Pewter Artistry for Serving

MEET THE ARTIST: Deborah Chapman, Crosby & Taylor, Lake Oswego, OR


Welcome back to our Artist Spotlight Series, where we feature our contemporary makers and also share background on the creators of our vintage and collector's items.


Deborah Chapman at the International Tennis Hall of Fame

"Siri ... search 'artisan pewter measuring cups from Oregon.'" We tried to not get our hopes up.


After 25 years of daily use, one of our treasured fish-shaped pewter measuring cups had finally had enough. Just one from the entire set. (Well, the 1/4 teaspoon had lost a battle with our garbage disposal a few years back.) Was there really any chance we'd be able to replace it?


"I found Crosby & Taylor in Oswego, Oregon. Would you like me to connect you?"


The company name had changed since we discovered the pewter pieces in Door County, Wisconsin, so many years ago. But we soon discovered that the people hadn't. Deborah and Jim Chapman were the same owners; in fact, Deborah answered the phone! She assured us that the mold for the fish measuring cups hadn't changed in decades, and we could in fact purchase a replacement for the 1/3 cup fish who had sadly lost his tail. When it arrived a short time later, there was a cute little fish-shaped salt spoon to accompany it. We were smitten all over again!


Formerly known as Tin Woodsman Pewter, this company has been owned and operated by the Chapmans since 1986. Their products are still made right there in Oregon. The selection had grown to include styles such as Homestead, Celtic, Farm to Table, and Roman—even a Honeybee style—in a growing line of baking and serving utensils, from salt spoons to coffee scoops to spreaders.

Fish teaspoon by Crosby & Taylor, top right, from the SerVe cookbook

Then I remembered that one of our fish spoons was used in a photoshoot for the SerVe cookbook we created for veterans with the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 1879. Deborah was tickled! "That was one of the original styles from when Jim and I bought the company more than 35 years ago," she said. "It's still one of the most popular."


The quick "customer service" call turned into nearly an hour-long chat. What did she think of a tennis cookbook idea? *Gasp!* Tennis ... why not a line of pewter tennis items?! Tennis and socializing go hand-in-hand. Quality artisan tennis-themed gift items for the kitchen and tabletop would be a natural. And with that, Deborah went to work designing and testing styles, running ideas past her husband, her daughter who owns a successful gift shop in Oregon (PeachtreeGifts.com), her tennis friends, and us! Crosby & Taylor even created a few items exclusive to TennisAlley.


Salt spoons shown with a hand-crafted ceramic bowl

Here's what Deborah says in her bio on our website: "Tennis was MY LIFE for many happy years. But then things got too busy as I tried to balance my work as a pewter smith and my home life as a mom. Now, 25 years later, the kids are all grown and I am back on the court. This new enthusiasm is transferring to my pewter work where I have created a new line with a tennis theme. I have been working with pewter for 35 years and I still love this wonderful metal."

Box set of two spreaders – a gorgeous gift!

When I talk with Deborah, she is usually just getting off the tennis court—or watching one of her grandchildren take up the sport. She is full of contagious, joyful energy, and it's so fun to connect with her. We'd sure love it if she would come out to Colorado for a visit as we move the ball forward on our Now Serving cookbook project. (Bring your racquet, Deborah!) You can be sure we'd post about her visit it on social media.


In the meantime, come see the great selection of tennis-themed pewter items we have at TennisAlley Pro Shop & Gallery (online at TennisAlley.net). And check out their other styles on CrosbyandTaylor.com. You can follow them on both Facebook and Instagram; just search Crosby and Taylor.

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