Today's Courier Journal reported that Churchill Weavers in Berea Kentucky is closing after 85 years of operation. Globalization helped close it since it products imported from Asia cost about $20-30 and the Berea operation can cost over $100.
See the story here:
The website for the Churchill Weavers can be found here:
It is unfortunate that those craftspeople will lose their jobs. The only way I can see an operation like that working in the United States is tie it to tourism and stress the hand crafted part of the product. I am looking into maybe buying one their handmade products. It is too bad that you do not realize local industries and what they make until they have disappeared. In that vein, I looked around and found a few local operations that should be patronized.
ByBee Pottery has a nice website and has quite an inventory of products. I like their flower pots and I wonder if they could make some of the African Violet pots that are in two pieces with the bottom part containing the water and the top part contains the plant where the water slowly transfers through the material containing the plant.
The other place would be Louisville Stoneware founded in 1815. We have a few of their pieces and they are quite nice.
Another pottery operation is Hadley Pottery which I think I pass by on my way to work in the morning. I will need to visit them some time for a tour. I like the piece that holds rings.
A great place to visit it the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory where the famous baseball bats are made. I remember when the factory was over in Indiana for a while. We use to pass the building when we went to my aunt's house. They have now moved to Main St. in Louisville near other museums and the Center for the Arts. It is much more accessible to tourists here.