Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day Three: Dunne Dittman: A Legacy of Fly Fishing

            June 16th is Father's Day this year. I love to hear father stories because so often when a person tells you about their father, they tell you passions that have been passed down to them from their dad. It may be their favorite sports team, their love of suits, or simple drink. This week and next if you head down to a local bar and grab a beer, you'll hear a thousand stories.
             Today, I will share with you one of the stories I've enjoyed hearing. Dunne Dittman is an Irishman of the old school. The kind of man that drives an old green truck, loves his dog, and most days of the week after his art, sits down to call it a day with a pint of beer before heading off for the night. If you're lucky enough to catch him on one of these brief stop-overs between work and home, he'll tell you about his dad. A part-time leather carver, once a year growing up he would pack up Dunne and his brother to go fly fishing in Wyoming.Cold water flies are tied with tuffs of thread, carpet, fur, and countless other fabrics to create a final snack to tempt the trout. As adults, Dunne's brother learned to tie flies on his own for salt water and the two of them hit the Gulf Coast to try their luck.
             If you talk to most fisherman, they'll talk about the deep water, the legendary storms, and the fish that grow with every telling. If you talk to Dunne, he will tell you about the shelf that runs hundreds of miles out from seas were the waves flow in shallow swells and a man can walk to the horizon in chest deep water with a reel in one hand fly fishing while the sharks wave by. It's an awesome silence.
             The twist in an afternoon's beer roughly ten years ago when tying his next fly his brother made him, Dunne stopped to look at the fly in his hand and thought, "What if I painted this?" Each fly is individually tied and designed by a fisherman from his own personal experience. This is a collection of his history and life experiences like individual fingerprints. A couple months later, having finished stretching his canvas, Dunne picked up his paintbrushes and started painting.
              Fast forward ten years, and Dunne's collection of custom fly paintings had grown one each year. Painters are slow artists. I think they run on silence and introspection. I love how they hang around our studios adding beauty to where I work every day. Cool paintings with a story demand cool design. For father's day this year we are collaborating to do a short-run of custom keychains of Dunne's paintings for the man in your life. Each piece is natural leather we have handcut, punched, and engraved a painting on each keychain. A small piece of art for your pocket. You can pick one up in our Etsy store for $8.95 with free shipping this month. Be sure to get one before they run out. A great piece of local art for the wild man in your life. To fathers and their children. May you enjoy the season and happy Father's Day.

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