New Hearth Brooms & the Art of Student Craftsmanship


You may have noticed our new selection of Hearth Brooms in our Fall 2012 catalog. If not, you can find them on p.55 or by simply clicking on the links and pictures found in this blog post. At Sturbridge Yankee Workshop we are very excited to be carrying these quality, made in the USA, handcrafted brooms. For centuries brooms much like the one seen here to the left, have been used to sweep dirt and dust out of homes, stone castles and even further back in time, to clean the floors of caves. The materials used to create such a sturdy broom, surprisingly really haven’t been changed that much. And the students at Berea College Crafts are following broom making techniques that have forever been apart of our history.

Berea College Crafts trains students in the subjects of ceramics, furniture and woodworking, weaving, and the art of broom making. The college has their own workshop and store, where they construct brooms from start to finish, and sell them now both locally and nationally. The meticulous task of hand braiding and hand rolling the natural broomcorn used to make these brooms, is one that requires a high level of skill and patience. Our Willow Whisp Hearth Broom shown here in the image is one of those handcrafted pieces of true American craftsmanship.

The Willow Whisp Hearth Broom is ideal for sweeping the area around your hearth, or could be used for a small dustpan broom. Featuring multicolored bristles that are attached by a curved, wooden willow handle. What is broomcorn you ask? Broomcorn is a natural sturdy grass that has been the fiber of choice in broom making for at least the last 300 years. Broomcorn is raised for its contribution as a grain, fodder for livestock and interestingly, also for use in molasses production. Once the broomcorn is dried and reaches the desired height, portions are cut down to size, to makeĀ  the brooms; and at Berea College Crafts, that’s just the beginning.

Our Cobweb Sweep Broom is a slightly different shaped broom, in that its purpose is to access hard to reach areas, including those pesky cobwebs. Presenting the broomcorn in its natural state, this broom’s handle is made from maple and sassafras, with an attached leather strap. Use these brooms for their cleaning purpose or display as wall decor year round. Both the Willow Whisp and Cobweb Broom are perfect decorations to utilize for the upcoming harvest and Halloween season, as they evoke the presence of bewitching activities.

~Thanks to the dedicated students of Berea College of crafts, we are able to bring you these finely crafted, American made, decorative and functional brooms for your home.


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