In a shady flat, perched above the Sidewalk Cafe on W. Raleigh in Historic Downtown Siler City, resides a most peculiar workshop, betrayed only by the jungle of plants seen peering out of the second story window, and an occasional donation of a pair of retired tires waiting sheepishly at the foot the metal staircase in the alleyway. Mounting these steps, one climbs to find find lurking inside, a heaping clutter of detritus, from antique fans to blue green gongs, to mouldering truck tire scraps. Yet this morass quickly gives way to a wild expanse of tire lianas, swooping tire trellises, flying bamboo buttresses, and a cascade of mongrel tire knotlettes, barking from their stoops. Behold, Reptire Designs Studio and Showroom. Therein, award-winning Sculptor, Designer and “Rubber Alligator Wrestler”, Travis “Caleb” Cohn, twists and writhes in the saw dust on the floor, locked in a sweaty struggle to the end with a section of road-blackened rubber, which hisses and strikes at him with its bifurcated fangs of metal wire. Howling in pain, Cohn retreats momentarily, only to launch right back in for the kill, leaving the wretched band of rubber interminably tied into an irrevocable knot, an emblem of its own stubborn will to wind, and refind.
Wiping the blood and spittle from his brow with the back of his hand, Cohn laments that he didn’t take up crocheting instead.
Yet, when asked why he chose Siler City to stage his career as a “Defier Of The Tire”, Cohn exclaims, as if it weren’t painfully obvious (because of course, it is not…) “well what really tickles me the most about Siler City that it is so bloody delightfully unexpected!”
The Reptire Designs Showroom is often (but not always) open for tours on Thursdays and Fridays, from 10 – 5, and usually on each 3rd Friday of the month, when town folk and vistors alike gather in the streets to howl at the moon, and take in sights from the galleries, smells from the food and flower vendors, and sounds from the outdoor stage music series. To make an appointment, call (919)-699-1017, or email Travis at email@example.com.
Come and visit! Reptire Designs Studio and Showroom. 113 1/2 West Raleigh St. Historic Downtown Siler City.