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

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

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Babbling about bamboo

Today I got some Bamboo.
I am building a fort.
No, I am building a booth.
A tire booth.
A tire Art booth.
I am building a booth from out of which to sell art made of tires?
Actually, I am just adding onto my tent.
I need to create an addition onto my tent.
It's not big enough.
I am only allowed ten feet of tent space at the festival. That's not alot of room to sell art made of tires, and sell your self at the same time, and that's (what I'm told) I have to do.
So I am building of buttresses.
Buttresses, which will suspend my tire art far across the landscape, casting them like apples.
It's actually only going to be about a foot out, but I feel like I am building a gothic cathedral...
sending an archipaligo out into space, poor lonely space.
Not anymore. Now they have tire art in space.
Its fun writing like an idiot.
Now I know how Kurt Vonnegut kept it up so long..
He mastered the idiot's voice, and in so doing, said alot of very wise things.
Being tired gives you the chance to use your idiot voice.
Maybe this is what doing drugs is all about..
Masks, masks, they hide us, they protect us, and they free us.
Sometimes, they are too heavy to wear around.
That's when its time to put that one down.
And pick up a frown. Not just any old frown,
A horrid, gnashing, pulsating GRIMACE!
Show the world that you are MENACE!
Pucker up your face, like you just a lemon,
But don't be see ugly that you look like Jack Lemon.
OK, that's enough, I can see I've gone too far.
You're kreeping towards the door.
Here I am, out at the end of my butress again,
asking favors of gravity, I know he can't suspend.

Do come back some day I say.
I may stop rhyming, and I promise I won't play.
I'll just pout, and put blogs out,
short and stout.

Harvesting some bamboo

Okay, must follow thru.
This is not that exciting, but I must become obsessive, and compunctual about documenting my work, and since my dear mother was kind enough to give me her very good 'old' camera, I better use it!

Today I harvested some bamboo, for my fort/booth at the River Festival..
I normally would have gotten some lusher looking stuff, but when I got to the grove, behind a condemned looking house, I found an earnest neighbor had been hard at work... there was alot of dried out bamboo laying already cut. And since I am still just roughing out my trellis scheme for the booth, I thought this would work fine. So instead of cutting down alot of new culms, I invested a good while tidyed up the pile and yard a bit, good bamboo source stewardship, very important (for future bamboo projects). When that was squared away, I bundled up the choice poles with some inner tubes- very handy for this task! hoisted the hulking bundle on my right shoulder , climbed on my bike, and off I went!
This is always an interesting riding experience (wish I had a picture), somewhat akin to sailing, though your rudder is your front tire... and your sail, well it is about 25 horizontal feet. Somehow it works, you just have to keep moving, and steer slow, like on a large boat; and as far as other traffic goes, sort own the road...because with all that cargo weight, it slows, well, real slowly....generally it wants to go home though, though sometimes it wants to go sniff a bush...

Anyways, when I got the bundle
back to the 'kitchen', I cleaned it, stripping off all the little branches with a stout knocker, a trick my good buddy Billy Altheiser showed me in Oakland, CA, which I will be foreever greatful for, old pal.

Then, I had to der shleppin ze bamber up to zie shtudio. Here I am shleppin, imagining that I am Indiana Jones of Siler City....Shameless.

Finally, home sweet home....

Next I have to figure out how to get it up there...

To be continued.....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Do you Wuv me?

Hey People, Friends, Strangers, alike, LEAVE ME A NOTE SOMETIME! I like it! Does this blog make me look fat?! I wanna know!
At the time of this post, I have had 101 views of my blog, and only ONE Canadian kid, Cedric, has had the balls to leave me a note. Thanks Cedric, you are boon to your country men. hope your cool ass photography is coming along.
Come on guys.. doesn't have to be rhapsodic. Just a little hello.
Love Travis