October 18, 2017

‘Tin man’ celebrating 100 years

BY ALYSSA MEIER
Editor
He works away at the various-sized tin cans with care and attention, moving from one stage of construction to the next, as a little metal person slowly takes shape in front of him.
Ervin Jose has been crafting his tin men and women since 1997, and as he rounds the corner to his 100th birthday, there is no sign of him slowing down.
“It keeps me busy and gives me something to do,” Ervin said. Ervin uses coffee cans, PVC pipe, cat food containers, funnels and other items often dismissed as trash to make the tin men.
“He’s a child of the depression, so nothing goes to waste,” Ervin’s son, Layne said.
Ervin, who was a Wilton resident until 2009, now lives at an assisted living center in Bismarck. Twice a week, Ervin gathers up the cans donated to him by the center’s kitchen and takes them up to a workshop in his son’s garage south of Baldwin. There, he goes to work, attaching each piece to craft a unique sculpture, which he’s done thousands of over the years.


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