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, June 15, 2013

Tour D' Fat- Durham

Just got back from the bitchin' 'Tour De Fat'- a celebration in support of bike riding and beer. What more can you really ask for?!

The event was VERY artfully done,

 and at many different points, hilarious! These guys are crazy!

Tennis Ball
There was a nice educational component, learning about the crazy fruity beer that these fruits have been busy fermenting.

A lot of really cool kinetic sculptures.

It was great seeing different folks from the area scrap art and bike community, and meeting some great new characters as well..

And I had a blast trying out their menagerie of freak bikes in the 'bike pit'. I think I managed to fall off of each and every one of them! (not hard at all to do!)

Nope, not gonna happen
If one doesn't work out for, just grab another. 

It won't be long...

till you fall for another!

At long last, my nemesis, the golden and green cow, I'd been burning to get my clutches on..
Mine, all MINE!!!..

Gettin' Down and Dirty In Ye Old 'Bike Pit'
Outta My Way Sucka's!

The climax of my day however, was the band "He's My Brother, She's My Sister"(somewhat improbably, but forgiveably (in this case) from LA)

I don't want to sound like any more a dip shit than usual, but these guys totally, utterly rocked my Durham heart and soul. It was like getting soul a bath in rose water or something.

Even this dog seemed totally blissed out on the music and the scene.
OK, and maybe a little drunk too, looking at what he is carrying

I'm not sure how they did it, but they really hit our sweet spot. And we did our best to reciprocate.

(Chauncy being a natural ring leader in this effort to share back some Durham Love!:)

The climax for me, was when they summoned us to climb up on the stage to dance in front of them, in front of thousands of people.

OK, hundreds of people

Before I knew it, Chauncy

had pulled off my shirt, and moments later, the smokin' hot lead singer, who  had been steadily hypnotizing me in her full body leotard,

had climbed up on my shoulders, from which wobbling, swaying tower she sang the last aria of her set! All right! Fat Tire, here I come!

At around this point Chauncy proceeded to totally break it down for us.

The event, of course, is put on by the good folks of New Belgium Brewing Company, who raised around $20,000 at the event today, for great local bike advocacy groups, such as Durham's own Durham Bicycle Co-op, and the Recyclery in Chapel Hill! Jack from the Durham Bike Coop told me that the $4,000 that the Tour D'Fat raised for them last year was enough to almost see them through the whole year!

I will most deffinately plan to hit Tour D'Fat next year (and am almost tempted to follow them to Nashville, I enjoyed it so much!)