It has been just over 30 years since I started Tin Woodsman Pewter in a small studio down the street from our house. Jim was a woodworker making adjustable wooden lamps. I was helping to assemble and pack them. Two of our children were in school. The third was just a babe in arms.
Our closest friends decided to shut down their pewter studio to pursue other interests. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. It looked like just the thing for me.
I had been a new college graduate at the University of Oregon when I met Jim in the Graduate Department of Romance Languages (or Romantic Languages, as I prefer to say). He invited me to accompany him to a crafts fair. Back then he and his friends were known as "Craftspeople" - not the new Martha Stewart term "Makers". I was immediately attracted to his entrepreneur lifestyle.
I had a lot of experience working with fabric, some background in ceramics, some knowledge of woodworking – but no history of working in metal. I had to hit the ground running! Before long, I was too busy to go it alone. Jim closed the wood shop and dove in with me.
Most pewtersmiths come from a background in jewelry making. But neither Jim nor I had taken this path. We now know that this is what sets our products apart. Our products are rarely confused with any other.
The years have passed and we no longer work out of a small studio. Jim (having joined the workforce 15 years before me) has moved on to golf, traveling and writing. I am blessed to have a wonderful manager, Tim, who has been with us for 17 years and together we keep the new products coming!