Traditional Arts

Emily Hilliard/ WV Folklife Program

Along Davis Creek, in Loudendale, WV, outside of Charleston, there’s a long green building on the side of the road with the words “Charleston Broom and Mop Co.” painted on the side. That building is the workshop of James Shaffer, who at age 87, is the last hand-made commercial broom maker in the state. He first learned the trade in 1946, meaning he’s been making brooms for 70 years.

Pricketts Fort Forges New Connections By Teaching Old Skills

Aug 21, 2014
Ed Harris and Jim Mays pay close attention as Greg Bray demonstrates blacksmithing techniques.
Sarah Lowther Hensley

The blacksmith is one of the most enduring figures from the early days of American history. The art form calls to mind strength, ingenuity and craftsmanship…fire, iron and sweat. But in the age of technology and 3-D printers, what’s to become of this time-tested trade? One West Virginia state park is taking steps to forge new interest in traditional arts.