Press Release Category: 
Program and Event Press Releases
Publication Date: 
July 2007
Press Release Contact: 

COOPERSTOWN, NY, July 27, 2007—From August 3 through September 9, The Farmers’ Museum will offer a series of three and two-day Master Crafts workshops in tinsmithing, country tin and theorem painting, and family records.

Tinsmithing 101 for Beginners
August 3

Instruction will include all the hand tools, forming stakes, swedges and hand-operated machines used in a well-equipped 19th-century tin shop. Each student will be shown how to do basic layout work, cutting, forming assembly and soldering and will make a finger candlestick and wall sconce.

TIN 102 for Apprentices & Journeyman
August 10 and 11

Once you have had the basics this course allows you to explore other processes like wiring, turning, burring, raising and hollow ware construction. You may not have all the special tools available to make what you want in your home shop but all of these will be available here. Each student will discuss the piece they want to build at the beginning of the class to see if it is within their skill level. (Hundreds of pieces are available to choose from). One or two examples can be made as time permits. Very advanced pieces, including crooked spout coffee pots, reflector ovens and Argand lamps are excluded.

Both of these workshops will be held from 9 am to 4 pm in a fully equipped, 19th century tinshop, in Ballston Lake, NY, Saratoga County. The fee for TIN 101 and 102 is $75.00/day plus $15.00 materials fee. Each student will have their own bench and all tools will be provided. Students are asked to bring their own lunch.

The next three workshops are made possible by the generous support of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration, an organization dedicated to preserving America’s craft heritage since 1946.

Country Tin Painting
August 10, 11, & 12

Country Tin Painting is one of the few decorative painting arts truly indigenous to America. Tin Peddlers of the early 1800s began having their wares painted, often employing family members to brighten up the housewife’s kitchen shelves. What began in Connecticut quickly spread to tinshops throughout the Northeast. Cooperstown’s neighboring village of Fly Creek was home to Stephen North, one of the tradition’s most important early artisans. Decorative artist and teacher Anne Dimmock of Trumansburg, New York, whose many years of training reflect the standards of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration, will guide students through techniques including background preparation, the brush stroke, paints and colors found in the designs and finishes. You will learn about the history of the craft, see some original examples and will work towards completing a practice piece during our time together. The fee for this workshop is $185.00, plus a $60.00 materials fee.

Introduction to Theorem Painting
August 24, 25, & 26

Enjoying a revival along with other early folk art and early New England school girl art forms (those taught in young girl academies in early 1800s) is Theorem Painting. Theorem Painting involves a process of using oil tube paints and a set of overlay stencils to create a picture. This class is intended for those who have never tried Theorem Painting and for those Theorem painters who wish to review or enhance their Theorem Painting skills. The complete series of skills and techniques required to become a theorem artisan will be introduced: cutting stencils, mounting velvet and applying color plus instruction in proper framing. Fee: $180.00 plus a $25.00 materials fee

Family Record Workshop
September 7,8, & 9

Hand drawn and colored Family Records were both important documents and delightful decorative arts in Early America. This class will introduce basic calligraphy and simple design options for creating various types of family records. The workshop will be led by Helga Johnson, a member of the Historical Society for Early American Decoration who has been a certified instructor for the organization for many years. One of her interests is the art of the Fraktur, which is associated with the Pennsylvania Germans. She has done many adaptations of Wedding, Baptismal, and House Blessing frakturs. Fee: $180.00 plus a $30.00
All workshops are held at The Farmers’ Museum except for Tinsmithing 101 and 102, which will be held in Ballston Lake, NY, Saratoga County. Registration is required for all workshops, call (607) 547-1450, ext. 410 or toll-free (888) 547-1450 for information and reservations.

About The Farmers’ Museum
As one of the oldest rural life museums in the country, The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, New York, provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience 19th-century rural and village life first-hand through authentic demonstrations and interpretative exhibits. The museum, founded in 1944, comprises a Colonial Revival stone barn listed on the National Register for Historic Places, a recreated historic village circa 1845, a late nineteenth century Country Fair featuring The Empire State Carousel, and a working farmstead. Through its 19th-century village and farm, the museum preserves important examples of upstate New York architecture, early agricultural tools and equipment, and heritage livestock. The Farmers’ Museum’s outstanding collection of more than 23,000 items encompasses significant historic objects ranging from butter molds to carriages, hand planes to plows. The museum also presents a broad range of interactive educational programs for school groups, families, and adults that explore and preserve the rich agricultural history of the region.

The Farmers’ Museum is located on 5775 State Hwy. 80, Lake Road, in Cooperstown, NY. Museum admission is $11 for adults, $9.50 for visitors age 65 and over, and $5 for children age 7 to 12; children 6 and under and members are admitted free. Reduced price combination admission tickets that include the Fenimore Art Museum and The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum are also available. The museum is open to the public daily from April 1 through October 31, with special events throughout the year. For museum hours or general information, please call 1-888-547-1450 or visit


For more information or images, please contact:
Christine Liggio/Public Relations Office
New York State Historical Association
Fenimore Art Museum/The Farmers’ Museum
Phone: (607) 547-1472/E-mail: