The Art Of Master Craftsman Les Seamster

Les Seamster
Les Seamster

From The Texas Oilfields To The Ozarks

Have you ever had a job that really paid well, but in all honesty you hated going to work, because you didn't enjoy your job?

Well that was my life thirty five years ago in the Texas oilfields. The oilfields was a dirty, nasty and dangerous way to make a living, although it paid very well.

I spent quite a few years making big money in the oilfields,but I was very unhappy with my job.
Working seven days a week from eleven o'clock at night to seven in the morning, the same routine every night.Fighting the weather elements and going home covered in mud and grease to take a big paycheck home.

I Wondered If This Was Where I Would Retire

I was in my early twenty's and wondered if this would be where I retire. I needed the money,and I was trying to make a life for myself and my wife Shronda.

One night I prepared to go to work, just another night in the mud and grease routine. As I pulled into the location,I went to my locker to change clothes only to find an empty locker. My tools and clothing were missing. It seems like someone from another crew got fired and decided to take a few things that wasn't his. Unfortunately, I was the target. I lost hundreds of dollars in tools and clothing.

Because Of A Thief, I Saw New Possibilities In A Change Of Career

After losing my belongings, and then replacing them again, I wanted to mark my tools to discourage thieves from stealing from me again. I took a nail from the parts house and sharpened it to a fine point and began to scribe my name into my tools.

I also had to replace my hard hat. The crews all wore aluminum hardhats. They came in several colors, and I bought a blue one. After I bought it, I thought I would take my homemade inscriber and personalize my hat with my name and company logo. I didn't just scratch my name into the hat in five minutes, I wanted it to look nice and it required several hours to finish it.

The Oilfield Workers Were Crazy About What I Had Done To My Hat

When my crew and the rest of the workers saw what I did to my hat, they. went crazy. They actually wanted to pay me to personalize their own hats. I didn't realize where this was all going until after just three weeks, word of mouth got out that I was decorating hardhats and it spread like wildfire throughout the oil fields. I didn't use that nail for very long, I found real engraving tools later at a hobby shop which made things a lot easier and faster to work with.

Company men in big corporate offices were ordering fifty to one hundred Hardhats at a time and was giving them away as retirement and safety awards to their employees. I was so busy engraving hats that I had no energy to do my real job. It was then that I turned a sideline business into a full time career.

I named my business: SILVER HIGHLIGHTS because the aluminum hat was silver in color when I cut into it. And when held under light, gave off silver highlights.

Here Is A Photo Of A Few Of My Hard Hats After A Year Of Engraving Full Time

Where My Career Changed
Where My Career Changed

I Began Going To Art Shows

After quitting the oil fields, I began going to art shows to display my hard hats. I did well with the art shows, but then O.S.H.A. (safety organization) banned the metal hard hat and went to plastic and fiberglass hats because the aluminum hat was a conductor to electricity.

OH BY THE WAYit wasn't til just recently that a company in Texas started selling the aluminum hats again, and YES I AM NOW TAKING ORDERS AGAIN. After so many comments from all of you, I decided to take orders again.

Why Not A Flat Piece Of Metal?

After the oil fields went to plastic hardhats, I had to come up with a new idea that would take the place of the Aluminum Hard Hat. I thought to myself for a while, and then ask this question: Why not a flat piece of metal that could be framed and hung on someones wall as home d├ęcor. After searching for several weeks for a replacement, I finally found the medium I needed.

Powder Coated Aluminum And Brass Sheets

I found the answer in powder coated aluminum and brass sheets. My target market had changed from people who wore hard hats to everyone who had a wall to hang art work. After working with both metals, I found that the powder coated brass out sold the aluminum, so that is what my primary medium is unless someone special orders a personalized twenty fifth wedding anniversary gift, which is silver. Brass is gold in color, but I kept the original name of SILVER HIGHLIGHTS because of the history behind it all.

In 1983 My wife and I was invited to Branson Missouri to display my art, and I now operate a gallery during the tourist season where I meet several thousand people a year. I am also with Silver Dollar City theme park in September and October during the national Americans Crafts Festival.

Here Are Some Photos Of My Art Work

"The American Pride"
"The American Pride"
"Majestic Retrieve"
"Majestic Retrieve"
"HMS Revenge"
"HMS Revenge"
" Soulmates"
" Soulmates"

The above photos are just a few of my finest pieces.Below is two of my demonstration videos


As I mentioned before, because of all the comments from everyone on the hats, i've found a company that is selling the aluminum hats again and i'm taking orders for them again.


