Cantastiks' Shop Announcement

Recycled tin cans are transformed into handcrafted candle holders and custom “candeliers” throwing dancing patterns of light wherever they are placed. These works of art are functional and aesthetically pleasing products, which are both environmentally and socially responsible.

Peter Van Tongeren was a welder by trade until 1969 when a broken leg created boredom and inspired the marriage of welding and discarded tin cans. The marriage continued for 15 years until the itch to open a Santa Fe Trading post temporarily distracted him. In 1992, two broken legs again created boredom and rekindled his love for artistic welding. Zach Van Tongeren began assisting his father with the business shortly after the accident at the age of 9, learning the trade and becoming proficient, until the age of 17 when he took the craft under his own wing. Zach’s enlisted service in the military in 2001 created another brief hiatus for the company, but upon homecoming in 2005, the torch was almost immediately fired up again and the love for artistic welding was rediscovered.

Their creations are in demand from such elegant companies as Nambe Mills, Aveda, Estee Lauder, Nor Style, and Art Matters. Fine gift stores in Japan and Australia join those throughout the United States in carrying this unique line of functional art. They have been represented by New Mexico’s Own and have been seen on QVC as well as such fairs and festivals as the New Mexico State Fair, Fiesta in Santa Fe and can be seen frequenting the Las Cruces Renaissance Fair.

The Van Tongerens are truly master craftsmen, putting torch to tin can for over 40 years, they create unique works of art to please the eye and delightfully light our surroundings.

Visit them at to see more of their splendid works!