Berea College Student Craft began in 1893 as President William G. Frost increased his engagement with and understanding of the Appalachian region. Today, Student Craft continues to support Berea College’s 8th Great Commitment. One of the ways we do that is through the Craft Education and Outreach Program (CEOP) directed by Steve Davis-Rosenbaum. Originally an in-person experience that served schools in adjacent counties, COVID-19 demanded a pivot to mostly online programming.
Through careful planning and thoughtful strategy, Steve and his team of outreach students have found an unexpected silver lining: the ability to engage students in schools well beyond nearby counties. During the 2021-22 academic year, for example, the CEOP team organized 64 virtual sessions with 815 students throughout the Appalachian region participating either at home or in the classroom. To further facilitate engagement between students and their classroom teachers, the team mailed 1,104 “craft kits” with detailed instructions to schools, allowing students to work hands-on with their classroom teachers in school districts that lacked budgets for art supplies.
Emily ’24 is an English major who led a virtual craft workshop from campus for students in Eastern Kentucky.Scroll Down
Student Isabella ’23, an Education Studies major, designed the woven Bell Patch series as a celebration of her family’s Appalachian tradition of quilt making. Isabella’s design work has been added to the catalog of MillerKnoll’s Design Within Reach and will be distributed through our partnership beginning in spring 2023.
Bell Patch Placemat
Isabella celebrated that in this collection by allowing each student weaver to have an impact on the outcome of each piece that is woven. Bell is the middle name of Isabella’s great grandmother, who was a strong presence in her family and a passionate quilter. 19.5″ x 13.5″ inches
Savannah ’23, Jaime ’22, and Sophia ’23
Students Savannah ’23, Jaime ’22, and Sophia ’23 at work on shaving horses shaping parts for Cooling Racks.
French Rolling Pin
Beautiful in its simplicity the french rolling pin calls to mind the College’s Commitment to Mindful and Sustainable living. Subtly redesigned in 2022 and beautiful in its simplicity, the French Rolling Pin calls to mind the College’s Commitment to mindful and sustainable living.
A cherry cooling rack for all your baked goods. For many of our students, creating a cooling rack is the first opportunity they will have to practice wood joinery or sit atop a shaving horse. With cherry sides and maple cross pieces, this cooling rack will be a treasured part of your kitchen. Dimensions: L 12″ x W 12″ x H 1.5″
Marco ’23 is studying Business and Marketing and is breaking down lumber for Skittles production.
Skittles have been a part of the Student Craft catalog since the 1920’s. We have subtly redesigned our version of the game to feature beautiful dovetailed corners and have switched to using sustainably harvested cherry as opposed the more traditional poplar. These games celebrate their longstanding place in Student Craft production by sporting the “Student Industries” logo which was used across Campus from the 1920’s to the early 1970’s.
John ’23 is a Communications major building a whisk broom. In early 2022, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston recognized John’s incredible skill and creativity by bringing a collection of his original broom designs into the museum’s permanent collection.
The fantail or “Turkey-Wing” pattern can be seen in the work of traditional Appalachian and indigenous artisans. Beginning with a traditional fantail or turkey wing pattern that can be found in the work of Appalachian craftspeople, student Allison Dallman ’19 added a braided detail to the design of these whisks. These brooms, with their intricate braided handle, make a powerful statement about the skills and lessons our students develop within the Labor Program at Berea.