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Metal Spurs

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Charles Wendt    Rocking W Spurs

Llano, TX  | Metal Spurs |  Website

What’s more Texas than some handcrafted spurs! Charles Wendt was voted one of the top spur makers by the Western Artists of America and has been juried into the prestigious International Guild of Bit and Spur Makers. His spurs have even been displayed in the Will Rogers Museum. As a high school shop teacher, Charles needed something to interest his students. Most of them were cowboys, so he started to teach them how to make spurs. After years of interacting with his cowboy students, Charles was able to make spurs that catered to the everyday cowboy’s needs. Eventually, he expanded to making fancy show spurs as well.


GET TO KNOW CHARLES

What drew you to your chosen craft?
All of my life I have been making things, from my toys as a child to wood and metal working projects as an adult.  I started making spurs while teaching Industrial Technology in a small West Texas school.  I used spur making as a way to keep the kids of the ranch workers interested in school and teach them a trade. After leaving the teaching field, my wife and I opened a metal fab business based on spur making and later grew it into a major metal fab business which our son now owns and operates. I continue to make spurs and teach spur making classes even today after retiring from the rat race and settling into my home shop. I think the main thing that drew me into spur making is it is an area where I could be creative and have an end product that not only looked good but would be functional at the same time.

What do you enjoy most about your craft?
I enjoy the challenge of creating something that is a work of art while at the same time is a functional tool. The challenge is transferring what is in the customer’s mind into something they can touch and feel and to see the smile on their face when they first see the finished spur.

Why is it important for people to make things with their own hands?
To make something with your own hands is giving of a part of yourself for everyone to see and enjoy. We all pass through life but not everyone is able to leave behind a tangible object for generations in the future to see and enjoy. Making things with our own hands is a freedom of expression that not everyone can achieve.

In what way are handmade goods better than those that are mass produced?
Handmade goods are one of a kind and will never be truly duplicated. Handmade goods are designed to a person’s individual taste. Each piece is thought out, designed and made to unique specifications for just that one item. Handmade goods are most often superior in quality and hold their value better and longer than mass produced goods. Handmade goods become collectible and are often enjoyed for generations whereas mass produced goods are often abandoned after being used.

What does the future hold for your type of work?
Spur making has been going on since man domesticated the horse and needed a tool to help control and guide the horse. I teach several spur making classes every year and the interest to learn the techniques and processes continues. I think as long as there are horses and cattle worked by cowboys there will be a demand for spurs and spur makers. I see several younger individuals taking my classes as a way to learn a trade and help supplement their income. The future seems to be holding steady if not growing a little.


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