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A Cabbagetown dad and his land shark

7:17 AM, Jun 13, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Dave Dechant of Cabbagetown is a stay-at-home dad and husband.

When the 43 year old with a degree in writing needed something to do as the kids went to school and his wife to work, Dave taught himself to sculpt.

This is not about clay and wood. Dechant purchased 30,000 lbs. of Georgia granite and has created, with his own hands, a 22-foot long shark with a man inside. The home project has taken him two years. The shark has now been paired down to 10,000 lbs.

Did we mention it sits in his front yard?

We received a call from his neighbor George Berry. The retired sculpting teacher from Kennesaw State University told us his neighbor is astonishing and has done something that needed to be seen.

"One guy doesn't do stuff like this -- he didn't know it was impossible, so he did it," Berry said.

We found Dechant in his yard grinding his work of art

"Yeah -- I hate to admit it, I suppose I've been creative ever since (college) then but never creative in this way," he said.

The work is called "Man in a Shark." You can see the man's hand from the inside of the predator.

"I discovered I could do this in my 40's. I have kids in school and while they're in school, this is the thing I do. I'm a stay at home dad primarily," Dechant said.

So the question begs -- why a shark in Atlanta?

"I'll tell you what being landlocked does -- it increases your fear of sharks," Dechant said. "When 'Jaws' came out, I was sure one was going to find a way to swim upstream and make it into my bathtub."

In a strange way, Dechant is living his dream.

"I am not afraid of any land animals, I will wrestle a bear, I will outrun a cheetah if I have to, but I am terrified of sharks," he said.

The shark will be finished by July 4.

echant When asked about the most difficult part of the project, Dechant responded with a laugh, "The neighbors."

Incidentally, "Man in the Shark" is for sale.

The artist said he has this recurring nightmare that in 1,000 years, someone will find a clump of granite in the form of a shark in Cabbagetown and wonder what the heck that was all about.

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