An Artisan's Journey

Texas bit- and spurmaker Wilson Capron, one of the Western culture's youngest master craftsmen, draws on firsthand cowboying experience and endless ambition.



During the past seven years, West Texas bit- and spurmaker Wilson Capron has found a way to meld the form and function of his handcrafted gear with bold designs evoking Western heritage. Demand for his work has resulted in a two-year waiting list for customers who want to strap on a pair of Capron spurs or tack up their horses with his bridle bits.

An increasing number of horsemen are familiar with this craftsman's work, but few have seen him as he toils away in his remote shop located along a dusty county road outside Midland, Texas. On any given day, a visitor might find Wilson pounding out red-hot steel with a sledgehammer or engraving gold with a tool so small its sharpened tip is hardly wider than a pin. Working alone, he eschews automation and prefers to work with hand tools, an assortment that requires him to have the muscle and technique of a metal worker and the keen eye and nimble fingers of a fine jeweler.

Just 32, Wilson learned his craft from one of the best in the business, fellow Texan Greg Darnall, and is already recognized as not only a top emerging gearmaker, but one of the best in the world at creating functional, beautiful bits and spurs. With a long career ahead of him, Wilson's poised to become one of the most influential voices in traditional cowboy gearmaking.

For the rest of this story, pick up a copy of the February 2007 issue of Western Horseman.