profile - Clint wilkinson
I was born in 1982, my grandfather traded the doctor a saddle for my hospital bill. You could say I was meant to be where I’m at now; however it took a while to get here. To add some context, my grandfather grew up on a farm in Denton Texas. His love for all things cowboy ran deep which sparked an interest in leather. Weldon started his journey with leather in high school, there he learned the basics of the craft. He began to make small goods such a purses, belts, and wallets then quickly graduated into saddles. Weldon opened his own saddle/retail shop in 1957 in Denton, Texas. It stayed in operation for 60 years.
Growing up inside a saddle shop was pretty fun. I was able to learn leather craft at a very early age. By the time I was a teenager with all the tools at my disposal, I had the knowledge of a novice leather craftsman. However, after deciding not to follow in my father’s foot steps of being a calf roper, I was gifted a dirt bike. That dirt bike took me down a path of creativity that I otherwise wouldn’t have gone down. Instead of clearing my mind while riding a horse, I was doing it on a motorcycle.
I started to get interested in photography, design, and film work during this stage of my life. It was a good way to express my creativity of riding. These creative skills that I learned through self practice landed me a career in the motocross industry for 9 years. What a great experience that was for a young creative like me. I learned a lot however, I was beginning to feel that something was missing. The fast paced life of media creation started to take its tole on me, and that was never more clear until I started working at my grandfather’s saddle shop again.
It was like walking into your home after a 15 year vacation. The senses all started to come back to me, catapulting me backwards to the time I learned about leather. I was home again. My grandfather always said, “there’s something romantic about the west”, and he’s right. Imagine the feeling of trotting along a mountain side horseback, sitting on the porch watching the sun set on the horizon, and the smell of leather that permeates through an old saddle shop. These were all the feelings I got when I came back home. I now had the passion for creating leather goods, more importantly I had a legacy to carry on.
The legacy my grandfather created 60 years ago would’ve stopped with him, had I not decided to keep the tradition of leather artistry alive in our family. I feel it’s so important to pass down family legacies, it tells the story of who you are. This is why I’m starting the process of passing down the craft to my son and daughter.
Your legacy could be a family craft, vacation, hat, watch, or silverware set. In a world where items are mass produced to be disposable, I’m here to restore the value of legacy through heirloom quality leather work. The pieces I create tell a story about my legacy, and will begin its journey of creating yours. Then when the time is right, you will pass it down to your legacy. By this time the product is a piece of valuable family history.
Each product will have a specific code telling you the Model number, which number you have of that Model, and date. You will also receive a ‘Legacy Card’ that documents the piece I’m making for you. This will serve as an archive to your piece throughout its journey, and especially when it’s time to be passed on to your legacy.
From start to finish all of the leather work is done solely by me. Each individual piece is carefully crafted in pursuit of perfection using traditional methods and no machines. These painstaking techniques ensure you're getting a supremely handcrafted piece of functional art.
Thank you for investing in my work and more importantly, your legacy.