Stop 7. Student Crafts and Education Center

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The Student Craft Program at Berea College dates back to 1893. Dr. William G. Frost, third president of Berea College, rode through the Appalachian Mountains on horseback that summer to become better acquainted with the region. He observed the fine traditional crafts being produced, and he realized two things. One was that it was important that students at Berea College should not, as a result of their education, lose touch with their own heritage. The second was that the crafts being produced in Appalachian homesteads could provide a revenue stream for families beyond their usual income. The Student Craft Program today still has that dual goal – to preserve the skills and techniques of fine Appalachian craftsmanship and to generate income from the sale of student-created crafts. While you can observe students making crafts any day of the week at the Student Crafts on the Square (SCOTS), the actual production of student woodwork and broomcraft takes place in the Mueller Building. Weaving is in the Sunshine Ballard Cottage. Visitors are welcome at the production facility Monday-Friday from 8-5 as part of a student-led tour from the Visitor Center or as drop-ins. Click here for the tour schedule.

Woodworking includes traditional games like skittles and fine furniture, made to customer specifications. The Woodworking Program also produced the furniture in the guest rooms at Boone Tavern and for residency halls. Berea brooms are valued for their functionality as well as their artistry. The latest addition to the Student Craft Program is the Education Outreach Program located at the back of Mueller Building. Here visitors from casual drop-ins to organized school field trips can try their hand at weaving, broom making, ceramics, and simple jewelry making. The program is free and open to the public Monday-Friday.  Call the Visitor Center to schedule a tour – 859-985-3145. To learn more about the history of the Student Craft Program, click here.