Julie Dawson operates Orchard Canyon Heirlooms a family company with her husband Doug and three daughters. She continues the tradition of 18th and 19th Century tinsmiths in making (among other things) cookie cutters. Many of her designs are faithful reproductions of “cake stamps” made in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Others are original designs she has created—literally hundreds of them, with animals being the most popular. As with early American tinsmiths, she adds a flat back to each for long life and rigidity.
&ldquo,"Few tinsmiths across the U.S. continue to offer this truly American style of cutter because of the time involved,” she notes, “yet it is the plate back that makes it an heirloom that will last for generations.”
Dawson left a 25-year corporate career in public affairs about eight years ago to spend time with her three daughters and pursue a passion for historical crafting. She lives and works in the house, barn and workshop of an 1850s homestead, together with her family, bending, soldering, and snipping tinplate into the highest quality tin cookie cutters and accessories available today.
Orchard Canyon cutters have adorned the White House Christmas tree, were featured in a display at the museum of American Folk Art in New York City, and are sold in Colonial Williamsburg and numerous other museums and shops dedicated to American life in earlier times. In addition to being selected for the Directory of Tradational American Crafts multiple times, her work has won top honors at several heritage festivals.
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