Thursday, April 11, 2019

SIGHT LINE PROVISIONS - The Cone Denim Project

If you're a regular reader of The Fiberglass Manifesto, then you've likely seen articles that Dave Fason of NanoBox Reef has contributed to on his various travels with a fiberglass fly rod in hand and then also the work he continues to with rod builder Chris Barclay of C. Barclay Fly Rod Co.  Over the past couple of years I've gotten to know him through phone calls, emails and texts and earlier this year I had the opportunity to travel with him to Belize to check out things at South Water Adventures Belize and he's just kind of everywhere right now.  He's a creative fellow and I really enjoy his work with the camera.  I'm betting you'll see more and more of his work in the future as well. 

Last month Dave was in Austin, Texas for a few days to attend SXSW with his wife and while there he spent some time with Edgar Diaz of Sight Line Provisions (who's also someone that seems to be everywhere lately).  While at the shop, Dave chronicled a special set of bracelets he asked Edgar to create from part of a swatch of Cone Demin that he brought with him.  Dave sent along a series of photographs for this post along with the story of the day. 

This post is way longer than usual but the images were so stellar that I wanted to share the entire set that Dave sent.  I hope that readers appreciate seeing behind the shop curtains as much as I do on how something handmade is actually made.  Thanks to Edgar for playing along.

Dave wrote...  "The Lone Star state is well known for large companies like Dell and Whole Foods but companies like Yeti and smaller influencer clothing brands like Howler Brothers also call this state home. What some may not know is that there are many small craftsmen that are influencing the fly fishing industry in this same state. My journey to Austin brought me to Edgar, owner and creator of Sight Line Provisions.  His company is based outside of Austin, Texas and is known by anglers for their handmade bracelets. The business operation is located in a small studio connected to his house. There, Edgar and his assistant produce incredible hand crafted goods. They focus on using materials ranging from leather, denim, and canvas topped with custom laser finished metals.

We met as many do these days in this virtual world. Our first interaction was an exchange of messages after he posted on a picture of mine that went viral on social media. We messaged back and forth for months trying to align our schedules to connect in person, but never found the opportunity to link up. I planned to travel to Austin to visit my wife during her work trip over SXSW weekend. My wife has worked for the company that owns Wrangler jeans for over thirteen years and we both love denim. Greensboro, NC was home to Cone White Oak Mills that recently closed its doors and production. This mill provided denim worldwide and to Wrangler. I negotiated with my wife to land me a swatch of the Cone denim fabric so I could use it for a special project. I knew I had to have Edgar create a custom set of bracelets using this material. After telling him of my plan, he was equally excited to collaborate on a unique set of bracelets. The day was planned and we marked it in our books.

Once I arrived I knew I was in great hands. I was immediately greeted by Timber the shop dog. The scent of leather and the sound of sand blasted metal filled the air. The studio exudes the fly fishing industry with random rods, reels, industry stickers, posters and laser cutouts of fish.  His assistant was jamming away with her headphones on while finishing a new batch of bracelets for an upcoming event. After brief introductions and a quick tour of the shop we began brainstorming a few ideas for the custom bracelets. During this time it was clear Edgar had a passion for his company and his craft. Not a single detail goes unnoticed and the entire process has been meticulously refined over time. Every rivet is hand pressed, each hole hand punched, and the material is cut and glued with care.  All of these components on their own could be mistaken as scraps but he turns these raw goods into a functional piece of art. After a couple hours the bracelets are finished and ready for wear.

 What do you do after making two incredible pieces of wearable art? We decided it was only best to head out to local waters to try our hand at the running white bass. We were both skunked but were able to document the bracelet’s first adventure after just being created. These bracelets are now added to my ritual of fishing gear dressing for every outing. Every time I head out to fish I can reflect on that day and meeting a new friend and craftsman."

Want to see more of Dave's work?  Click HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and this photo has gone kinda viral HERE.  He's also a fun follow on Instagram and Flickr.

Need some Sight Line Provisions in your life?  Visit the website and be sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram for the latest shop news and offerings.

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