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

Saturday, November 19, 2011

2nd in Series of Slide Presentations about 'RECLAMATION' installation @ Hermitage Museum & Gardens

Last night, during our awesome 3rd Friday Artwalk here in Siler City, I guess another slide presentation at the Reptire Designs Studio and Showroom, here in Historic Downtown Siler City.
I did two showings, one at 8 pm, for the old folks;)
and another at 9 pm for the other old folks who like to stay up later ;)

I was thrilled to have several special guests in both Audiences.
For the 8 oclock showing, I was very pleased to get to share this experience with my good friends (and collectors!) Ron and Loretta Wachs, who I knew would appreciate hearing about both Hermitage Museum, and my work there. We had The Venerable Dr. Seed!, and We also had Cassie, another fantastic local Artist (thank you Cassie for your help). AND....none other than special guest Mina Beana's Diana Metraud! Who appeared Out Of The Great Blue Wild of Maine, to introduce me, and my lecture, just like old times, at the Mina Beana Cafe! We were also joined by the lovely Ruth, and some nice punk kids who I didn't know before, but who I enjoyed sharing with as well!

Then, for the 9pm set, we had The Seven Sista's in da house, in effect with their whole Man Posse.
The 'Ever Irreverant Reverend' Joey Howell also joined us for the fun!
Big Thanks to Big Amy, for being a Big Help in the Little Kitchen! (and also for her thoughtful note taking). Got to make some new friends, and share with many old ones.
Lots of great questions from this crew, who knew? Just kidding, they are all artists of one kind or another, and I especially enjoying sharing my triumphs and tribulations with this raucous band of like minded souls, who seemed to appreciate well the the sheer quantity of effort and risk that I poured into the show (and hopefully Quality too :).

I have discovered that I really like giving these presentations! Hopefully, I will find a way to continue to share with friends in person this way, and (with the valuable suggestions of improvment minded friends), they will continue to get better and better. It seemed to be a truly fun time for all involved!
Beer, wine, food, a few comfortable cushiony chairs and a futon to lounge on, dim lights, movie screen, good friends, pretty pictures, funny stories;...hard not to have a good time if you ask me!

By the Way, the Seven Sistas had actually flown into town to support one of their cauldron...
None other than Reptire Friend and Sculptress Extraordinaire, Janice Rieves, who is sharing a stunning collection of her exquisite "MIRRORS and MANDALAS" right down the street at the Courtyard Cafe! By the time Janice and her crew arrived after the opening, several of this handful of meticulously layed out mirrored gems had been snapped up already, and I am not suprised. They are so...simulteneously illustrious and chic, and yet quietly humming and meditative, in a way that only Janice, The Woman, The Artist, knows how to pull off.
Look out LA, Here Comes the "jenesaisquois" of....The Janisphere! (like a flame-bubbling COMET, hurtling straight towards you!)

Tire Pile Seen From Outerspace!

I just came across this (yahoo!) news article from the Associated Press.
This is a brief story about a gargantuan informal tire dump in South Carolina, that had been piling up for years.


In someways, it is good that these tires were sorted out from the larger waste stream, because at least they all together in once consolidated (if not regulated) area. Now that authorities have discovered the pile, the owner of the land is hauling them off to be tapped for steel and oil, and fuel for papermills!

The article claims that tires burn cleaner than coal (which is not saying much), but still, pretty cool that the resources buried in this stock pile can now be tapped.

On the other hand, I have read that such massive piles of tires are capable of sponteneosly combusting, in which case they create a large, horribly smoky fire, that is very difficult to put out, once started.

This was the case with a tire pile in Waterton Wisconsin (actually AT a tire recycling plant!), which you can read about here, and here. (this second article sites fires taking up to 9 MONTHS to extinguish!).