gleams spectacularly from the matt mat of black rubber. I thought that these elements helped to usher the mirror into a new state of being, or rather, brought out the ‘reptilian nature’ which I find latent the tire rubber…
         My next motif was to be a feather motif. Its hard to say at this point if this was intentional, we were now well into the creative realm, but I found the mirror’s progression in to the aviary realm to be quite, well, ‘serpentdipidous’. I had discovered that the edges of the some of my thinner, more ‘fare’ road bike tires, exhibited a repeated chevron pattern. From this band, I hewed small delicate feathers, gently guiding their edges up, in the effort of the image of flight… I positioned these around the upper cardinal point, but intentionally left them of the point below. I wanted to leave this bottom point reptilian, in it’s a barest essence, with this essence mirrored, mirraculously, in the birds essence above. The piece was quickly taking on a life of its own…In fact too much so. It was beginning to look like some carnal swamp drama unfolding, maybe more fitting for Papa Mojo’s New Orleans inspired Road House Blues bar (I going to have to give them a call), than the home of the aristocratic Sloanes’…


         And so, practicing sheer prudence, obeying my duty to the task at hand (once more), I decided to tone this carnage down a little, and add in some nice floral elements along the edges. Vegetation has that ability, to sooth, and balance out the brutal carnage of the animal kingdom…The vegetal God has been worshiped and valued for this reason since the Egyptians, at the very most recent.

         First, I cut from the tread of a favorite Kenda mountain bike tire, a distinctly vine like motif. Then, echoing the fine toothed chevron combs of both the cut feathers (and the edging of the frame tire also), I added some sharp-looking amped-up jumbo chevron clusters to the tops of the vines/stems, fashioning two pairs of ‘river oats’. To these I added some more spears of feathers, becoming sheaths of leaves, to gaured and protect these noble stems which emerged from them.


         And thus was born an entire aquatic ecosystem, unto this ovular mirror. To finnish it off, I added some silky, slimy black frog legs, snipped from innertubes, to the ‘reptile come amphibean’ ‘below’, 


and a few sparrows soaring and darting in the air above. 






If I had the chance, I would love to etch the silhouette of that meandering oak tree limb, that pierces (and comprises) my view of this estuary from my camper.








ILLUMINATION
Lighting this scene was little bit of a challenge. My best offer for this task was a certain lamp that my father, Steve, likes to call ‘Lola’…. With an enchanting road-burned tire knot serving as it base, and a fuscia feather boa draped laungidly and seductively for a lampspade, which glows with a beckoning ‘come-hither’ aura when turned on, Lola is 2 parts road warrior, and 6 parts burlesque / go-go dancer- the ruin of many a man. Indeed she brought an interesting twist to this ‘parlor’ diorama…

There was some concern from  the Museum staff, that this addition might ‘burn the house down’ (its good reptutation, as well as its fantastic wooden halls and chambers). So in the end it was decided that the pink boa would have to go…

What to replace it with? At that late date (the day before the opening), I didn’t have time to create a  new lamp shade (though  I do have some half baked designs that could work someday). Fortunately for us all, Melissa’s fiancĂ©, Carey works his uncle’s lamp shop, Ghent Lamp and Shade. 

And so, with less than 48 hours before the opening, Melissa took me (with Lola in arm) to visit these fellows, and what a treat that was…
Their shop was a jewel encrusted cave of glowing gems. And the brightest glowing gems by far there were these two gents themselves. Immediately, these two warmed to the challenge, with gusto, floating over a stream of 20 different shades, each one augmenting the lamps knotted tire base in a different way.  James quickly honed in on the qualities that made the lamp’s knot’s tire so special- the parallel strands of nylon cordage layn bare by the roughness of the road., and exhibitited on its surface. To make these strings sing, he found us a shade, whose knap or weave echoed these perfectly, I could not have hoped for a better match. The shade roundness also enhanced the form’s Asiatic murmers.


To this mounting manifestation, Carey, in a bolt of genius, added a crowning gesture….declaring that it needed a worthy finial, to finnsh it off once and for all.

To this task, he deftly swept up a recently retired motorcycle tire pressure guage, reclining on his work bench, and securing this in his vice, quickly fashioned this piece of apparatus into plume that any tire lamp would be proud of!


