Wednesday, April 14

Henson Forge and Leather

It was a series of weird Facebook issues that led me, to my delight, to making contact and meeting the Henson brothers, Clayton and Jimbo. Second generation stonemasons, the Hensons of Lavonia started dabbling in forging. Jimbo had started making railroad spike knifes with a friend in North Carolina. Jimbo was hooked on this particular forging of knives, but he had been making knives for 20 years. The knives are true forged art and come in wide variety of styles.

As Jimbo’s craft grew, a need arose for sheaths for the knives. Little brother Clayton stepped up and with the help of YouTube, learned leather work. Clayton’s wife, Jennifer, wanted a leather bag, so Clayton set to research again and a whole line of leather goods was formed. Clayton works with all types of leather including ostrich, bison, alligator and, of course, cow to create handbags, totes, wallets, belts, jewelry and more. Often when I see leather bags made by men, (sorry guys) they look unfinished. Jimbo’s true craftsmanship gives him a great eye for detail and the finish on his leather goods is beautiful.

Today, the Henson’s “hobby” has taken off and has become almost a full-time job for the whole family. Over half their sales come from their website and the behind the scenes work keep Jennifer busy filling orders. Locally, the Henson handcrafts can be found in Lavonia at Sweet Combs of Honey, All Things Currahee in Toccoa, Home Sweet Home in Elberton and Hairwaves Salon in Franklin Springs. For more information, follow them on Facebook at Henson Forge & Leather

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