Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Brian goes to a Sweep In (Broom making weekend)

Last year Brian grew some broom corn in the garden and he was going to learn to make brooms.  He told me so!  :-) 

The next thing I know he is telling me about a Sweep In (what the heck is that?) that is a 3 day deal in Mountain View, AR.  Aaaaaahhhhh......Arkansas, that explains it!  Just kidding...I LOVE Arkansas!  I told him he needs to go - so he did.  (Because he does as I say....HA HA !!!!!)

He made the first few brooms in the pictures below.  The one in his right hand (your left view) is my favorite.  He put a piece of the broom stuff with seeds still on it, so it is more decorative.  The other one is a real broom to be used.  Not that they all can't be used...

These are the smaller ones he made.  A couple Pot Scrubbers, a couple Wisk brooms, and the one in his left hand (your right view) hanging the lowest is a Turkey Wing broom.

A close up of my favorite broom from the first photo.  I am going to hang this one up somewhere.  It is a Hearth broom.  Everything on all these brooms are all hand stitched.  The only thing a machine helped with was wiring the tops and that was a machine patented in 1869!  Brian got to run one by himself.  :-)  And get this, one of the fellow students in Brian's Hearth broom making class is the Chief Broom Maker at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. 

These two pieces came from the same broom making session and the Wisk broom in his left hand (your right view) is his very first one!  After making the bigger one, he cut off the other end to make a Pot Scrubber/Cake Tester.

This is the Pot Scrubber/Cake Tester.  The short wired end is the pot scrubber, and the longer sticks are for checking cakes...just like we do with toothpicks.  Just pick one off and poke it in the cake to see if it is done.  Preferably chocolate thank you very much!  ;-)

This is the end of the pot scrubber side....it is wired tight and is very tough!

One of Brian's Wisk brooms.  If you click on it you can see the woven handle much better....he made this!   Okay, technically this is a Hawk Wing broom because there are segmented spaces on the brushy part....but he messed up (OOPS!) and it is now a Wisk broom.

Close up of his very first Wisk broom (red stitching) and his first Turkey Wing broom.

Thomas thought it was not at all fair that the Broom Boy was getting his picture taken and his wasn't...he is the Kat King after all!

Nakita says "Der her....my turn!"

Hemi says "Don't hate me because I am beautiful!"

Brian's Turkey Wing broom....

The rest of the pictures are from the weekend festival at the Ozark Folk Center.  It is a village with broom making, candle making, blacksmiths.....you name it, they do it.  Brian had such a great time and learned so much!  He had a lot of pictures of the work benches too...I left those out because I can't even begin to explain what all they have on them.

I call this the Harry Potter broom, but it is the broom from the Sorcerer's Apprentice.....isn't it cool how it stands up itself?  I gotta have Brian make me one of these.  I love old driftwood, but now I will be looking at it with new eyes.  :-)  Brian told me his goal for next Fall is to go handle hunting.  Ha ha!

Broom corn seed is very very small....and they were popping it!  Brian said it had a nutty flavor and was very good.

Here is one of the contraptions that squash the broom down so you can stitch it flat.  (Brian is helping me label the photos correctly and the thing that squashes the broom is the Broom Press, and the big thing is the Broom Horse that you sit on to make the broom)

A view of a home made contraption that squashes the broom corn flat to be stitched.  It is made of regular sticks and check out the wing nuts.  They are hand forged!  You can see the tied wad of broom in the middle.  You start with that then add other around it. 

One of the broom maker instructors in action - Little John.  The thing at his feet is a spool of thread that you use to tie the tops of the brooms.  Some of the people have large ones with several different colors.

The broom corn can be dyed - they do it in a big vat.  There will be a few pictures with a lot of color....the colorful pieces are put on the outside of the regular color.

I love the twisted handle on this one, and the criss-cross of the color on the broom itself.  The handle is sassafras root.

Just enough color used to accent the broom...

Creative people can even put designs on them, and check out the face on the top of the handle.  The man that made this hand carves them and lives in the area.  (Brian tells me the handle carving is a Tree Spirit.  He doesn't remember the specifics at the moment, but it is from old German folklore)

This would be my Fall broom.  :-)  YES!  A broom for all season!  Brian tells me it flies....hee hee!  It will look great by my 'Witch Parking Only' sign.  Yes, I really have one of these.

I love the color on this one....very rich looking...

The one hanging on the left has a deer antler handle.  The one in the middle has a wrapped handle (you can see it better when you click on the photo to make it large).

Selling their wares.....

I love this picture!  Lots of different types of brooms....but look on the wall between the windows.  Just below the two bigger brooms is a baby broom!  Isn't it the cutest darn thing?  :-)

Rolls of processed broom corn ready for broom making.

I love buzzards!  On the way down Brian saw these guys over a driveway.  Aren't they great?  :-)

Candles in the making......

These are called Crumb Brushers and can also be used as Cake Testers like the pot scrubber up above.  (Brian says they can also be used by seamstresses to pick up stray pieces of thread)

Table decoration.....it reminds me of a Native American dance....

This one is actually called Dancer....

There were also people who made stuff out of the broom corn to decorate gourds.  I have a huge bin of gourds!  Brian will keep busy while I ride horses....hee hee!  Oh, notice the big box of wine behind the gourd?  A lot of trading goes on thru the weekend.  :-)


Turkey Wing brooms......(they used to use actual turkey wings....that is how these little guys got their name)

I love these!  Brian bought a couple of these and I think they are so cute!  They are corn silkers!

More corn silkers.....

A funny sign Brian saw on the way down there....

Here are some more Pot Scrubbers.  The other ones earlier had a long end and a short stubby end so they were Pot Scrubber/Cake Tester combos.

Another Turkey Wing broom with an unfinished handle....

Another version of the Turkey Wing broom....

Both of these pictures are from inside the main Broom Shop at the Ozark Folk Center.  Every broom is either made by the owner or his 17 year old daughter. 

This is a Marriage broom.  Look at the double handle that joins the brooms and handle as one.  Isn't it romantic? 

He had a great time and is looking forward to next year.  A lot of the work tables he can make himself.  And there is a lot of it that I have no idea where he will find what he needs......it is very old stuff and is stuff that is hard to find. 

Until later.....Karen and Tripp who thinks Brian needs to make him a Butt Scrubber broom! 


Danetta Half Holds said...

I am intrested in the short brooms with long brushes.

Karen C. said...

Hi Danetta, Brian is not making brooms at home yet, but he says they do sell them at the village. It is at The Ozark Folk Center. I hope to join him sometime...sounds like lots of cool things are going on. Here is the web site.