Our March 2013 issue featured the Ultimate Artisans of the West. Over the next few months, we’ll profile some of the talented artisans we met, and whose work we fell in love with. To see the full feature, order the back issue.
Richard BrooksCayley, Alberta Silversmith & Bit Maker
Richard Brooks has dedicated a good part of his life to learning the art of silversmithing. Only in the last seven years has he had the luxury of being able to carry out his passion full-time.
“It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do! My grandfather (Roy Brooks) was a silversmith and bit and spur maker from Cochrane. I used to sit and watch him in his shop when I was kid.”
Those early childhood memories spawned a love for creating good quality, highly functional and innately beautiful products that can be marketed to collectors and working cowboys alike.
“One of my challenges is keeping the artistic side in balance with the functional side of my stuff. No matter how fancy they are, the have to work properly as well.”
Inspired by the old California-style bits, spurs and silverwork, every piece that comes out of Brooks’ shop is nothing short of stunning. Custom orders for silver and rings are about two or three weeks delivery, whereas bits and spurs stand at about two months wait time. Everything is thought out and executed with precision in a Richard Brooks piece. The rein chains with his bridle bits are original and hand crafted, the saddle silver that he creates adds exponentially to the value of the saddle it is mounted on, his spurs are balanced and solid.
See more of Richard Brooks work online at his Facebook page, R Brooks Bits & Silver.
~ Dainya Sapergia