Robert "Bob" Wiggins
Bob Wiggins has been crafting brooms since 1991. Mastering his craft in Pennsylvania, he moved to the Tennessee Mountains where he currently runs his shop. A traditional craftsman with deep Appalachian roots, Bob creates Shaker and Appalachian-style brooms using the same machines, methods and materials as traditional 19th century broomsquires.
With a deep interest in early American history and wanting to develop a craft, Bob found nineteenth century broom equipment with which he crafts his brooms. First taught by Kentucky broom maker, Jim Harmon, who encouraged him to develop the skills of making Shaker-style brooms, he later developed his skills in crafting Appalachian-style brooms.
Bob’s work has appeared in various magazines such as Early American Life, Retired Military, and Country Discoveries. He has exhibited his work and demonstrated at various historical sites and festivals such as Hancock Shaker Village, Kutztown Pennsylvania German Festival, Shaker Woods Festival, and the Fine Arts Fiesta.
Straw Mountain Brooms is dedicated to the purpose of collecting, preserving and demonstrating antique broom making equipment, while at the same time producing a handcrafted item that is in keeping with historical and traditional methods.
Bob has received awards from Directory of Traditional American Crafts; Early American Homes from 1998 to 2002 awarded his work. In 1996 Bob received Second Place at Bob Evans Farms, Rio Grande, Ohio. And in 1993 he was awarded First Place at Mayfair Festival, Allentown, PA.
Bob Wiggins has been featured in numerous Television programs and periodicals in Main, Pennsylvania, New York and Washington DC. He has been in major shows in numerous states. He demonstrates the 19th century antique broom making equipment he has collected and talks about his deep interest in early American history. Bob’s wife Patsy assists him in the broom craft and has developed woodcarving skills which results in unique styles of faces on broom handles. Locally to Northeast Tennessee, Bob and Patsy and the Straw Mountain Booms may be seen at Webb School in Bell Buckle, TN, Morgan County Sorghum Festival, TACA in Nashville, Cherokee Triangle in Louisville, KY and The Apple Festival in Erwin, TN.