The Broom Brothers, a father-and-son team comprised of Ralph Donaldson and Dan Donaldson, was formed in 2008 when Ralph and Dan learned to make corn brooms and began growing their own broomcorn. Before Ralph passed away in 2014, they traveled the Southeast together, demonstrating broom making and selling their brooms at fairs, festivals and art shows. Now, from his workshop in downtown Hartwell, GA, Dan continues to pursue the work his father loved so well: creating functional art—brooms suitable for sweeping, decorating and ceremonial uses.
The act of making a broom can be reduced to “tying grass on a stick,” as The Broom Brothers’ Dan Donaldson likes to say; or even just tying twigs or grass into a bundle, as with the homemade “sedge brooms” of the Deep South. Making a broom can be accomplished by as simple a process as that, or by as complex a process as machine (-aided) mass production in a factory setting.