Les Seamster

Comments 53 comments

Shronda 7 years ago

Awesome job!!!!!

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coffeesnob 7 years ago

Amazing work here. thanks for sharing. you have amazing talent

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

What a great story of your journey! Your work is beautiful. Hope to read and see more!

MyWebs profile image

MyWebs 7 years ago from Sheridan, WY

Very nice artwork. Your very talented. My poor stick figures don't begin to compare.

Part-time Writer profile image

Part-time Writer 7 years ago from Way Up North (USA)

Thanks for sharing your story. Nice job!

Jack 6 years ago

I want an engraved hard hat! My father in law was an oil worker and had his engraved in singapore. I work in the barnett shale in texas as a gas and oil service tech on the production side of the business. I WANT AN ENGRAVED HARD HAT PLEEEAAASSSSEEEEEE!!!!!!

Kendra 6 years ago

What amazing work you do, I'm so glad you found something you love, and share it with us!

blabak profile image

blabak 6 years ago

amazing art... and your journey to being an artist really inspiring... keep up the great job in doing art and thanks for sharing....

ricky grubbs 6 years ago

i would like to see about getting an engraved hardhat. I love the work you have done to them.

ricky grubbs 6 years ago

i would like to see about getting an engraved hardhat. I love the work you have done to them.

jonathon crump 5 years ago

i would love to have an engraved hard hat can u still do then

Jennifer Archer 5 years ago

Im looking to have one done for my husband. Do you still do them?

Kimberly 5 years ago

i've been trying to find one of these for decades - are you accepting commissions? thanks so much!

rob moore 5 years ago

I would also like to get in touch with you regarding purchasing a personalized aluminum engraved hard hat. email address is


ruby rishel 5 years ago

I have a son working in the oilfield in northern alberta as a driller and he would absolutely love one of these engraved hard hats! Would you sell one to Canada?

my email:


Shane Atkinson  5 years ago

I'm third gen oil field trash an would love to buy one off those for me and my dad

Adam 5 years ago

Please email me and let me know if I can pay you for a custom hard hat. My email is Thank you

Todd Gross 5 years ago

Very nice work ! I see that sevral others have asked the same question I am about to ask. Would you consider making a custom hat for me ? I have several vintage aluminum hard hats and have worn them exclusively for the last 15 years as a piledriver in California. I am very interested in talking with you about this project.

BTW, there is one company that is making NEW aluminum hard hats now, they are legal when not working around electrical, but they have an additional inner plate riveted at the top on the inside and the additional rivets dtract from it's appearance.

Thank you in advance

Todd Gross

melysa 5 years ago

My husband is in oil field in texas. Im am looking to get him an engraved hat also. Please email me. Amazing work!

Rachel 5 years ago

If we are able to get you an aluminum hard hat are you still willing to engrave one. My husband slaves everyday in the oilfield in Texas and I would love more than anything to get him a piece of your amazing art. We actually had one of his hard hats painted as the ring barrier in our wedding.

claudia 5 years ago

WOW! I believe i am like the 100th person to ask you for the same thing! I NEED one. My husband is a Field Safety Rep. and he saw one on TV once and he loved it! I want to get him one done for Christmas! Is there anyway you can contact me with pricing and a lead time? Thanks so much!

God Bless,


jack o'dell 5 years ago

I like you hard hat i would like

to have one my email is

cristie 5 years ago

I would like to get my husband an engraved hard hat for his birthday! These are something that people in the oulfield would be so interested. Please please get ahold of me @

Monica 5 years ago

My husband works on a drilling rig in northern Alberta. He saw these on a tv show a few months ago and really liked them. I would like to get him on as a birthday pesent

Les Seamster profile image

Les Seamster 5 years ago from Branson Missouri Author

hello monica,

im currently working on a hat for a man in alberta. His name is tyler. Ive just started taking orders for hats and if you would like to have one we can discuss your options. email call 4172304762

Les Seamster profile image

Les Seamster 5 years ago from Branson Missouri Author

hi cristie

if you want one of my engraved hardhats please email me at: or call me 4172304762 and we can discuss options for you about pricing and such.

thank you for your interest


Les Seamster profile image

Les Seamster 5 years ago from Branson Missouri Author

hi melysa

Im writing in trguard to an email on hubpages you wrote to me about me engraving a hardhat for you. im now taking orders for custom engraved hardhats again if you are still interested. please call me at 417 230 4762 if you want to order one for your husband> keep in mind that it takes about 3 weeks for me to do one and i havw several people wanting them so dont hesitate if you are serious about one

thamk you


Mike 4 years ago

I am a driller I have been looking for someone who does this for a long time. Please email me I want one

Brunza 4 years ago

I would like to get an engraved hard hat, I am an oil field worker and think they are great. Name a price and I will see what I can do.

