It's no surprise that the handcrafted, make-it-here movement has been experiencing something of a renaissance. Most everywhere you look, clever and inventive individuals are confidently putting their faith in—and subsequently entrusting their livelihoods to—their own two hands. The results are nothing short of brilliant, inspiring, and overwhelmingly impressive. Orvis is proud to partner with several purveyors of distinctive products that undeniably exemplify the American artisanal spirit.
GRAND SLAM TURKEY CALLS | They are the oldest form of turkey calls, elegantly crafted from wild turkey wingbones by master artisan and 2012 NWTF National Champion, Fred Cox, who recalls, "In the mid-70s, while at a state convention for the National Wild Turkey Federation, I heard the purest, most realistic turkey yelps coming from across the room. Following my ears, I came upon a fellow calling on a wingbone turkey call. I fell in love with that sound. To this day, I strive to duplicate that sound with every call I make. I believe that a call that sounds good can also look good. That belief culminated with a National Championship.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN RUSTIC | More than a hundred years ago, homesteaders along the Rocky Mountains staked out new land by planting cedar fence posts around their property and stringing them with barbed wire. The wood was naturally insect- and weather-resistant, and many survive to this day. Colorado artist Tim Bergren rescues 100-year old, discarded fence posts from Rocky Mountain ranches and transforms them into beautiful ducks. Each decorative duck decoy is different; sometimes the color is a deep red, sometimes a honey-gold. Many times, it is somewhere in between.
A.L. SWANSON | A.L. Swanson's woodcraft has been described as graceful, dynamic and enduring. It's no wonder - the rivers and mountains of his home state of Montana are his inspiration. Each piece is built with sustainable-harvested wood and without compromise, the way the masters of his craft have been doing it for centuries. Included with every fly box and rod tube is information about the artist and his process.
BRACKISH BOWTIES | When Ben Ross created feather bow ties for the groomsmen at his wedding, little did he know he was planting the seeds for a business that would change his life. Five years later, Ross and former groomsman Jeff Plotner seized the opportunity to turn those bow ties into a business. They founded Brackish, making a definitive statement in the industry while allowing their customers to do the same, from wedding aisle to boardroom. Every tie is handcrafted by artisans in Brackish’s Charleston, South Carolina, workshop. And because every single feather is hand selected, no two ties are exactly alike, but each is a sustainable work of art. All in all, four to five hours of careful handwork goes into each piece.
CHRIS WILLIAMS KNIFE CO. | “I was the kid who would get the remote-controlled car and take it apart before I drove it,” Chris Williams admits with a grin. Standing inside his upstate South Carolina workshop, it’s easy to see that same curious gleam in Williams’ eyes. The knife maker looks right at home in the tidy workshop, talking eagerly about new materials, showing a piece of ebony a customer sent in “just because it was pretty,” and explaining the process behind his renowned knives. A passionate inshore angler and turkey hunter, Williams began crafting knives in his workshop as a release from a corporate job. He’d been inspired by the utilitarian knives his grandfather used to make, and little did he know the hobby would quickly morph into a business he hopes to someday pass on to his children.
1856 FLY ROD | Embarking on our 160th year of business, our rod team reached back to our company roots and decided to play with an old, beloved material in a new way. In our Manchester, Vermont, Rod Shop, master bamboo rodmaker Charlie Hisey worked with our design team to find the perfect balance of traditional rod building and modern design. The result is the 1856. Inspired by larger Western rivers, this rod was designed to be fished. Hollow build means both light weight and quick rebound with less vibration and bounce, while a downlocking nickel-silver reel seat, with Vermont maple burl insert and a full wells cork grip mean performance designed to do far more than just rest on the mantel.
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