· Crosby & Taylor has it's roots in a love for woodworking, fabrics, ceramics, and a fortuitous venture into pewter metalwork. In 1985, Deborah opened their first design shop, Tin Woodsman Pewter Company, in a small studio down the street from their home in Western Oregon. Deborah had experience with working with fabric, ceramics, some knowledge of woodworking – but no history of working in metal. Her husband, Jim, was already busy with his own woodworking ; crafting handmade adjustable wooden lamps.
Many pewtersmiths come from a background in jewelry making, but the Chapman's are unique as neither had taken that path. Along with a small group of assistants they slowly honed their skills and designs in the tradition of American craft. This is surely part of what sets their items apart. The Crosby & Taylor castings and metalwork are rarely confused with that of other artisans. Deborah holds a Master's Degree in French Literature from The University of Oregon and Jim is a graduate of Notre Dame University's Great Books Program. Together with their fellow artisan assistants, they are represent diverse backgrounds and bring with them extensive international studies.
In 2011, they decided that it was time to give the little company a face-lift and also wanted to pay respect to Deborah's roots. She says, "I had a very close relationship with both my grandmother and my great-grandmother, who lived in Boston. They loved world travel and their homes were filled with treasures that our ancestors, Cape Cod ship captains, had brought back from the Far East. So I decided to rename our company “Crosby & Taylor” – in honor of Captains Crosby and Captain Taylor who had sailed out of Chatham back in the 1800’s."
Today, Jim has retired leaving Deborah and her assistants to design and craft these beautiful pewter pieces. Their handcrafted pewter items are widely recognized and sought by collectors as well as those who desire such items of art, function and beauty.