Michael K. Walsh started his full-time tin shop business in 1987, specializing in 18th-Century-style lighting. He has been mostly self-taught, although he received instruction from Phil Kelly of Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as well as helpful tips and hard-to-find tools from other professional tinners including Michael Terragna, Dan Thomas, the late Richard Harris, James Glynn, and Jerry Martin. Tinsmiths are willing to share and help each other.
In the late 1990s Walsh began attending 18th-Century events. Home lighting will always be his second love, (after his wife, Deborah, of 42 years), but tinware was making its first appearance on his shelves. The couple participates at several market fairs selling a wide variety of candle lanterns, tankards, wash pans, corn boilers, and more.
Artists appearing in the 20201 Directory of Traditional American Crafts have been selected, and the best of their handiwork has been photographed at Cedar Grove, an 18th Century house museum operated by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Look for the Directory in our August 2021 issue.
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