Saturday, October 10, 2009

Broom Decor

Okay, I have a thing for brooms. The styling of such a simple, functional item fascinates me. Over the years, I've collected antique brooms of various styles, mostly through antique shops and ebay. I've been lucky to come across a few from the Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. This folk art school was started in the 1890's to preserve the native handcrafts and to provide a market for Appalachian crafts. Their handiwork is stunning. If you haven't visited their site before, you should spend a while enjoying their pages. Keep in mind when you see their brooms woven with colored broomstraw, this is not an easy task. Broomstraw has a very hard coating which takes an extreme amount of heat to break down so that the dye can take. It's not like dyeing wool or even pine needles.
I'm including some pictures in this posting of some of my brooms. I use them in my home as I would any other piece of art. They line one side of the stairway going into my studio. I also have them paired with pictures on the walls. They're often an odd size which may be just what you need to fill a space on a wall or in a corner where another picture would be just too much.
If you're in the market for an antique broom, try ebay or flea markets or antique shops. I don't usually find these to be very expensive. You may get lucky to find an original from Berea.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: My Brooms
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