About us at the Hot Dip Tin Store
Shay and Kelly Lelegren.
We work with tin using old methods and techniques. Shay makes the tinware and applies the japanning, and Kelly does the tole painting.
The Heart of a Tinman
Shay Lelegren’s journey to becoming a tinsmith began as a teenager. In his junior high shop class, Shay made his first tin dustpan, not knowing he would return to making dustpans and other tinware as a professional craftsman many years later. After attending the Festival of the American West in Logan, Utah, Shay became an involved and devout Civil War reenactor, even appearing in films such as Gods and Generals (the prequel to Gettysburg), Geronimo, and Andersonville.
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In 2006, Shay found work with a modern sheet metal company, where he discovered the different processes for creating sheets of tin. Curious, he decided to research period tinware and started collecting original nineteenth-century tools and machines. Since then, he has been working full-time as a historical tinsmith and general historical restoration specialist, reproducing tinware from the Colonial period through the Civil War.
Marrying a Spinster
In the summer of 2008, Shay met Kelly while he was tinning and she was demonstrating wool spinning. They married after a lengthy courtship of three and a half months, and since then Kelly has taken up American Country Folk Art, also known as tole-painting (tole being French for "tin"). Their wares are based off originals and Shay claims the rare practice of using hot dipped tin, as opposed to electro-plated tin, which was not used until the 1890's.
Thanks and we hope you enjoy the Hot Dip Tin Store,
Shay and Kelly Lelegren