Kentucky's contribution to the perennially popular American craft of quiltmaking is a rich and varied one. Mary Clarke examines here the state of the craft in Kentucky and finds it as lively today as it was 150 years ago.
Like a fingerprint, every Kentucky quilt differs from all others in some respects, whether it is an original creation or a variation of one of the traditional patterns long popular in the United States. And many Kentucky quilts reveal much about the individual maker—her disposition, taste, and lifestyle, the familiar objects that bring joy to her daily life, and her response ...Read More
Why do people consider aesthetic qualities as well as utilitarian ones in the making of everyday objects? Why do they maintain traditions? What is the nature of their creative process? These are some of the larger questions addressed by Michael Owen Jones in his book on craftsmen in the Cumberland Mountains of eastern Kentucky. Concentrating on the work of one man, woodworker and chairmaker Chester Cornett, Jones not only describes the tools and techniques employed by Cornett but also his aspirations and values. Cornett possessed a deep knowledge of his materials and a mastery of construction methods. Some of his ...Read More
Chains carved from a single block of wood, cages whittled with wooden balls rattling inside—all “made with just a pocketknife”—are among our most enduring folk designs. Who makes them and why? what is their history? what do they mean for their makers, for their viewers, for our society? Simon J. Bronner portrays four wood carvers in southern Indiana, men who had been transplanted from the rural landscapes of their youth to industrial towns. After retiring, they took up a skill they remembered from childhood. Bronner discusses how creativity helped these men adjust to change and how viewers’ responses to carving ...Read More