PINEDALE – They came from Orem, Utah, bearing brooms and buckets, ready for the busy extended weekend of Rendezvous from their tent in Trader’s Row.
Pam and Darold Francis don’t come to Rendezvous stocked full of the wooden items after a quick stop at a big box shop, though; each item is painstakingly handmade by a couple who knows more than a thing or two about coopering and broom-making.
The duo works together on the brooms, and Darold creates buckets, chests and even butter churners. Each item is constructed using old-style tools laid out on display for passers-by to see.
Pam and Darold live this work. Darold originally learned his craft at a folk school back in North Carolina. He then went on to another program, and now each teaches at a school called Tillers International in Kalamazoo, Mich., traveling back and forth from Utah.
“They teach the old crafts,” Pam said.
Between them, they’ll teach 11 classes over three-and-a-half weeks, instructing students how to be sustainable and productive using older, almost primitive technologies in what is, sure enough, what it seems Pam and Darold themselves feel passionate about.
It’s this passion they bring to their teaching and making “the finest handcrafted buckets and brooms,” as their card says. But before the fall semester begins in Michigan, the couple will sell their wares or happily answer questions for those interested in the work here at Rendezvous.