Amber 4 years ago

My husband works in the oil field and I think he would love to have one and it would make an amazing gift please message me price and more details if you are willing to make one thanks.

Mydnytdonn 4 years ago

I have been looking for someone to engrave on a hardhat for my fiancé. He is in the oil rigging industry and it would be the perfect gift to give to him on our wedding day. If you could please contact me Id appreciate it greatly.

Jennifer 4 years ago

Hi, my husband works in Alberta as well and I know he would be thrilled to receive one of your engraved hats. Please my email is

Dwayne Te Aho 4 years ago

Do you have a website to order from, as im in the oil and gas and would like some orders done if you are able to. email

Shawn Anderson 4 years ago

Would you be willing to engrave me an oilfield rig moving hard hat

Brad Eliott 4 years ago

im a mud engineer, I used to see hard hats like that, fairly often. But hardly ever now days. I always wanted one, but was roughnecking those days, and most that you would see happened to be perched on some company man. I make highend decorated duckcall

Brad Elliott 4 years ago

I'm a mud engineer, I used to see those type of hard hats fairly often, now hardly ever. I always wanted one, roughneck pay didn't really permit, and most all you would see was perched on some company man. As a hobby I make highly decorated duck calls and I enjoy deer hunting. About how much would I be looking at to get one done in ducks, deer, and derricks. I really like your work, you are a true artist.


Some of my first calls are at

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cturner38 4 years ago

Im interested in getting a hard hat done.

robert gruger 4 years ago

i have an employee that is retiring in march & I would like to get one of yours for him. he's been working in the oilfield as pipe oilfield rig inspector for about 40 years . wondering how much it would cost to get one from you . my email address is

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amyjocc 4 years ago

My manager is in charge of the awards and presentation to the employee of the year. He is very interested in having a custom aluminum hard hat done and using it as the award. Please contact me at

Jerry 4 years ago

I am a longshoreman. I am looking to have a hard hat engraved. Are you still doing it.

jon 4 years ago

My email is

Im looking to get three hats engraved we do the perforating so if could put that in the design that be awesome or u can call me 406-868-8056

Russell Butler 3 years ago

I am interested in a full brim with a deepwater tension leg platform on it with a white tail buck and a turkey about how much would that be?

Jbear1966 profile image

Jbear1966 3 years ago

I used to watch u doing ur art in a little trailer across the road from my house and it still blows me away that you are that good LOL!

I have an Idea for a hard hat that I would like engraved

"Been There! Done That!

theme to include Ranching, Roughnecking, Railroading (locomotive Engineer for BNSF), Heavy equip. operator (Dozers and graders),Truck driver and Vol. fireman

chris 3 years ago

veryinterested in a hard hat for my brothers 40th bday please call 219 678 0666 thanks

Chara 3 years ago

I want one for my Boots and Coots/Halliburton husband with oilfield related engravings. Please contact me!!!!

Greg 3 years ago

I would love to get one I work for Halliburton as a directional driller please email me at

Greg 3 years ago

Are you doing them any more??

Becky 3 years ago

Please help. I purchased a plate signed SEAMSTER

ECCL 9:10

at an estate sale. What is the value and can I purchase more?

Albert Aguilar 3 years ago

I would love a hard hat remembering my brother that passed away this jan. He was the one that got me started in the oilfield. my email is would love for you to do one for me.

james rogers 3 years ago

that is awesome!! really interested, if you are still making them I would like to buy one. If I need to provide the hard hat let me know. I would like to talk to you about some custom designs. please email me - Or call me - 325-518-1927

aditi 3 years ago

i would like to know if i could buy one of these for my dad. hes been working for oil fields from the time he was 18 and i think this would be the perfect gift for all his years of work.

please do email me -

Dustin Dunaway 20 months ago

I'm a boilermaker and am interested in a custom engraved hardhat

les seamster 20 months ago

Dustin email me

Will discuss your pricing and options

Thanks les

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