While in France about 10 years ago, Jim Hamann and his partner ducked into an antique shop and found a huge stockpile of old copper cookware. They purchased it and Hamann set to fixing it up. He studied, experimented and through repeat effort and refinement, East Coast Tinning was born from his love of the experience. “There are three elements to my business,” Hamann explains to CH. “Restoration is one: I revitalize pieces belonging to others. Second, people with large collections, who are downsizing, reach out to me so I acquire some.” These are distinct, generally one-off pieces, Hamann explains. “I have about 150 of them, all different shapes and sizes from a huge fudge pot to little butter pans and everything in between.” The final division of the company is Duparquet, Hupt & Moneuse, Co. “These are the new pieces,” Hamann explains, “I’ve got to make the stuff that I am seeing come back to me.”
Copper has certain benefits that pots and pans crafted from other materials do not. The metal spreads the heat quickly and evenly, regardless of the size and shape of the flame. Hamann’s pieces are tools with which to cook, but it just so happens to also look beautiful. The pieces have character and soul. Among his personal collection, Hamann showed us an LFD&H pan from the 1890s—hewn from incredibly thick copper. “Despite the fact that it has 100 years of wear on it, it’s still ready to go. When I found the piece, the lining was worn away and you could see the copper showing through [the tin lining].” Hamann re-tinned the piece, polished it up, and now it’s as functional as it is pretty. While his work began under the trial by error concept, he now notes that it is a 50/50 mix of learned technique and his eye for the art of it.
As for the Duparquet line, he explains, “I want to make these heirloom-quality pieces that will last over 100 years. This style is timeless in a sense, and it’s one of the best tools out there.” He notes that the design inspiration is the early 20th century American pieces that he’s discovered, but from the large rivets and sturdy handles, even older inspiration is evident. Hamann practices the technique of spinning when crafting something new. He sources his copper, an eighth of an inch thick and in 8′ by 3′ sheets, from a distributor in Connecticut. Everything is then tooled and machined by hand before he ultimately swirls the molten tin—also by hand—that lines the inside of the pan. He began his own production with a medium-sized sauté pan, and has expanded the set substantially since.
Hamann has made pieces for everyone from personal collectors to the chefs of Eleven Madison Park. He’s made lighter weight (and lower cost) pieces, and has been commissioned to develop everything from an au gratin round to a quart-sized pan with a pouring lip. It’s all the same method, with subtle variations on the process, but the result is always beautiful.
Explore the Duparquet, Hupt & Moneuse, Co. collection online, where prices vary per piece and begin at $47. For Hamann’s re-tinning services, visit East Coast Tinning online, where prices also vary per size, shape and quality of pieces.
Images courtesy of East Coast Tinning