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The rugged hands of the master as the enters the final stages of the Richard Petty belt buckle.
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The showroom at Harris Leather and Silverworks.
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Eddie Harris shares each step during the process of construction.
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Intricate leather and silver mastery is found on every Harris saddle.
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Employees are craftsmen and many have worked at Harris Leather since high school.
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Each step is completed with precision.
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A solitary job, Mike has mastered the tooling process after 20+ years.
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A strip of leather after the tooling process.
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It take from 6 months to 12 months to complete a Harris saddle.
Do you ever stop yourself, and say, “That sounded just like something my mama would say.” You’re shocked for a second, and then you’re thankful. The older we get, we surprise ourselves when we stop and examine the gifts from our parents. Like, how to can green beans for the long winter or how to make biscuits and red-eye gravy; how to plow the field with a mule, or rather than pay someone $12, the usefulness of how to sew on a button.
Eddie Harris is thankful every day for the “hippie craze” that included a longing for leather belts and pocketbooks. It struck a chord within his mother and father, and his mother started crafting belts and pocketbooks, while his father fancied them up with some silver sparkle here and there. Soon, everyone wanted what they were making.
Once Eddie graduated college, he decided it was something he might take a stab at. After all, his parents seem to do quite well with the trade. After years of learning and perfecting his silver monogramming and leather tooling from the “school of hard knocks,” his work is known world-wide as the best in the industry. From hand-crafted saddles to intricate silver etchings, Harris Leather and Silverworks rely on old-world ways, everything crafted by hand.
In State Road, North Carolina, you can take a look at his creations, even roam around the workshop that only has one machine, and that’s from the turn of the century. Come with us as we visit the workshop and see first-hand that Southern craftsmanship is not dead. Thanks to the gift from his parents.
Judy and Len Garrison are at home in Farmington, Georgia, just on the outskirts of Dawg country - better known as Athens. Len, an IT manager for a major Atlanta company, and Judy, an editor, author and travel writer, invite you to travel along with them as they explore the best of the South. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their website at Seeing Southern, and follow them on Twitter at @judyhgarrison, @seeing_southern, LIKE them on Facebook and on Instagram.