Meet the Maker: Moody’s Garage
This launch rounds out our first full year of Meet the Maker! We established this program to celebrate the American craft movement, highlight artisans of all kinds, and create limited edition pieces. In just one year these collaborations have run the gamut; we’ve partnered with a chocolatier, a leather worker, sock designers, and now on to something completely different. This quarter we teamed up with Moody’s Garage in Overland Park, Kansas to design a Tito’s Handmade Vodka belt buckle.
Kyle Moody, who uses old-world blacksmith techniques, starts his process with a piece of high grade stainless steel, and then forges each buckle to shape one at a time, with a hammer and anvil at a high temperature. Next, he forges and tig welds the hook and loops by hand. To achieve that high quality shine, each buckle goes through several stages of hand sanding, buffing and polishing before the Tito’s logo is added using a diamond engraving process. You’ll still notice some of the traces of the hammer but without the rough and raw finish that comes straight out of the forge. Entirely made by hand, each buckle is completely unique.
These limited edition belt buckles are available now on the store! You know what season is coming up, so get a jump on it. (Don’t worry, you’ll still have time to find a replacement if you decide to keep it for yourself.)
Here, Kyle talks about his inspiration and process:
“Moody’s Garage” is the result of my passion for creating custom art pieces. I grew up in the small town of Parsons, Kansas and spent a lot of time tinkering in my Dad’s garage learning to make new things from stuff he had lying around. Not much has changed from those days, other than almost everything I make today is from scratch.
I work mainly with leather and metal (mostly copper, brass, iron and stainless)… creating everything from metal sculptures and flowers to custom tooled leather wallets, belts and motorcycle seats. Each item is custom designed and incorporates self-taught old-world blacksmith and saddle making techniques. Sometimes blending the two different worlds can create very unique results.
Buckles, in general, are a great way to bridge the world of leather and metal together. What better way to finish off a handmade leather belt or strap than with a handmade buckle!
These buckles, made exclusively for Tito’s Handmade Vodka, are all made from a high grade stainless steel. The exciting thing about the buckles is that they will all look very similar, but no two will be exactly the same! I hand hammered, forged, shaped, and polished every part.
Like Tito’s, I take pride in the fact that my products are handmade!!