In-person course
in Stanwick, Wellingborough Maker & location details

Tinsmithing Workshop - One Day



The day starts with an introduction to the workshop, workshop safety, the materials and the tools. During the day you will be learning the main processes of tinsmithing from a professional tinsmith. The skills covered include: Measuring, using dividers and patterns, cutting with tin-snips, burring, forming, wiring, seaming and soldering. To learn these processes you will make a wall hanging candle sconce, followed by the option of a pastry cutter and “wee willy winky” candle holder, or a cup. The instructor will discuss these options with you individually to ensure you get the most from your day. The items you make can be taken home after the workshop. This tinsmithing workshop is suitable for adults of any ability. There is a strong focus on precision, accurate measuring and careful cutting. The skills learnt on this day are readily transferable to other metals such as copper and brass. The course is limited to six participants so that each person has access to the various stake tools used to form the metal. Teenagers from 16+ are welcome to take part in this course but must be supervised by an adult. If you use reading glasses, you will need to bring them. Your tutor for the day is John Wills, who has been running his own professional forge and braziers for ten years and teaching since 2017. He specialises in making historical reproductions in copper, brass, tinplate and iron/steel for museums and re-enactors. In 2022, as part of a Heritage Crafts Association project to rescue tinsmithing, John attended an intensive master class at the Museum of Making lead by master tinsmith Karl Schmidt from Dakota Tinworks, USA. Subsequently, with the HCA, John has built a new tinman & brazier workshop to keep this craft alive in the UK. Did you know? Tinsmithing is defined by the Heritage Crafts Association as a critically endangered craft which means it is at serious risk of no longer being practised in the UK. Tinplate is a strong, lightweight and durable material consisting of a thin sheet of iron or steel coated on both side with pure tin. The tin coating prevents rusting, is food safe and for decorative items resembles silver. It is a perfect material for cookware, buckets, candle sconces, cups and much more. During the 18th and 19th centuries tinplate was ubiquitous. It was used in the household, at work and by the military. Every town had at least one “Tinman & Brazier” making and repairing domestic items from tinplate and copper.

What's included in the price?

Tools, materials and safety equipment are provided. Car parking is also free of charge on the day of your course. Basic tea/coffee and biscuits are provided free of charge during the course. Food and drinks can be purchased in the café in the Visitor Centre or you can bring your own packed lunch.


7 hours

Cancellation policy

Medium - Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts


At Stanwick Lakes, we offer a range of Arts & Crafts and Heritage Courses, from watercolour painting classes to blacksmithing and wood-carving workshops. Alongside offering craft courses, Stanwick Lakes is a unique 750 acre nature reserve and countryside attraction located in the heart of Northamptonshire’s Nene Valley.

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • Teenagers
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Christmas
  • Easter
  • Father's Day
  • Mother's Day
  • Parking provided
  • Romantic
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Stanwick Lakes is a unique 750 acre nature reserve and countryside attraction located in the heart of Northamptonshire’s Nene Valley.

We have extensive play areas, open spaces and paths that families, walkers, cyclists and nature lovers can explore at leisure. We also have specially considered areas dedicated to nature and its wildlife, as well as the history of the site.

Parking is free for workshop attendees - please give your registration plate details to our reception staff in the Visitor Centre on the day.

Alternatively, you can become a member for just £42.00 per year, giving you free access to all our facilities for a whole year, while supporting Rockingham Forest Trust.


Rockingham Forest Trust, Stanwick Lakes, Stanwick, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, NN9 6GY