In both workshops, we begin by exploring the materials for this craft including broomcorn and cording, a dowel to use as a foot brake, and a few household tools you’ll want to gather ahead of time to set up your workspace. Alyssa guides us through a few preliminary design decisions that effect the style and shape of our brooms and how they’ll look once they’re hanging on the wall.
Alyssa’s years of experimentation in broom making have contributed to the unique techniques she shares with us in her workshops. She blends skills passed down to her from other makers with tips and tricks she’s discovered herself along the way. Two examples that are favorites to highlight are the way she instructs us to keep our projects under tension to create brooms that will stay together when used, and how to incorporate colorful cording around the bristles to make a handle.
In her Woven Whisk workshop, Alyssa imparts her expertise to make a plaited handle with split broomcorn stalks, and weave a decorative pattern. We also learn finishing techniques and tips as well as how to troubleshoot common issues. As with so many crafts, the finishing touch is when our brooms come to life. As we near the end, we’ll learn to bend the bristle to our desired curvature and make the final trim.
Working with natural shapes, textures, and colors is a soothing and restorative process. Join us as we learn to embrace this century’s old art form while adding our own modern twist to the design.