|Broom making, brush making and wool spinning form the main crux of
our classes. We are constantly adding new
designs in our broom making and brush making classes.
Although our instruction is often the basic use of the material, we often
encourage our students to try
new broom making designs on their own. We are
always available for questions and concerns.
|DEMONSTRATIONS LIKE BROOM MAKING, WOOL
SPINNING & WOOD WORKING FOR GATHERINGS,
PARTIES, HISTORICAL SOCIETIES CAN BE
|*Classes, workshops, times, prices, quantities, sales and locations are subject to change and or cancellation at any time. Other restrictions may apply.
|Old Home Day, Campton New Hampshire 2009
Jazz Day, Manchester NH. Farm Days, Owen Farm.
1. Natural historic material
Broom corn or Sorghum Vulgare is the principal material we will be using in this class. Originally
thought to come from Africa It found it's way to China around the 14th century and was
mentioned in Italy about the 1500's. From Europe it was just a matter of time before it made it's
way to the colonies.1 Some thoughts are that Benjamin Franklin brought over some seeds from
Europe. Levi Dickenson from Hadley Massachusetts is purported to have developed his broom
vulgare, having planted quite a few acres of it.2 In 1798, the Shakers or the “United Society of
Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing” at Watervliet in Albany County NY began growing and
using broom corn to make their brooms. Most brooms at that time were round but a Shaker,
Brother Theodore Bates invented a press to make the first flat broom. Jesse Wells, in the mean
time, invented a machine for turning broom handles.3 The middle 1800's were apparently great
broom making years. As the population moved westward, so did broom making. There were
many thousands of acres that were planted with broom corn for broom making. The Shakers,
incidentally, grew a lot of broom corn and made brooms for sale and distribution in and around
New England and other regions. If you were to look in the early city or town directories in your
area, there could be "broom makers" listed. In my hometown of Manchester NH, in 1875 under
"Broom Maker" the name David Libbey appears, although I suspect that the Shakers may have
had the market pretty well cornered. Broom corn is now principally grown in Mexico. If you have
good soil with adequate drainage and average sun, there should be no reason you can’t grow
your own broom corn. This is preservation with a purpose. We need to re-acquaint ourselves
with our past, our culture, nature and common sense.
2. An intro to basic broom making sustainability.
Without going into the many philosophical reasons, we only have to see how a locally grown and
fabricated item supports basic sustainability. From the broom corn and the wooden handle to
the flax linen cord binder and the dye, we see a number ways we can accomplish this.
3. Working with your hands.
Working with your hands opens the door of human creativity. Your basic senses are once again
called upon to interact with different materials. What was once lost or suppressed will now be
rediscovered. Theory will become practice, thought reality. We all have this capacity at various
levels. Our perceptions and ultimate responses will eventually release our intuitive nature. Self-
reliance will be a nourishing by-product. Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forward.
4. Imagination, creativity and experimentation
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work"
The fundamental tenets of broom making are not difficult. Once you learn the basics you can
easily repeat the process. It does, however, take a little imagination for the next step. As one
for a broom or brush to actually function, it has to have certain physical traits. We could think of
these as moderate guidelines. After we look at the broom as a whole, consider its function and
start to look at its basic parts, shape, size and color, we utter those two intriguing words: What
5. Interesting broom and historical links
BROOM CORN AND BROOMS
HOME LIFE IN COLONIAL DAYS Alice Morse Earle
ITS MEANING AND MESSAGE'
1. 1919. Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants. Hedrick, U.P. editor
2 1898, Home Life in Colonial Days, Alice Morse Earle
31905. Shakerism Its Meaning and Message, Anna White and Leila S. Taylor p.372
|Our brooms and brushes are good for many occasions and uses. Halloween is a good time
for our round broom. Great for birthdays, anniversaries, Halloween, Christmas or any other
holiday. Making a broom in this colonial style is pleasant with our easy to follow dvd video.
An excellent crafting opportunity, our how to make a broom video kit is unique, convenient
and affordable. These brooms would be wonderful for jumping the broom ceremonies. We
have brush making kits as well. Whether you think of these as round, witches, wiccan or
colonial, we think you will find this kit to be very interesting. Making a broom may lead to our
other videos of brush making and sailor's whisk making. These craft class/lessons including
our wool spinning lessons have entertained and educated many people. These kits are made
in the USA. If you ever wanted to learn how to make a broom or learn the basucs of broom
making this is the spot for you.
We try, whenever possible to use locally produced wool for our Spinning wheel lessons.
Wool spinning can lead to an appreciation of fabric, textiles, and fiber in general. This wool
spinning class can be an ideal introduction the world of fiber.
|So If you want to learn how to make a broom or
take an at home broom making lesson, just give
us a try.
|Mini Sailor brush
4 inches high