Wednesday, August 18, 2010

PA Dutch Brooms...

We spent some time at a local fair tonight....large crafts tents were set up with nothing in particular that caught my eye....until we stumbled upon these...
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Handmade Pennsylvania Dutch Brooms!
One of the most charming aspects of the area I grew up in (and still reside) is PA Dutch lore. It is alive and kicking, thanks to hard working hand workers, such as the family who makes these beautiful and well made brooms...
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I got a chance to have warm conversation with the broom maker himself...
Most of the equipment used to make the brooms came from old broom shops in the area that have been long retired from action...
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The stitching and cross-stitching is done by hand, which ties the brooms better than any machine could hope to. They are handmade on a "broom winder" or "kick winder" as it was known in the early days...
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The brooms are made from 100% broomcorn. This primitive strain of corn was and is grown specifically for making brooms. Nothing sweeps better! The broomcorn used for these brooms remains in a raw state, similar to the way it was used over 200 years ago...
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I giggled at the kitschy humor...
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Mr. Warren also showed me his collection of hand painted PA Dutch Hex signs...
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...stylized birds known as distelfinks...
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PA dutch slang for "Brooms...none better!"
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This was painted after 2 boys ran off with some of the displayed broom making tools..the santa claus-esque figure is known as the Belsnickel in Pennsylvania Dutch communities.. he is a mythical being who visits children at Christmas time. If they have not been good, they will find coal and/or switches in their stockings. The Belsnickel was a scary creature not well loved except by parents wanting to keep their children in line. The text on the sign reads "Go away!"
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Yes, I LOVE to sweep my floor. I do it about 3 times a day! Dancing, music, and a giggling baby make it even better. What a lovely addition to any home! Now, which one to chose.......


17 comments:

  1. What a wonderful find! I love the signs too, so funny and sweet.

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  2. oh, i love this! thanks for sharing. i would love to own one of these gorgeous brooms!

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  3. They are awesome! Which faire did you go to?

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  4. hi patty- it was the one for muhlenberg hospital!!! never thought to check it out before, but glad we did!! they also have a book sale....4 for $1!!!

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  5. Oh so cool, a real broom!!!! cheers Marie

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  6. Those are incredible!!! Thanks for sharing the facts too. What a treat to meet and artisan like that!

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  7. I love that brooms can be so beautiful! And I LOVE to sweep our floor also. Do you sing the sweeping song by Mary Thienes Shunemann? It will bring even mmore joy to your sweeping! (If that's possible...)
    Renee :)

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  8. Beautiful brooms! I thought I was the only one. I have tons of pictures of brooms from Hancock Shaker Village.
    Have you noticed how hard it is to find a good simple broom lately?! Thanks for sharing. They are beautiful! Witch one did you pick? (Sorry I couldn't resist;) Peace, Angela

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  9. I bought a gorgeous handmade kid's broom for my little guy. He loves it, and it makes me a little envious. I want my own pretty broom!

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  10. ^^yes, it is a very real thing!! :):)

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  11. goodness! i could just see the look on my mother-in-law's face if i brought one of these as a gift. hilarious! on so many levels, it would be just wrong.

    but, my kids would love these. i can never give them enough sweeping to do. thanks for sharing. happy weekend!

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  12. We also have a talented broom maker here and I have some brooms that are similiar, also made from broomcorn...I just love them!

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  13. Beautiful brooms. I could do with something like that. When I sweep the kitchen floor, I pretend to be a pixie mother obsessed with cleaning. My boys would just love it if I had such a broom. They probably would say it is my witch broom though!

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  14. Those brooms are amazing. How they are made is fascinating. I love Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs. I'm fascinated by the lore behind them.

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  15. what a lovely post...i am so happy about it !
    i have grown broom corn in my garden for a long time...the seeds are beautiful. i make wreaths and wall hangings with them...i havent got my crop to grow long enough just yet for the brooms. :) ps. they sell the seeds for this at seedsofchange...x

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  16. Help Please ...I need to find some of these brooms...I am in Edmonton Alberta canada...billanddebbie@shaw.ca ...Deborah McPherson ......Please contact me........They are beautiful...............

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