Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Arnold Moore, of Appalachian Fireside Crafts, Creates Bark Birdhouses at Kentucky Artisan Center Aug. 8
On Saturday, Aug. 8, Arnold Moore, of Vincent, will demonstrate the construction of his poplar bark birdhouses and talk with visitors about the process from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
Moore makes hundreds of these bark birdhouses and birdfeeders every year as a member of the craft cooperative Appalachian Fireside Crafts. A second-generation craftsman, he has produced these durable and simple bark birdhouses and feeders since 1969, when as a boy of 12 he worked alongside his father. Production of these birdhouses is challenging, as the poplar bark must be collected when the sap is up in the tree, on average three months out of the year.
Photos, left to right: Arnold Moore creates poplar bark birdhouses; Poplar bark and tools for Moore's demonstration; a finished poplar bark birdhoouse by Moore
Arnold utilizes the entire poplar tree. He begins by cutting down the tree and removing the bark by slicing through it vertically along the length of the log. Sliding a hatchet under the bark, Arnold removes it in one continuous roll. The tree is then sawn into board lengths from which the circular birdhouse bottoms are cut. The bark is cut to the desired height and nailed around each circular bottom. The roof of the birdhouse is constructed from cut pieces of bark, and bird perches are created using the smaller branches of the tree.
Bark birdhouses and bird feeders made by Moore are regularly available at the center, located just off Interstate 75 at Berea Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily, year-round, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the cafe open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
The center features works by more than 700 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. A gallery exhibit, “Turn, Turn, Turn: Lathe-turned Works by Kentucky Artisans,” is on display through Sept. 12. For information about the center’s events call 859-985-5448, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentucky.artisan.center, or go to the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov.
Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.