Warren A. May, Woodworker: Dulcimers!
Dulcimers by Warren A. May are traditional, totally functional and beautiful instruments of distinction. They are made of solid woods: Black Walnut, Cherry or Poplar. Each dulcimer has a hand-carved scroll and the tops and backs are book-matched (sawn from the same board with matching grain pattern). An aesthetic look and sound is produced in each instrument.
Each dulcimer is hand-crafted, assembled, carved, sanded, finished and precisely tuned for the best sound and ease of playing. Each dulcimer is signed, dated, and numbered. It has a lifetime guarantee to original owner on construction and playability.
What to buy: I, personally, have owned two of his dulcimers in my lifetime. To show you how well liked his work is, when someone broke into my home last fall my dulcimer was the only thing taken. If you catch him in a good mood, he’ll play a bit for you and give impromptu lessons. You should really hear him play “Sound of Silence.”
What to pay: Expect to pay around $200 for the least expensive. He'll also custom design them.
The Family Tree Gift & Craft Shop
Located in Old Town, it is family owned and operated. The shop carries an interesting array of crafts and gifts created by Kentucky crafters and artists. Many items are the work of Connie (the owner) and her family.
What to buy: This is the place to buy "Old Town Fudge" made fresh in Berea. Connie also hand rolls "Honeycomb Candles", available in many colors and sizes. The shop is fortunate to carry the works of some very talented Kentuckians. There are quilts and wall hangings done by Connie and Pamela as well as some local ladies. Tabletoppers by Gladys are a nice decor piece and reasonably priced. Roger Potts, from Richmond, does framed and unframed prints by Prather, Archambeault and Fred Thrasher. The Family Tree has lovely handmade dolls and "Twinkle" angels by Pam Mattox of Morehead, KY and hand hooked mats and wall hangings. There are also handmade soaps made from goat’s milk. Tony does some unique and whimsical wood crafts and together, Connie and Tony lid and line large baskets into beautiful sewing baskets.
Tater Knob Pottery
This pair of artisans has worked as professional potters for over 20 years. Their work is exhibited in arts and craft galleries all across the region. Dinnerware, oil lamps, ceramic bells and their trademark Spoon Bread Bakers are just a few of the items they produce. The quality and craftsmanship found in Sarah and Jeff's work will withstand the test of time and use. Beautiful red clay is fired to 2185 degrees F which turns it to a solid glass, making it useful in the oven, microwave and dishwasher.
What to buy: Tater Knob Pottery produces 25 standard items, including place settings, pitchers, vases, lamps, bells, and their famed "Spoonbread Baker," designed to bake and serve the spoonbread specialty made well known by the Boone Tavern Hotel in Berea.
Born as the youngest of six children in Chile in the 1960's, Alfredo has always been intrigued by faces. Today, his pencil portraits have been described as "living," "soulful" and "incredible," while his acrylic paintings and prism pencil work has inspired the phrase "vivid abstract realism."
Scrapbooks on Broadway
The owner, Kristi Baker, can help you preserve your momentos in a scrapbook that will be here for years to come. She is available to assist with supplies such as albums, paper, and adhesive.
Two Fridays a month, you can come out just for fun for TGIF Crop Workshops. Bring your pictures and be prepared to eat pizza. Other activities you might be interested in are the page contest in which $50 in prizes is given to the winner. You can also join the recipe club ($20/yr).
What to buy: If you just don't find time to create your own album, and want to leave it up to Kristi, she also makes scrapbooks for hire.
This shop, along with its sister next door, specializes in local art. They make what's called "folk art" which is basically crafts that have roots in the local culture. Interesting place to add to your repertoire of shops in Berea.
- Arts and Culture
Peacecraft: Ethnic Buys in Berea
You can buy stuff from all over the world in this store. Berea tends to attract an arty-hippie crowd and this shop fits in perfectly. It changes on a regular basis, so you never really know what you're going to find.
What to buy: I've bought candles from Vietnam, mobiles from Indonesia, furniture from Cambodia, and an Irish sweater. It's a small store, but very eclectic.
What to pay: Prices vary from the absurdly cheap to the ridiculously expensive.
- Family Travel
Log House Craft Gallery
The Log House Craft Gallery is the flag ship shop for Berea College Student Crafts. You will be able to shop for Berea College Woodcraft, Weaving, Wrought Iron, Broomcraft and Ceramics. It is also the showcase for fine Berea College furniture.
Church Hill Weavers
Churchill Weavers was established in 1922 by Carroll and Eleanor Churchill. The Churchill's sought to maintain the ancient craft of hand weaving, while benefiting the residents of Berea, Kentucky by providing employment. You can take a free tour of the loom house and visit the unique gallery which features the famous Churchill line as well as works by some of the nation's finest artisans. There is also an outlet room for the best bargains.
What to buy: If you’ve been to Ireland and liked the hand throws and other quilts, then you will probably like Churchill Weavers. The products are so similar, in fact, that Angie wasn’t that impressed with those in Ireland because they looked so much like the stuff at home.
What to pay: Probably a lot. That's why you should check out the outlet room first.
Mitchell Tolle Gallery: Berea's most famous painter
Mitchell Tolle is probably Berea's most famous painter. He's more into people paintings than landscapes and his colors are very muted. It's interesting to go through the gallery and watch his work progress over the years.
What to buy: Well, since he's a painter, you can probably expect to find paintings in the gallery.
What to pay: A lot.
- Family Travel
- Arts and Culture
The Jewerly Box Native American Jewelry
Their specialty is Native American crafts
and jewelry. Susan Mullins is Mohawk from Kahnawaki, a reserve in Canada. She has designed jewelry and native crafts for thirty-two years, and has a fine display
Custom made pieces are also available. Bead work, sterling silver, turquoise and red coral, dream catcher jewelry, wall hangings, Headdress, bow and arrow, turtle shell purses, and many other items are
available for viewing and purchase. They also have Zuni, Hopi and Navaho pieces.
Appalachian Fireside Gallery
It goes along with the other craft stores in the area, although this one is different due to the fact that it's larger. If you're an artsy person and you really dig local crafts, then this is a pretty good jumping off point.
What to buy: Let's see...Bybee Pottery, handmade throws, quilts, wooden figures...there's hordes of stuff to buy. Just make sure you comparison shop.
The Home & Hearth Gallery
One of a kind angels, custom made wreaths, hand and body lotions, handmade sheets and quilts as well as hand poured and painted ceramics are displayed throughout. Painted wood items are also found among the changing array of collectibles and antiques.
The Upstair's Gallery
Established in 1977, UPSTAIRS GALLERY is Berea's original art gallery, and features original artworks: oil, acrylic & watercolor paintings, color and black and white photographs, handmade and limited edition prints, windsor chairs and custom furniture and exclusive unique handcrafts.
What to buy: The UPSTAIRS GALLERY is a working studio featuring fiber art by Jane Di Teresa and paintings by Pamela Corley and Neil Di Teresa. From time to time, they also have paintings by Pat Banks, a watercolor artist from Richmond. She does some excellent landscapes of the Kentucky River.
Cedar Meadow Studios
In her 30th year of clay work, Teresa now has her favorite workshop 12 miles east of Berea in the Red Lick area, where, working alone, she creates her much admired functional tableware and household accessories. Her work is available for viewing at her retail showroom on Jackson St. which is located behind Boone Tavern in Berea.
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