Preserving the best of New Mexico’s Spanish colonial history – its quality craftsmanship – is Richard Gabriel Jr.’s mission in creating fine tinwork. He uses a characteristically finessed, polished, and understated style that has been passed down from generation to generation. Tin work in New Mexico has always been based on the idea of repurposing or “upcycling” before that became a popular term for finding new uses for discarded objects. Colonial metalsmiths turned tin cans and other tin debris resulting from commerce on the Santa Fe Trail into sconces, toys, and objects of art. Today, with more advanced soldering techniques and the same original tools – hammers, nail sets, dapping tools, and tin snips – Richard Gabriel Jr. hand-punches and shapes tin frames and ornaments whose elegance and traditional design suit practically any space and any taste.