C. T. Chappell – 2011 Boot Maker of the Year
Carlton T. Chappell is a third-generation, award winning boot maker located in Saint Jo, Texas. Carl’s legacy of bootmaking is linked to his father Glenn Chappell, his grandfather LC Chappell, his uncle Bill Chappell, and back to Mr. Humphries. Mr. Humphries was an apprentice bootmaker in Germany before immigrating to the US in the late 1800s. He became well-known in Texas as he traveled from ranch to ranch, from El Paso to Houston making boots for working cowboys. Both Carl’s father and grandfather learned the art of bootmaking from Mr. Humphries. Carl started in leather-craft in 1964 by building belts, knife sheaths, holsters, and other small leather projects in his uncle’s Western Art & Saddle Shop in Alamosa, Colorado. In 1982, Carl moved his family to Saint Jo to learn the art and craft of bootmaking from his father who had been making boots since 1945. After training with his father and perfecting his skills, Carl opened up his own boot shop where he continues to push boot making boundaries in stitching, tooling, and artistic design. He has become well known for the custom-fit of the boots he makes for his customers and even for those customers with hard-to-fit feet. Carl is probably best known for his dress cowboy boots which can include multiple rows of intricate stitching, fancy inlays, decorative collars, beading, candy-stripe piping, filigree work, carving, and hand-tooling. He works with all types of leather including buffalo, bull, kangaroo, ostrich, alligator, stingray, French Calf, lizard, bullfrog, and more. Customers choose whatever leathers, colors, heel height, and toe styles they desire. Just like his father’s, grandfather’s, and Mr. Humphries’ boots, Carl’s boots are still made tough enough to meet the demands of working cowboys, yet his boots are right at home in urban environments too. From conservative to bold and anywhere in-between, Carl will make you a pair of boots to match your needs and personality.
Carl Chappell’s skill as a bootmaker has earned him much recognition over the years. He has won more than 20 bootmaking awards including multiple wins in the Master’s Division along with the Academy of Western Artists “Will Rogers” award for the 2011 Boot Maker of the Year. Carl has also served as a boot judge on many contest panels, taught seminars at multiple leather and boot shows, and demonstrated bootmaking at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. His work has been featured in various books, exhibitions, news stories, and other articles, some of which are listed below.
-Cowboy Boots: The Art and Sole by Jennifer June (front cover features a pair of Carl’s boots, more pictures inside)
-Art of the Boot by Tyler Beard and Jim Arndt (pages 82-3)
-Southern Living magazine
-American Cowboy magazine
-Texas Monthly magazine
-Farmers and Stockman magazine
-Shop Talk magazine
-Arizona Museum “PeeWees, Shorties, and Sharp Toes”
-Kansas Historical Society “Cowboy Boot Exhibition”