Handcrafted America: Season 2
Season 2 Premieres Oct. 21st at 9:30p ET

Tin Coffee Pots

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Jim Feavel  ♦  Dixie Tin Works

Jim FeavelJanesville, WI  |  Website

When Jim Feavel came across his firstblacksmith on a trip to North Carolina, he was fascinated. He loved everything aboutthe process. But after looking into it more, Jim discovered that working with tin was more interesting. He learned his craft through reading books and meeting with other tinsmiths. He has become very involved in the Historical Reenactment community and has been able to make a career out of it. Jim’s designs and methods are the same as those from the 1800’s.


What drew you to your chosen craft?
Working with my hands was nothing new to me as I have always been a person building or making something. But I wanted to learn a new trade. One that was done in the past and one that had elements that I was interested in. I also wanted to do it as historically accurate as possible. Tinsmithing has many different elements to it that I had an interest in, so I chose it to be my new focus.

What do you enjoy most about your craft?
I enjoy creating or re-creating items that are functional and well crafted. I enjoy the planning process, the design and layout, and seeing the tin take shape into that usable item that was once a necessity in the past. I enjoy seeing the functionality and well-crafted item once it is completed.

Why is it important for people to make things with their own hands?
Although lately there has been a surge in handmade items, I do believe that the handmade way is becoming less and less. In modern society, it is more convenient to just go buy an item instead of make it. I feel there is a sense of pride in every piece that is handcrafted, that you won’t find in store-bought or mass produced items.

In what ways are handmade goods better than those that are mass-produced?
Mass produced goods are just that, mass produced with no character or feeling put into them. Handmade goods are unique and every one will be slightly different, with the character that the artisan puts into them. The detail and craftsmanship in each piece is something that you would not find in mass produced items.

What does the future hold for your type of work?
I believe that the hand crafting of tin, or tinsmithing, is a unique art that very few people still do. I would like to see more people becoming interested in it and learning the trade to keep history alive, but that number is becoming fewer and fewer. I do however believe that there will always be a remnant of people doing tinsmithing to keep the craft alive.

Cowboy Hats, Pianos, Tin Coffee Pots




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