cap man (Jimmy Straehla)

cap man (Jimmy Straehla)

On display at the Water Billing Office.

cap man is best known around Athens for his bottle cap covered truck(s)!and his art work of bright flowers, mountain scenes and chickens...all on reclaimed materials.
In cap man's words: 

About 10 years ago I found myself faced with stage 3B cancer…not what I was expecting to hear although I knew I was sick. Two days later I was at my oncologist’s office getting my first dose of 12 chemo treatments. About four days later I woke up and it was as if I had been visited by an angel who took my fears…and my illness away! I amazingly had already begun my recovery and needed to keep my mind off of what was happening to me. My wife and I were restoring a small cottage on our property that was formerly a barn. In the process of rehabbing the house  several old pieces of lumber were left over. My first attempt at art was making a garden bench out of all this old stuff. Well I did it and I titled it “Re-Barned”…it was about a year later that I realized the significance of the name. I too was being “reborn”…my body was healing and my art was being born.
OK cap man…where did the bottle cap truck idea come from? I had found some vintage “Crush” bottle caps that were really cool so I used them as a signature on each of my pieces of furniture. By now I was making tables, chairs and benches.  I actually had to stop restoring the cottage as I found myself so busy with my furniture business! Late one night I decided that my fledgling art business needed a name…after much discussing and thought we came up with Architectural Resurrections. So I found a couple of old pieces of metal, wrote the name of the biz on them, and screwed them to my then blue/rusty 1979 F-150. I then pulled out one of my vintage Crush bottle caps and glued it to each of the signs. That’s when the light bulb went off! I came into our house and announced to my wife that I planned to cover my entire truck in bottle caps!

Believe me…there are no shortage of bottle caps in a college town! Within a few weeks I had bars saving caps for me, strangers would find me and give me their bottle caps, on a few occasions I would find caps left in the bed of my truck. It was a real community effort…thanks Athens! And now 10,000 bottle caps later I have a truck completely covered!

By now my creative juices were flowing and I began to branch out with my art. In addition to furniture I was also making bird shacks, clocks and bottle capping tables and lamps. I also began to paint. I do mostly painting of flowers and mountains with inspirational quotes. I also do chickens and flags. I have put some of these images on cards. All of my materials are found or come from our local Habitat Thrift store. My philosophy is simple…try and breath new life into something that was headed to the dump.

Oh yeah…that cancer thing…well I kicked its ass 12 years ago!

Thanks for reading my story…bless you…cap man

cap man - Simplify