"Rhoda, the Reclaimed Reclaimed Tire Lamp
As a wise man once said, “Roxanne, you don’t have to wear that dress tonight”.
Much Thanks to these two Gents, for jumping and saving my butt (not to mention perhaps the Hermitage and its collection!), with style and pinach. These fellows speak well upon their country men.

So, here, at long last are some shots of the finnished Diorama.
Thanks also to Melanie and Melissa, for playing along, and trusting me on this impromptu, but apropo installation.



Many Thanks to Truly, for buffing this scene to help it shine!

RECLAMATION: Securing Supplies

Before I could really get down to work creating pieces for the show, I had to undertake a very important step, and that was to secure sources of various needed supplies.
Namely, these were:

  1. Tires- Bicycle and motorcycle, and farm impliments if I could find them...
  2. Hardware
  3. Random Junk- Scrap wood, fabric, etc...
Fortunately for me, Norfolk yielded all three of these with ease.

MOTORCYCLE TIRES
My first score was Triumph Motorcycle shop, on Little Creek Road.

There, Brian graciously gave to access to his pile of tires out back, and I got some good ones from him. He also showed me about the coolest, most unussual tire I have ever seen- this beach tire, imported from So Cal, mounted on the back of this beach cruiser. Highly unique!





BICYCLE TIRES
For bicycle tires, I was very fortunate to find East Coast Cycles, up on Granby, at Ocean View. 
There I met John, who would become one of my favorite people in this adventure. A stalwart and enthusiastic supporter of my efforts, John opened not only his tire piles to me, but his entire shop, really going out of his way to make a traveler feel at home. Perhaps as a Navy serviceman, who knew what this means to a stranger in a new town. The gesture certainly meant a lot to me, and I will not forget it.


HARDWARE
For hardware, I was Very fortunate to find Meadowbrooke Hardware, on Little Creek Rd, a small, family owned and operated gem just around the corner. It is becoming such a rarity these days to find such a small and intimate hardware store- we sadly lost ours in Durham to Home Depot many years ago. Siler City is still blessed to retain our Ace. The owner Phill, was really helpful in helping me find all of the many supplies I needed, and the rest of his staff was as well.
Incidentally, Meadow Brook was right next to something of an enigma. I never did find out the story on this one...


'RANDOM JUNK'
As for other random junk, the streets of Norfolk yielded these quite readily also.
On my first commited evening of searching, I came upon quite a mecca: a pile of hurricane debris that the city had allowed its citizens to amass for pick up. This, I thought, was a great use of government!



There I met several intersting people, leaving stuff off, and I also made some innanimate friends there, taking many more than I should have in my car...

One of my favorite recoveries from this reckage was this small chair below.
It was just a small frame, completely intact, besides the missing seat, and cracking red paint, neither of which seemed to matter in the slightest...


...it just seemed to....well, resolute.
So I carried it home. I later would decide this chair was a sort of a mascot for the idea of reclamation- a hero, and a survivor- and I would submit it (alas, unsuccessfully) as a readymade, into the exhibition. I call it "Resolute Chair". While I personally thought it was a shame that this object was not reclaimed, and exhalted, in this exhibtion, I do plan to keep it, and treasure it as such. Or perhaps pass it on to one of a few artists who I know will 'chairish' it as well...

Aside from some nice pieces of salvaged wood, and these bicycle wheels, one little darling that I did find, and successfully make a star of, was the small bird house you see below. 
Perhaps it was the ephemerality rendered unto abodes, that the hurricane Irene had wrought, but amid this wreckage, the small fragile birdhouse seemed all the more precious, and poignant a keepsake, to pull from it. 



Once I took this home, and cleaned it up abit, this would become the centerpiece for "The House That Jack Built", a tribute to that fragile little gem of  house dangled on a string of coast, by its mystical architect, Mrs. Sloane, so that we all may come, and nourish our souls there.





RECLAMATION: Getting to work

In our innitial discussions of the exhibition, I shared that I was very interested in creating site specific work, not just for the gallery upstairs, but across and around the museums grounds and gardens.
Public Programs Director, Melissa Ball and Director Melanie Mathews told me this would be relatively new for them, and while there would be some restrictions, due to the diverse uses of the grounds, for weddings and other events, they would do their best to accomodate this ambition, which I appreciated.
There seemed to be so much potential there for installation!

