Jack Mountain Crafters

Jack Mountain Crafters is located in the Western Highlands of the  Shenandoah Valley.  Since 1991 Artisan Gary Robinson has carried on the  tradition of using broomcorn and various types of natural handles to  produce a truly American  type of functional domestic art—brooms and  brushes.  These brooms and brushes are largely of Appalachian origin and  are heavily influenced by the physical properties of the raw materials  that are used in their construction.

Made from broomcorn, a plant that resembles a corn plant, but in reality  is a type of grass, is related  to the sorghum plant from which  molasses is made.  The long flexible yet tough  fibers are ideal for  sweeping and have been used since the colonial period as the material of  choice in the making of brooms.

Robinson is native to the area and has worked with his hands all of  his life.  "One of the real satisfactions of my work, "noted Robinson"  is showing people the possibilities of taking simple raw materials and  creating with their own hands something that is both useful and  attractive."

Gary Robinson  demonstrates his craft at historic venues, including the  American Museum of Frontier Culture in Staunton in May and July; the  Mount Vernon 18th C. Market Fair, in September; and the Waterford Homes  Tour & Craft Exhibit in early October.