Founded in 2015, Dakota Tinworks is a family-owned business, specializing in traditional, handmade tinware and tin decorative items. Karl, the tinsmith in the family, uses mostly 19th century tinsmith’s tools in the creation of his tin goods. He trained as a historical tinsmith with Loren Miller at the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island, Nebraska, and with the late master tinsmith William McMillen at Historic Eastfield Village in New York. He’s also taken an advanced tinsmithing workshop co-taught at Historic Eastfield Village by Steve Delisle, head tinsmith at Colonial Williamsburg.
The work he produces is split between decorative tin items, like Christmas ornaments and tree tinsel/icicles, and authentic reproduction tinware, like pierced tin lanterns and other museum-quality tinware.
While he works mostly in tinplate, he’s also been doing some decorative work in copper.
As an aside, Karl also teaches traditional tinsmithing, most recently at the Museum of Making in Derby, England, in September 2022.
We were invited to participate in CDM 2017, 2018, 2019, CDM Curbside in 2020, and again for CDM 2021 and CDM 2022, so we’ve been a part of CDM almost since the beginning. We’ve enjoyed being part of the Christkindlmarket family of vendors and look forward to being at the event every year. People seem to really like the tin goods we produce and sell. We enjoy meeting everyone who stops by our pop-up tents. We’re looking forward to this year’s Christkindlmarket. It’s our most exciting event of the year!
As always, our tin ornaments and tree tinsel remain very popular, so we will, of course, have plenty of those on hand. We also plan to offer pierced tin candle shades, with traditional designs, and pierced tin lanterns in two distinct styles. New this year will be some very special reproduction German cookie cutters, based on antique ones from the Erzgebirge region of Germany, along the Czech border. In addition to being a tin-mining region historically, the Erzgebirge are also known for their Christmas festivals. Another new item will be tin frames with Christmas scenes, featuring reproduction vintage images of German Santas and other Christmas-related themes. In addition to the new items, we’ll also have a full range of other tin items for sale, and several different ornaments made with copper, and sheet brass (also new this year). The colored tinsel we introduced at CDM 2021 (and sold again at CDM 2022) was extremely popular, so we’ll be sure to bring plenty more of that for CDM 2023.
Every year, we introduce some new products, so be sure to follow Dakota Tinworks on Facebook, so you’ll be informed of the latest things we’re creating in the workshop. We’re excited to be a part of this wonderful event once again. We hope people look for our red and white striped twin pop-up tents and come by to see a demonstration and check out our range of products! Our tent layout will be a bit different this year, as we are planning on modeling a tent layout we discovered at the Lucrezia-Markt in Regensburg, Bavaria. It’ll allow us to do better displays and make it easier for people to shop for our items.