About This Site...

The Kentucky Crafts Encyclopedia is under constant development by folklorist Thomas A. Adler, Ph.D., of Lexington, Kentucky.

NOTE WELL: All underlined text entries on this site, regardless of color, are "clickable" links!

Thousands of people in Kentucky produce "CRAFTS," though their definitions of that term vary widely.


As a verb, "crafting" is nearly equivalent to "making." Yet the historic and connotational meanings of "craft" go much farther...


While the MAIN craft categories in this site are intended to be as complete as possible, it should be understood that the specific links to individual crafters (or companies, institutions, or organizations) can never be complete and comprehensive — there are simply too many, and many lack websites or other representative links, particularly in such large categories as BASKETRY, CERAMICS, KNIFE-MAKING, WEAVING, or WOOD CRAFTS.

Inclusion of links to individual crafters, makers, or crafting companies should not be taken to imply any special recommendation or endorsement on the part of this site's developer. Moreover: links in this site often become useless, when the makers move their information from a dedicated website to conglomerated sites such as Facebook, Etsy, Shopify; or when the crafters cease to practice their craft entirely, due to death, declining health, or infirmity.

This Kentucky Crafts Encyclopedia was first imagined in rough form in 2015 by the Board of Directors of KCHEA—the Kentucky Craft History and Education Association. Their concept for the "Kentucky Craft Encyclopedia," was to offer to a very wide audience:

      • a resource for schools; an information destination for makers and appreciators of crafts

      • a link to organizations and institutions concerned with crafts

      • a starting place for further scholarship documenting Kentucky’s crafts


Although KCHEA seems to have abandoned or postponed their own plans for an online Kentucky Craft Encyclopedia, this Kentucky Crafts Encyclopedia strives to be similarly inclusive, embracing:

      • different types of crafts and cultural processes of learning (folk, popular, elite/classical)

      • craft makers and supporters; schools for craft education

      • organizations that exhibit, market, or provide services to crafts

      • historical periods; geographic areas of Kentucky

WHAT'S NOT IN THE KCE:

The Kentucky Crafts Encyclopedia does not attempt to deal, except peripherally, with many forms of non-utilitarian "art," i.e., artistic paintings, sculptures, photography, performance art, poetry and language arts, and music.

Nor does this site include such modern "popular crafts" as scrapbooking, tabletop tableaus, journaling, or terrarium creation. The developer of this site specifically de-emphasizes craft products that involve such modern tools as 3D-printers, laser-engravers, electronic cutting machines, CNC (computerized numerical control) routers or plasma-cutters, decorative infusible-ink transfer devices, machine embroidering equipment. See the topic: Arts/Crafts Controversy for more general clarification.


Because of the broad scope of this project, it will proceed in phases and, it is hoped, will involve resources, writers, and advisers from all parts of Kentucky. This work will be based on current and past scholarship and writings about Kentucky crafts, and will also encourage investigation into areas where research has been scarce.

Donations in support of the Kentucky Crafts Encyclopedia are gratefully accepted!

© 2019–2022 Thomas A. Adler