What's the Philosophy of Tinkers World ?
Long ago people used tinware items as a daily occurrence, from metal buckets to milk pails, jugs, cookie cutters, billies and even large rainwater tanks. In Australia, Queensland Education in particular, some of these items were made by students who were taught the skills of manufacture in the Manual Arts classes at local high schools. As the latest century has dedicated itself to a fast food, plastic and throw away society, many of these tinware items only end up as decoration around the home, on patios and as display memorabilia, relics from grandma's attic or shed - as non functioning products. Sadly, the emphasis in today's education curriculum limits such skills being taught. Many of the sheet metal machines and tools in schools have been packed up and placed in storage.
The long ago craftsman have gone. Early 1700's in England saw two types of crafts; namely blacksmiths and whitesmiths. The latter became known as Tinsmiths. The tinsmith or whitesmith learnt his trade, like many other artisans, by serving a six year apprenticeship. He learnt first to make cake stamps (cookie cutters), pill boxes and other simple items. Next, he formed objects such as milk pails, basins, cake and pie pans. Later he tackled more complicated pieces such as chandeliers and crooked- spout coffee pots.
Once the young men finished their apprenticeship they were released to make their own way. They became journeymen, not yet being a master smith employing others. Many young tinsmith took to the road as peddlers, would go from town to town, village to village, market to market, repairing existing tinware and also making their own styled items, in order to save enough money to open a shop in a town. These young men were called Tinkers.
Tinwares were being produced in London by 1630's, being known as Crooked Lane Wares (from the street where they were made.) The first Guild or Union for Tinkers was called "The Worshipful Company of Tinplate workers" founded in London in 1670, incorporated as a separate London Livery Company.
We at Tinkers World would like to keep alive the craft, the products and the journey of tinsmithing. We endeavour to reintroduce the romantic charm of tinware, offering products hand made, of excellent quality and old world charm. We encourage any would be tinkers to sign up for workshops or gather regularly for some sessions and become the "worshipful company of tinplate workers".
Equipment and materials sales are offered as well.
For any extra information needed please refer to the Contact Page.
*** Research from extracts from Minchinton, Walter (1957). The British tinplate industry: a history, Oxford , England: Clarendon Press, pp.3