Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - 41

woodworker and blacksmith, his specialty
is as a coppersmith. In fact, the Virginian believes he is one of only four or five
people in the United States to practice the
art of tinsmithing for his copper creations.
For example, the Jamestown Settlement
employees, who play the roles of 17th century settlers, don't use the fragile original
copper pots during their daily interpretative presentations to tourists. They cook
on the authentically made reproductions
craftsmen like Riddle have made for them.
And those pots eventually show wear just
like any cookware will. That's where Riddle's tinsmithing ability enters.
"After a thorough cleaning, a pot is
heated over a propane burner, and then I
add tin, in stick form, to coat the pot with
a protective layer," he explains.
Although Riddle employs a modern
propane burner for work such as this,
many of his tools are handmade or are
of early 1800s' designs. He shows me a
homemade mallet (which can be used to
shape kettle bottoms) and a sheet metal
hammer (used to seal copper seams, for
example).
"It's not that these old tools are so
much better than their newer counterparts," Riddle says. "It's just that the way
that many of these tools were designed

HIKING * HORSEBACK RIDING * INDOOR POOL * DAY SPA * GOLF

Plan your fall or winter
getaway in Lake Chatuge
North Georgia Mountain's Hidden Jewel
Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa

This shed is where Eagle Rock, Virginia's Kevin
Riddle does his coppersmith work.

800-984-1543 | GoLakeChatuge.com
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

41


http://www.AmericanFireLighter.com http://www.GoLakeChatuge.com

Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020

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