Our Story

Our story begins over 30 years ago with our founder Greg Pietersma embarking on a mission to become a tinsmith. He commenced this journey and his apprenticeship by taking on the role of assistant tinsmith at Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg, Ontario. While working there, his desire to master his skills and learn from the best eventually led him to Eastfield Village in New York. Here, he was able to study with Master Tinsmith William McMillen to perfect the arts of the craft.

Over the coming years, Greg continued to practice at the Village and receive instruction from McMillen. It was during this period that Greg discovered Tin Tinsel and other forms of decorative tinware. These unique Christmas decorations and decor pieces were first created by tinsmiths for their own trees and homes in Victorian times. Pietersma Tinworks has now been in operation for over 30 years and is proud to say that we still offer handcrafted Canadian-made tin decor and Christmas ornaments.

Now in its second stage of life and under new ownership, Pietersma Tinworks is operated by Garrett VanderBurg. He is a  tool and die maker by trade and an aspiring tinsmith. Garrett and his family are honoured to carry on Greg’s work and the Pietersma Tinworks name. We hope you enjoy our products as much as we enjoy crafting them for you.

The Tinman With Heart – Ottawa Citizen 28 Jan 2012 by PATRICK LANGSTON

Blending old techniques and new ideas to create elegant pieces On one wall of Greg Pietersma’s cosy workshop hang a black swedge, a beading machine and other 19th-century hand tools. Nearby sit two large computer monitors, also black. Although “computer monitor” would have meant as little to someone two centuries ago as the names of […]