Q&A With Customized Fishing Web-Maker, Tina Lewis

Discipline & Stream caught again up with Tina Lewis, proprietor of The Wayward Buying and selling Submit, whom we featured in a narrative earlier this yr. Lewis was a proposal-development specialist in a multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical firm and dropped every little thing to start out making fly-fishing touchdown nets from her wooden store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Customized-made, handcrafted, and infrequently adorned with authentic paintings or artifacts, Lewis’s nets promote for anyplace from $100 to $1,000. Via them, she expresses her ardour for artwork, music, the outside, and the tales of her shoppers. Beneath is our dialog.

Lewis, in her store, applies clamps to a jig to connect up her subsequent web. Tina Lewis

So, why fly-fishing nets?

In the course of the pandemic, my pals and I went fishing collectively as a substitute of going to bars. My good friend requested me to make him a web, so I did. Folks favored it and requested me to make extra. Ultimately, I noticed a enterprise.

You fly fish, then?

Effectively, I’m not superb, however I do. I’ve 20-foot ceilings in my store, so I follow casting after I want a break from work. 

You might spin fish.

Effectively, I’m an artist. I gravitated to fly fishing as a result of it’s an artwork. And I prefer to work towards a objective.

Inform me about that first web and the way it advanced into the enterprise?

It was for a household good friend, Jake. I did my very first epoxy illustration on it as an experiment. It grew to become our emblem, a trout with a bear inside it. Phrase unfold and I began taking it extra severely. I knew I wished to depart my company job and concentrate on making artwork and constructing issues. In time, I used to be capable of change tracks. We ended up calling that type of web the “Fats Jake.” I even just lately made one for that very same good friend’s new child.

photo of fishing nets
The primary web Lewis made for a shopper had a portray of a fish with bear inside it, left. It grew to become the corporate emblem. Tina Lewis

You made a fishing web for a child?

Haha. It’s the right strategy to begin a life—fishing. The web is an heirloom.

How do you do an epoxy illustration?

Step one is at hand draw the illustration. Then I lower it out of the wooden with a laser cutter and Dremel. Then I colour epoxy and use it as paint. Epoxy doesn’t come coloured, so I spend a variety of time enjoying mad scientist to get the colours proper. Even then, it’s like portray with ketchup and mustard. They simply need to run into one another, so it takes some trial and error. Epoxy is kind of its personal monster. It’s thick, sticky, and gooey. It needs to be molded and formed with out it mixing with the opposite colours which might be close to it. I’m writing my very own rule guide on this one, and I adore it. The result’s a everlasting inlay that may’t scratch off. It’s actually embedded into the wooden.

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photo of fishing net art
Lewis provides colour to epoxy in numerous hues and shades to create a everlasting portray on web handles. Tina Lewis

And if the trial turns into an error?

I’ve to throw the online away and take a look at once more as a result of the wooden is just too skinny to sand it down and begin over.

How a lot time does does it take to make your typical web?

Six weeks on common. The longest to this point is one I’m creating with a full epoxy deal with. I poured a layer of epoxy, calmly tinted with blue and inexperienced alcohol ink, right into a wooden body. As soon as it cured, I painted just a few fish and a few crops between extra layers of epoxy. A fly tier tied me a fly, which I will even epoxy to the highest. I’ve been engaged on this one since January. 

Inform us about your favourite web?

Ken Hill, a 24-year lively obligation military fight vet earned his Bronze Star whereas serving as a Fight Engineer Sapper in Iraq for 17 months in 2003 and 2004, together with operations in  Baghdad, Fallujah, and Karbala. Ken entrusted his medal to me to be memorialized inside a customized web. 

photo of war medal on fishing net
Lewis embedded a shopper’s Bronze Star into the deal with of this web, which is her favourite to this point. Tina Lewis

I used to be fairly nervous to have one thing that necessary. I did just a few exams with pins and quite a lot of materials earlier than I made a decision on a way. After hand-carving a gap into the walnut deal with, I separated the ribbon from the medal and delicately painted it with epoxy and cured it earlier than placing it again on the medal. As soon as the entire thing was cured, I poured the epoxy over the entire thing and UV protected it.

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Do another memorable nets come to thoughts?

Essentially the most memorable expertise was making a web for a younger man named Thomas whose father adopted him and his 4 siblings. Thomas was in medical college ending his residency and spoke about his dad with such reverence. He and his siblings wished to honor their father with an heirloom piece. The principle theme knitted all through was the city they grew up in, Kibler Valley. The tales he informed me made it appear to be a particular place stuffed with journey, and I wished that to come back by way of. I considered the film Stand by Me, and I went with that form of vibe, however, you recognize, with out the lifeless physique.

photo of painted fishing net
This web honors a shopper’s dwelling city. Tina Lewis

You talked about your Dad has all the time been a Discipline & Stream fan. Do you’ve got any reminiscences of F&S? 

Sure, he had them in all places. My previous man was a real outdoorsman and a complete gear head. One in all his nice loves was archery, and he was fairly good. I even have all of his previous trophies hanging up within the wooden store. I might shoot with him, and after I began doing competitions, he would hand me some magazines with dog-eared articles. I bear in mind feeling like that was particular.

How did Jimi Hendrix land on a web?

I drew a variety of superheroes after I was younger. However in highschool, comics fell off to music as soon as I found Bob Dylan, the Grateful Lifeless, Joplin, and, after all, Hendrix. I used to be a misfit. I sat on the misfit desk within the cafeteria—with the opposite artists. Music received me by way of these years, and I believe this music speaks to the fly fishing neighborhood.

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photo of painted fishing net
Lewis maintain certainly one of her “ardour items,” an homage to Jimi Hendrix. Tina Lewis

I prefer to all the time be engaged on a ardour piece. Taking a look at a few of my previous drawings, I got here throughout a sketch of Hendrix. I wished to rework his music to an artwork piece. Music brings individuals collectively. My present ardour piece is impressed by Jerry Garcia. I believe I’m going to do a discipline of mushrooms turning into roses with just a few skeletons dancing round Jerry.

The place are a few of your nets now?

I despatched a web to Denmark just lately, which blew my thoughts. One is in Australia, too! I haven’t reached out over the ocean an excessive amount of, so when somebody comes calling from that far-off, I get fairly excited.

How does making nets evaluate with prescribed drugs?

I nonetheless work over 60 hours per week, however the repay is that I genuinely like what I do. I just like the time within the wooden store, the individuals I communicate with, the artwork I make, and the complete fishing neighborhood as an entire. It was a scary factor to chop the twine. I’m grateful each day that anglers like what I’ve made and that they see worth in supporting a small enterprise. They’ll all the time have my coronary heart, and so they’ll all the time get my greatest work.

What are you engaged on now?

I’m really making a web for myself. It’s a mashup of comics and different stuff. If I’m fortunate, I would catch one thing with it.

Effectively, preserve taking breaks to follow casting.

Will do.

Leigh Williams
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