It has been just over 29 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.
Jim and I had met in the Department of Romance Languages (or Romantic Languages, as I prefer to say). Jim was studying Italian and I was studying French. I had just finished my Master’s Degree in French Literature when this opportunity arose. I knew I didn’t want to go on for my Doctorate. I wanted to be at home – with Jim and our kids – making and selling wonderful things.
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 pewter smiths 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 staff (who now have children of their own) to help me. And the circle begins again!