So I plodded and plotted in Siler City, trying to prepare these sculptures for this distant landscape, with its own  duties and developments.

When I returned to Hermitage in September, to work there, on site, we had to reconvene. Some sites were  no longer available, some pieces I had prepared for were no longer possible due to a variety of factors. However, new oppurtunities had arisen also!...

It was decided that I would be allowed to use several parts of the museum, in addition to the gallery.
These were:

  • The Gallery
  • A large (5' x 6' x 8') display case which you face as you approach the gallery
  • An area of the museum downstairs- a long hall whose windows face the water.
  • Several spaces outside in the gardens
These outdoor spaces included
  • the millstone court in front of the entrance to the museum,
  • A distant lookout point across the water, on the far reaches of the gardens, which features a bench, and some heron sculptures
  • The rose garden
  • The roof of one wing, which featured tribuchets
These were the various sites I would be working with...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

RECLAMATION: The Work Space

Wow,
 Well, I have really got alot of catching up to do!
I truly regret that I have not been able to keep up to date with this blog, but library/internet/downloading hours compete with work hours, and I've got a lot of work to do! My life for the last few weeks has really been: wake, work, meet, work, search for supplies, work, eat, work, sleep, repeat.

But I wanted to just at least give a glimpse here of my workspace, to anyone who might be wondering.
Thanks for your interest, and I promise to follow up with a flood of good images once I get us all through this exhibition opening. I am dying to share them!

THE WORK STATION
Here below is my 'Work Hut', generously lent by Hermitage Museum for my preperation for the Reclamation Exhibion. A work of Reclamation itself, the building was built as a horse and cow stable, then used for photography classes, then summer Artcamps, and now me, a live in artist. This room is the left wing of a beautiful olf larger building which they still use for art classes.



If you walked through this door, you would see this stage.


Figuratively, this is the stage, on which I am to perform these Daring Feats of Tire Defiance.



















I set the stage accordingly.

However, in reality, this remains mostly a symbolic stage, as most of my real work occurs in the galley below...


Here is a workbench that I improvised from the housing for chemical bath tray that was leaning against the wall. This has become my cheif workbench, as it has the natural lighting from the door, and also is at a good height for me. I layed a piece of white plexiglass I also found in the room over the top of it, and as you can see, this has made a great work surface. 

I also moved this table over by the other side of the door, to create a sort of reception area...


I also set up another table along the wall, and have a central table, totalling a luxurient 4 different work tables that I can going with different projects at once! This has proved to be optimal for this operation.

STORAGE FOR TIRES
When you are working with tires (and any material for that matter), it is important to have enough material around to have some choices, for the right bits for a piece. I was alittle concerned about this going up, so I brought some tires from my own collection, to get me started. Later I connected with two bicycle shops and a motorcycle shop. But where to put all these tires? Melissa was kind enough to let me use the back of the building to store my stash, as well as big Tyrius the Tire Worm, who was in the pitiful (but manageble) condition of being hacked into luggable bits. I found this strange chamber, which helped keep them out of the neighbor's sight.
The Hermitage Tire Knave
(made just for this purpose, no doubt)

STORAGE FOR MY SLEEPING BODY
For Living Quarters, I have been fortunate enough to be allowed to borrow my parents' RV. 
I have spent many days, packed with as many as 7 people in this tin can (mostly with fond memories too!). But I have never experienced this as a one-man-camping-domain. Having lived in my own van for 10 plus years, I have to say that, as such, this thing rocks! Its really got everything I need, and is very comfortable indeed. I set her up in a corner, and set up the "Fortune Teller's Table", to make it feel more like home in Siler City, and impress the neighbors.



Alright, if you are feeling a little bit envious of this alloted work/play space (I can't say I'd blame you, I'd feel the same), let me really sink it in for you, and leave you with this one. 

Here is my prized view (around supper time) of a small inlet of the Lafeyette River (that the RV looks out onto)

(It does get kinda smelly at low tide, and there I have a lot of herons for neighbors, who never stop scowling at me from over the fence. Such is moving into an old established neighborhood, I suppose;)


Sometimes, the long work of an artist has its rewards!