Berea College to Host Chairmaker Event

Berea College to Host Chairmaker Event

BEREA, Ky. – Appalachian chairmakers from across the country will be at Berea College on June 2 for a hands-on event taking a deep dive into the art of chairmaking. 

Each of the 13 chairmakers are represented in the first book by Andy Glenn, former director of Berea College’s Woodcraft program and the Woodworking School at Pine Croft. 

In his book, “Backwoods Chairmakers: In Search of the Appalachian Ladderback Chairmaker,” Glenn journeys the mountains with his camera and tape recorder to find traditional chairmakers within a world overrun with furniture factories and automation. 

At the event, each craftsperson will display examples of their chairs, discussing four stages of chairmaking: 

  • The Storytime Stage: Where chairmakers will share how they got into the craft and manage to keep their businesses afloat in a world filled with mass-manufactured goods.
  • The Turning Stage: Several of the turners use lathes in their work and will demonstrate how they make parts using this machine.
  • The Shaping and Assembly Stage: Chairmakers will demonstrate the techniques they use to shape posts and rungs and assemble chairs.
  • The Greenwood Stage: Splitting, hewing and hickory bark demonstrations will take place in this outdoor area.

Tickets are $33 per person and can be purchased here.

Copies of Glenn’s book will be sold during the event and attendees will have a chance to get their books signed.

About Berea College

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 45 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, where students work at least 10 hours a week to earn money for books, housing, and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.