Most of us here at Brazos Walking Sticks enjoy the country life. We live out in the country. Work out in the country. Play out in the country. You name it — it’s just part of our cultural DNA. (The photo below was shot just a mile or so from our facility, by Ben Owen Photography.)
Our roots in country life compliment and parallel our roots in fine craftsmanship. Whether we’re on our knees in our gardens, out tending to our livestock, or in our shops making walking sticks, it’s all part of a unique, fading piece of Americana — and it’s part of the American experience that we still cherish dearly.
So Brazos Walking Sticks are as American as apple pie. Our country boys make each piece by hand, careful to select only the finest materials. When you feel one of our walking sticks in your hand you’ll know what we mean when we talk about “the quality of American craftsmanship.”
Because … we handcraft every single walking stick and walking cane we sell, right here in Central Texas.
Because … retailers know our reputation for quality, that’s why our walking sticks and canes are in numerous state and national parks, sporting goods stores, hardware stores, and even in every Cracker Barrel restaurant.
Because … we care about Creation, choosing to responsibly work with renewable resources like wood, leather, and more.
Because … we value our customers, offering a simple 1-800 Number to contact a living, breathing human during business hours, and a constantly monitored email address for those in need of a fast, speedy response (email@example.com).
Because … a handmade walking cane offers those who need it a sense of style, stability, wonder, and excitement — those attributes simply can’t be emulated with mass-produced metal products.
Because … handmade walking sticks provide stability, protection, and assurance for even the most leisurely neighborhood stroll.
According to my Webster dictionary, a craftsman is “one who creates or performs with skill or dexterity especially in the manual arts.”
I was reading National Geographic magazine this morning. The article was about a potentially rediscovered Leonardo da Vinci chalk-and-ink drawing that was originally procured in the late 90s by an art dealer for twenty-something thousand dollars, changed hands after a few years, and now, pending confirmation of its authenticity, could be worth as much as $100 million.
The magazine features a full size replica of the drawing — which is only about as big as a legal pad — that allows for readers to study the minute details of the piece. I’m not an art aficionado; in fact, I couldn’t really even be considered a dilettante. However, even I can tell that no matter who painted the portrait, the details are amazing. I suppose that an artist is not tantamount to a craftsman, but the supposed da Vinci drawing struck me as a sort of craftsmanship in its own right.
Like anything done exceptionally well, craftsmanship is about innate ability and a passion to invest the time and energy into a particular pursuit. Some would even argue that, for high-achievers, nurture plays a far greater role than nature.
Take for example the Hungarian Lazlo Polgar. Back in the 70s and 80s, Polgar and his wife pulled their three daughters from State-run schools in order to homeschool them. Polgar’s thesis was, “Genius is made, not born,” and he set out to prove his proposition by educating his children at home (despite resistance from the socialist government) and extensively training each of his daughters in a specific discipline: chess. The end result was three highly educated daughters who are fluent in 4 to 8 languages each, and each chess grandmasters, with one young lady in particular becoming the strongest female chess player in history.
Now, to tie that back to craftsmanship … It’s obvious to us that some people simply don’t have an aptitude for fine workmanship. On the other hand, with a nurturing, educational environment, even the most mechanically inept individuals can achieve a degree of proficiency.
Brazos Walking Sticks is a fully functioning wood shop, and as such we often experiment with different ideas for various handcrafted products. Here’s one our production manager just came up with, a vine-twisted ironwood lamp. We’re presenting it as a gift to one of our associates, but if anyone is interested in owning something similar, we’d be happy to make one for you at a reasonable price. Email us at info at brazossticks dot com.