If you’ve visited Daedalus recently, you may have noticed a colorful new addition hanging in our front stairwell.
Broom Thing is a piece by ground-breaking designer Stephen Burks, who conceived of the idea while working as an instructor in the Berea College Student Craft program. Berea College in Kentucky is famous for its unique tuition-free educational model and for their craft programs, including the oldest continuously running workshop centered around broomcraft. To learn more about the Berea craft program and about Burks’ work there, check out this segment from Craft in America.
Burks worked in conjunction with the students and staff of the craft program to utilize traditional Appalachian broomcraft techniques to construct the brightly-colored, 4-foot spherical art piece. The Crafting Diversity Collection, another collaborative project between Burks Man Made and the Berea College Student Craft program, recently made headlines for their new exclusive retail partnership with Design Within Reach, making student-created woven baskets, placemats, and trays available to an even wider audience.
We are fortunate to have a bit of an “in” at Berea College—Daedalus President Matt Beale’s brother Aaron Beale has been the Director of Student Craft at the college for nearly four years. Broom Thing traveled more than 400 miles suspended in the back of a red Berea College van before being successfully installed at the Daedalus office on August 14.
We’re delighted to be the stewards of a unique piece of art with such an interesting story. If you’re coming in for a meeting or even just for a quick visit, take a few minutes to check it out!