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

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tour d' Carrboro: Reptire visits Night Light!

This was one more very busy weekend, doing, how you say, Repartire Arte?

For it found me, among other places, a la Luit Nuit, en le Paris du Piedmont, Carrboro, NC!

Hien, Jean Luc! Reptire Arrive!

My Girl Alexis Mastromichalis, who runs the very funky, hipsperimental Night Light club in Hip Music Mecca of Carrboro, recently approached me about an awesome Art From Reclaimed Materials Exhibition she is putting together for Earth Week, entitled 'Elemental'
We know one another through our work together doing outreach for The Scrap Exchange.

I decided to join her in this endeavor, because
a) she's my girl, and I want to support her in her Reuse endeavor
b) I thought it was a pretty cool idea for a show
c) I am currently developing a body of work centered around the theme of the element of Earth, to culminate in the GemLine Series, to take place in the NC Appalachian Mountains. I thought this would be a good chance to let this work stretch its legs a bit.

One of the pleasures that didn't occur to me was the thrill all exhibiting at Night Light, a place with a long a rich history in Carrboro's mythology, including many of my dear friend, and a little bit my own.
Plus, Alexis has really remodeled the space in a lot of ways that I wasn't aware of, and the visual richness of the space was a pleasent suprise.

It was also fun to share art with the funky homodenizins of Carrboro. Night Light was abuzz with a steady hum of Artsts at Work, and it was a pleasure to work with them in this serene hum space.

UnNamed Hottie checks out my Junk Art

Awesome Installation for Mother Nature, as viewed through the lens of my Wormoscope
(unfortunately does not do it justice by any means :(

Artist Julia Gartell at work on her thought provoking installation;
invoking the 4 Elements in modernized manifestations.

"Chance"'s eerie installation, featuring live fish
 in the manequin's head on the table

So, I spent a Very long day installing my work on Friday, but in great company.

There were deffinately some challenges to installing in such a mixed use space, but I sort anticipated that their would be, and so tried to plan accordingly. And eventually my sculptures landed in a good spot for themselves.

When I finally got done, I had to zoom back to Chatham County to play a gig with ZamBamboogee, at the beautifull new Culinary School at CCCC, for the 'Empty Bowls' benefit for CORA.

 It was a pretty hairy getting there and set up, but eventually I did, and we had a Great show. For playing this Empty Bowls benefit, we got paid in soup, and boy was it delicious. We had a great audience too. Good after-parties ensued.

ZamBambooGee: (From l-r) Suzanne Saunders, Scotty Young, Yers Drooly,  Joey Howell
(MIA Bruce Saunders)
Chatham Legends, those guys!

So unfortunately, I couldn't make it for the opening (gig was schedueled long before)

But the next evening, Lucky me, I returned to the scene of the crime, just in time, to catch the thrashin' Trashion show, showcasing the work of another Colleague In Scrap, none other than Nicole Hogan.

Needless to say, the runway was a river of wonderment; a bombardment of shock and awe.
With Bangin models stuttin their stuff, showcasing a pleathorae of real hot little numbers, my favorite being a jumpsuit with a hoodie, but I had some technical 'misgivings', so had to let that number slide by. Oh well.

The next morning, I ran into Rich from the Recycelry, (who I had recently reconnected with at the Reuse Rodeo) and got to connect him with a treadknot, which seemed like some good product placement;)

While in the neighborhood, I also dropped by Back Alley Bicycles, to drop off an Atomic Tire Sphere.
I had promised to lend them one for their shop years ago, but had been chincy ever since. So I finally decided it was time to deliver. Was remiss to find they are closed on Sundays (out riding, go figure).
But just my luck, driving away who did I spy, but owner Jason himself, carting some kind of large cargo freight on a bicycle flatbed! I flagged him down, and made him my offer. He seemed glad to have it! so we strapped it on top of his cargo, and off down the road he rode with it! Couldn't have been a better send off to that piece!
I trust Jason to do good with it (though at this point we agreed it was just a loan), and I am thrilled that he  finally has it for his shop. At long last!

We shall see what the future holds there...

Carrboro has some pretty special businesses (it is, in many ways, a very special place), and perhaps some very good matches for Reptire Designs, both in terms of people and businesses, and culture...