In the TinCrafts Traditional Tinsmith Workshop
The Christmas holidays were especially joyous and family oriented for me as a child and teenager growing up in the 1950s and 1960s.
My mother baked a lot and in the month or so following Thanksgiving she turned her attention to Christmas cookies. Almond Crescents, Hermits, Walnut Refrigerator Cookies, Chocolate No-Bakes but most of all... Anise Cookies.
Pop muscled the last of the flour into the dough, Mom rolled out the dough and cut the cookies, the children tended the timer and the oven. Everyone helped in quality control by making sure that rejects and burnt cookies never made it past the cooling racks! Later, the Almond Crescents were coated with confectioner's sugar and the Anise Cookies were iced and Mom made up holiday gift packages for friends and relatives alike.
Eventually, I became the muscle behind the Anise Cookie dough making.
My mother had acquired many different cookie cutters over the years. Cutters of a quality and design that simply exist no longer. So, as I came across a nice vintage cutter at a garage sale or flea market I would snatch it up.
Until that is, the prices began to spiral from the 25¢ and $1.00 range into the heady atmosphere of prices associated with "collectibles".
To make a long story somewhat shorter, I had always wanted to be able to make cutters in traditional designs and perhaps some new designs of my own.
I finally had the opportunity to attend a class in tinsmithing at the John C. Campbell School in Brasstown, North Carolina and studied there for a week with Harry Kruppenbach. Since then, I've been acquiring the many diverse tools necessary to take up tinsmithing as a hobby and part time craft.
Why the userid of Tintinnabulation? Well, when a smithy has finished a day's work and has a few moments before the light fades to simply enjoy his craft, he might just take his hammer and begin to tap, tap, tap out a tune on his anvil. And what is a bell sound other than metal striking metal?
I hope someday to not only make cookie cutters and Christmas Tree ornaments and many of the traditional tin items found in the America of yesterday but also to end a day in the shop by creating my very own tintinnabulation..