Richard Baggett is an “Artist Blacksmith” from Texas. From an early age, Richard was taught to use his hands and worked in many mediums before finding himself in metalworking. He is truly a one of a kind guy with a strong reputation for his artistry, including making some of the finest knives in America. Each knife is one of a kind, and has a life of its own. The attention to detail, care and creativity are what makes his knives stand out above the rest, but it’s his determination and big heart that make him successful in both his work and life. In both he has blazed his own trail, and is able to do what he loves all the while being there for the people he cares for. Truly an inspiring husband and father, he is the kind of guy that seems to do just about everything for the right reasons. It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to Richard Baggett.
1. Tell us about what you do.
My name is Richard Baggett and I am an Artist Blacksmith in Fort Worth, TX. I hand forge everything from giant sculptures, chandeliers, furniture, branding irons, cowboy cookware and knives. This past year has really been focused around knife making. All of my blades are forged on the anvil. I have never done stock removal blades. Most of my knives start their lives as something different, (ie) horseshoes, railroad spikes, horse rasps and old tool steel. I have always been a free spirit, fly by the seat of my pants kind of guy. 13 years ago I took the greatest responsibility of my life. I became a husband and shortly after, a father. My beautiful wife, Dondi, and I are the proud parents of an amazing 12 year old daughter, Sophia.
As a business owner, balancing work and being a dad can have challenges. I have found that no matter what deadlines or work load I am under, making genuine time for my girl is a must; an absolute.
2. What does being a Modern Day Dad mean to you?
It really presents a lot of challenges. I grew up in a simpler time. Children seem to grow up much faster these days. Social Media and the Internet can introduce them to subject matter they aren’t mature enough to process yet. Being a modern day dad means you have to strike a balance between modern advancements and old family values. With texting and email it seems kids are forgetting how to talk! HA! Make them put those phones down and have a real conversation. I won’t let a mechanical device teach my child how to interact with other people. Respect for others, respect for themselves and understanding common sense can only be taught by a parent.
Another important thing is to teach my girl to use her hands. To be able to create or build something manually is something she’ll always be able to carry with her. Whether she works in a “makers” trade or not, she’ll be a more rounded person in her life travels.
3. How did becoming a dad change your life?
Wow… How did it not?! I know now that my life before Sophia was about Richard, and just Richard. When we found out my wife was pregnant something clicked in my head. I finally knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, A Good Father. I had no clue what that really meant but damn it, I was gonna jump right in and give it my best! Over time I have learned there is no instant way to become a good father. It’s an everyday challenge and learning process. I can’t remember who I was before she came into my life but I am definitely a better man for it.
4. What is the greatest part about being a dad?
Watching her grow into a beautiful, caring and strong young woman. Hands down that is the best part. What she’s turning into, blows my mind. So proud…
5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?
When Sophia was about 6 or 7, I caught myself one day just completely absorbed in her beauty and innocence. I told her I wanted her to stop growing up. She looked up at me with her angelic camouflage green eyes and said “Oh daddy, I would if I could but it’s just out of my hands.” I still giggle every time I play that back in my mind.
6. What advice can you give any new father?
Take a breath amigo! You will do just fine. Love them with all your heart. Teach them to love with all their heart. Don’t just talk to them, listen to them. Realize they will be grown before you know it. Soak it in. Enjoy every moment you can. Nothing is worse than the regret of a memory lost. Teach them to be strong and believe in themselves. Help them realize they never need to find acceptance from other people if they love themselves. Realize yourself that being a father is hard work. But anything worth doing is worth working hard for. Hug them everyday!!…
Thanks so much Richard, you are truly an artist, craftsman, gentleman and fantastic Dad. It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know you, see your work first hand, and learn from your words of wisdom. Keep up the great work, and Modern Day Dads wishes you all the success in the world!
Get in touch with Richard here: