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Jamaica Fair to Teach Broom-Making and Tinsmithing in Rufus King Park

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | August 15, 2013 8:29am
 Artisans will demonstrate crafts of the 1800s in Rufus King Park this weekend.
Craftsmen Days in Jamaica
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QUEENS — A craftsmen fair in Jamaica this weekend will offer visitors a behind the scenes look at several long-forgotten skills, including weaving, woodturning and tinsmithing.

Artisans at Rufus King Park will also demonstrate leather working and how to make a broom.

“It’s great for kids,” said Kathy Forrestal from King Manor Museum, which organizes the 2-day event. “Particularly elementary and middle school students will get to see what they are learning about in school.”

Adults will also get a chance to learn a few interesting details about life in the 19th century, Forrestal said.

For example, she said, in the 1800s, a broom-maker skills were “very much in demand.”

“In our world we go and buy a cheap broom,” she said, “but a broom was actually a very substantial and important purchase 200 years ago.” She also said that brooms were much stronger at the time and a typical home had one in nearly every room.

Artisans will also work with tin, which was valued for its reflective qualities.

During the fair, the park will reverberate to the sounds of fiddles and hammered dulcimers, traditional instruments with strings that are struck with handheld hammers.

Rufus King Manor, where Rufus King, a lawyer and politician, once lived, will also be open for guided tours.

Craftsmen Days are scheduled for Aug. 16 and 17, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Outdoors events are free. During the fair admissions for King Manor tours will be offered at discounted prices: $2 adults and $1 students and seniors (free for children 16 and under). Rufus King Manor is located at 150-03 Jamaica Ave. in Rufus King Park.